The hate2 seems to stem mostly from the obvious inauthenticity of the ad3. Apparently Dove still sells beauty products4. Then I realized no, they hate it because it is True. This also happens to be why I think it's the first of Dove's long running 'Real Beauty' campaign that really works.
What is the Truth?
First, we5 always have and always will struggle to be better6. And you know what? That is actually a good thing. Oh, and it happens to be human nature7. I think this is what is driving most of the anger. The authors get angry because women (but apparently not men who, like me, look like Brad Pitt can't just accept that they are perfect. Of course they can't - it's a lie. Since I'm not perfect, I'm pretty sure you aren't either. And that is okay. We only have two choices: either get better or get worse - standing still is not possible8.
Second - and this is the brilliance of the Dove Ad - women often carry this good thing too far. The Dove Ad tells women that Dove understands them, and it reminds them that striving is okay, but only to a point. Just because the ad doesn't say, "Oh, by the way, if you are ugly, you can still be a good friend," doesn't discredit the ad9.
So would you rather buy from a company that understands the truth or one that's just authentic10?
1 Last week The Voice had the most broadcast tv views at 14.4M.
2 Let's ignore the fact that negative criticism is often just the way to take a trending topic and generate attention.
3 Also: The artist was a male, apparently the women in the ad are still too attractive, aren't diverse enough, society is to be blamed, etc.
4 image of offensive product ->
5 The collective we humans of the world. Somehow, I'm sure this is offensive.
6 Looking, financially fit, educated, spiritually, socially, etc.
7 Whether you believe it is what's best for our species or because we are striving for something much greater after this life (or both).
8 Applies equally well to businesses - grow or shrink you can't stand still. My scale went up today tomorrow it will go down.
9 Nor that it doesn't mention every: eye color, hair color, skin color, age, chin shape, face symmetry.
10 Apparently an authentic Dove would not sell any beauty products. Maybe they can make a business out of putting affirming messages in their jars of cellulite reduction cream?