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You’re about to walk into a building and are faced with two doors: one marked ‘beautiful’ and one marked ‘average’.  Which door do you walk through?

Beauty line and personal care company, Dove, set up this scenario in five cities worldwide – London, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sao Paolo and Delhi – and, as part of its new advert, filmed women’s reactions as they decided which door to choose.  In a society dominated by photoshopped celebs and size zero models, is it any wonder that the majority of the women labelled themselves as ‘average’?  In emotional clips in the film, the women discussed their choices.

Dove is no stranger to campaigns aimed at empowering women and has championed ‘real’ beauty for over a decade.  I’m sure everyone is familiar with the Real Beauty Sketches and the Dove Patches ads that have previously dominated our televisions, not to mention its eschewing of models in favour of ‘normal’ women.

Launched this week, the new advert is the face of Dove’s Choose Beautiful campaign, which aims to challenge women’s perceptions of beauty.  Accompanying the advert, which has drawn in an incredible half a million views in two days, are some rather shocking statistics revealing that out of 6400 women, 96 per cent don’t see themselves as beautiful.  This has amassed publicity in print as well as online, with papers such as The Independent and The Daily Mail quick to report on such an arresting advert and the jaw-dropping figures that have come with it.  And, as with any successful marketing campaign, there is an accompanying Twitter hashtag.

You only have to search #ChooseBeautiful to see the multitude of positive responses, the popular view being that Dove has both inspired and saddened people with the revelation of just how little confidence women today have in themselves.  Yet negative comments claim that #ChooseBeautiful objectifies women, reveals them as too insecure and is misleading and unnatural as the women filmed were aware they were being watched.  Criticism that the campaign is too similar to ones previously launched by the company has also been aired.

However, in my book Dove has done a spectacular job of reinforcing its brand’s original message of ‘real’ beauty.  With an unusual and unique advert, some pretty thought provoking statistics, a strong social media presence and a fair amount of publicity in international papers, Dove is certainly ticking all the boxes for a successful, integrated marketing campaign. Choose Beautiful inspires not only on a professional level as an extremely well-executed, international campaign, but on a personal level as well.  It makes you think about how you perceive yourself and how you would have reacted in that scenario.  So, if you haven’t already, go and watch the advert.  Would you #ChooseBeautiful?