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Selling self-esteem


by Jann Bernadette Lee

ith her purple lipstick, round yellow sunglasses and fringed bob, Jessica Tjeng easily stands out in a crowd. She is dressed to impress with her short black dress, black tights, tan heeled boots and long grey sweater. Her walk oozes confidence and she gives a wide smile as she takes off her sunglasses, sets them beside her clutch purse and orders a drink at Starbucks. With her slim figure, she looks like a model. And she is. She’s a Dove model. Tjeng, a former fashion student at Ryerson University, appeared in a Dove hair commercial earlier in 2007 after beating out 800 other hopeful women for the part. The commercial was part of Dove’s latest marketing

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tool, The Campaign for Real Beauty. Launched in 2004, the campaign is supposed to challenge our narrow view of what beauty is. Along with Tjeng, seven other women were supposed to represent real women for two months. But did they? Despite the campaign being about “real” women, Dove was meticulous in their model choice. One model had ringlet curls while another had platinum blonde hair. Tjeng’s angular, symmetric hair was unique too, and exactly what the executives were looking for. Equipped with the expertise of Ogilvy and Mather ad agency, Dove has endorsed their message and products with unconventional advertising such as their viral video “Evolution,” which has more than five million

mcclung’s winter 2008

Photos: Elena Potter, illustration: Denise Kwan

dove loves you just the way you are—but unilever, their parent company, just loves your money. beauty is in the eye of the buyer. 12/12/07 4:17:38 PM

McClung's Magazine Winter 2008