Dove Pledges Never To Use AI To Represent Real Women In Ads

Dove has made a pledge to keep it real and never use generative artificial intelligence (GAI) images in its advertisements that portray actual people.

The Unilever brand on Tuesday celebrated its 20-year anniversary of a long-running Real Beauty platform, and released prompted guidelines for using GAI when searching online for what beauty means.

The guidelines are centers around the ad campaign, The Code, and the images in the video are set to a dramatic version of the song “Pure Imagination” made popular by the film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”

The music plays as women submit prompts to a GAI image generator to see what beauty looks like. The initial images show unrealistic results, and then shows Dove’s version.

The Unilever brand also created a set of guidelines, prompts for real beauty. The idea is to help GAI users create images more representative of themselves and real life.

Celebrity ambassadors including Reba McEntire, Drew Barrymore, Beanie Feldstein and Marsai Martin were asked to help raise awareness.

The campaign challenges society to make beauty accessible to everyone by being transparent about digital distortion, and confront harmful and unrealistic beauty standards around women and girls.  

Europol Innovation Lab, a hub that supports the European law enforcement through research, estimates up to 90% of what people see on screens will be the product of generative AI (GAI) by 2025.

In its 2024, The Real State of Beauty: a global report, Dove found more than 1 in 3 women in the U.S. will give up a year of their life to achieve an ideal look or body. The study shows that while beauty ideals have evolved over the years to be more inclusive across race, orientation, gender and size, the ideal appearance checklist has become impossible to meet.

The checklist includes 81% want to look healthy, 72% want to appear slim, and 69% desire a small waist while 59% also want to be curvy.

While females want to achieve this euphoria, nearly nine in 10 women and girls say they have been exposed to harmful beauty content online. The rise of GAI is a threat to women’s wellbeing, with 1 in 3 women feel pressure to alter their appearance because of what they see online, even when they know it’s fake or AI generated.   

While GAI has the potential to foster creativity and provide access to beauty, about 1 in 4 women and almost 2 in 5 girls in the U.S. agree that being able to create different versions of themselves using GAI is empowering, there is still a need for greater representation and transparency in content created by the technology.

Online survey conducted by Edelman Data x Intelligence, a global, multidisciplinary research, analytics, and data consultancy, in November and December 2023 in 20 countries. Researchers spoke with more than 33,000 respondents: 19,306 men and woman aged between 18 to 64 years old, and 14,292 girl and boy respondents aged 10 to 17 years old.

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