Veet’s Controversial “Don’t Risk the Dudeness” Campaign

Veet recently launched the “Don’t Risk the Dudeness” campaign that ended up sparking a lot of controversy. People on social media responded to the advertisements negatively as many felt that the campaign was sexist.

To set the scenario, one of the ads consists of a man that wakes up next to a bearded man, who is meant to be girlfriend, who’s leg hair has grown after a day of not shaving. In addition to this scene, t here is a voice over that says “Don’t Risk the Dudeness.”

Another ad features a woman trying to hail a cab, who is ignored by the cab driver because she has armpit hair. At this point we see that she has turned into the bearded man we saw in the other advertisement.

Another one, which sparked the most controversy, was of a woman who is at the hospital after an accident and the doctor removes her pants to find that her legs are unshaven. As the doctor continues to remove the woman’s clothes she comments, “Please, not the panties.” (I couldn’t find a video link for this one)

In this society where women are often immersed into the hardship of cultural expectations, Veet’s ad seemed to contribute to media’s attempt to tell women what is socially acceptable. There seems to be a common trend, through the use of media, to make women feel uncomfortable in their own skin and therefore forced to abide to what society expects of them. Women are constantly bombarded by society’s portrayal of what is beautiful and what is not, so advertisements like these tend to feed such cycle towards the insecurities of women. To understand the effect of media on women I thought back to the Dove Campaign and how the company has attempted to use different types of women in their advertisements, in terms of size, race, and age. I remember that a lot of people responded positively to Dove’s campaign and thought that it was refreshing to see companies move away from the status quo of using stick-thin models, which is what many companies tend to do.

The most obvious reason as to why people responded negatively to the campaign was that it felt like Veet was telling women that they were not attractive if they had body hair, and although the advertisement was probably meant to humor people, it definitely ended up outraging many. Advertising is a very powerful tool to get the attention of the audience and they successfully did, but just not in the right way.

Resources:

Retrieved from

Lu, A. (2014, APRIL 09). Veet’s ‘don’t risk dudeness’ campaign ads called sexist [videos]. International Business Times, Retrieved from http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/547291/20140409/veet-don-t-risk-dudeness-advertisement-campaign.htm

7 thoughts on “Veet’s Controversial “Don’t Risk the Dudeness” Campaign

  1. Wow. I can’t actually believe that Veet’s corporate actually OKed this campaign. This is so offensive I’m actually struggling to find the right words to express my outrage. It’s sad that in a society that claims to be so advanced, must blatant sexism in advertising is approved. I did actually just read on Mashable that Veet already pulled the campaign. Thank goodness.

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  2. This is incredibly offensive to women and I cannot believe that anyone would let this stand. This is such obvious sexism and is ridiculous that Veet would even consider such a campaign successful and OK to put out nationally. Glad to have read in the above comment that this campaign has since been removed, but wow can’t believe it ever made it out the Veet corporate door in the first place.

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  3. I’m a girl and I think it’s pretty funny. But I guess I can see how it can be offensive. It looks like a guy created the whole commercial concept as well. It’s taking something that women are insecure about and putting it under an unflattering spotlight.

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  4. I found it somewhat humorous, but I do feel like it cross the line a bit in terms of the social standards of women’s beauty. If a woman doesn’t want to shave, she has every right no to and should not be considered “manly” for doing so.

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  5. I agree with Anna Lynne. It’s the woman’s decision to shave or not to shave, and either choice does not make her any less feminine. That said, it was a funny, if not problematic, ad.

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  6. Personally, I found this pretty hilarious. Though, I can see how it is taboo to some individuals. As Huggen said above, it is a woman’s choice whether to shave her hair (legs or otherwise) and that should not demean her femininity. The advertisement is a risk this company was willing to take, maybe to appeal to a younger more comically accepting audience. Great read, thanks for posting!

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  7. I thought the commercial was comical. I understand how this ad can be interpreted as sexist, however, I think it was intended for a market that would understand the ad’s humor. Veet has since pulled the ad, which was probably a good move on their part.

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