Dove Refreshes ‘Real Women’ Push in Counterpoint to AI Images

Dove soap

The artificial intelligence (AI) content free-for-all has everyone scrambling to understand what the new normal will look like, and this week, a few brands decided it was time to lay down some ground rules.

From the harmless (fun face-altering apps, for instance, or recordings of beloved cartoon characters singing classic rock favorites) to the truly scary (such as deepfakes enabling cybercrimes), the widespread availability of low- or no-cost AI content-generating technology is transforming our world. Now, some brands are looking to be more deliberate about how they build toward the AI-integrated future.

Take Dove. In 2004, when the brand first launched its “Real Beauty” campaign, the word real was pushing back against the types of women who were featured in most popular media who did not represent the majority of the population. Now, it’s a counterpoint to literally fake women — AI-generated images of people who don’t exist.

On Tuesday (April 9), the Unilever-owned personal care products brand announced a commitment to never use AI in place of real humans in its advertising. Alongside this promise, the company also published its Real Beauty Prompt Guidelines issued in a playbook discussing “how to create images that are representative of Real Beauty” using generative AI.

“At Dove, we seek a future in which women get to decide and declare what real beauty looks like — not algorithms,” Dove Chief Marketing Officer Alessandro Manfredi said in a statement. “As we navigate the opportunities and challenges that come with new and emerging technology, we remain committed to protect, celebrate, and champion Real Beauty. Pledging to never use AI in our communications is just one step.”

Meanwhile, Adobe is now paying creators for the content their AI leverages. The company will is compensating artists and photographers to supply videos and images that will be used to train the company’s models, supplementing its existing library of stock media, according to a report Thursday (April 11). Granted, it’s not much — Adobe is paying between 6 cents and 16 cents for each photo and an average of $2.62 per minute for videos, according to the report.

The music industry is also confronting the compensation questions AI poses.

“We want to ensure that artists and IP [intellectual property] owners can collaborate with AI innovators to find ethical win-win solutions in this AI era. We are in the ‘disrupt’ phase of generative AI right now, and we have some navigating to do,” Jenn Anderson-Miller, CEO and Co-founder of Audiosocket, told PYMNTS in an interview published Tuesday. “We call disruptions that because, initially, they are disruptive. And we have to level the playing field,” she added about AI in the music industry.

Plus, a week ago, Meta shared that it has modified its approach to handling media that has been manipulated with artificial intelligence (AI) and by other means on Facebook, Instagram and Threads. The company will now label a wider range of content as “Made with AI” when they detect industry standard AI image indicators or when the people uploading content disclosed that it was generated with the technology.