Dove, the soap brand owned by the Unilever corporation, has just released a new ad campaign blatantly mocking the Trump administration.
In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd grilled top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway on the Trump administration’s blatantly false statement that the Trump inauguration was “was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” Conway responded with her now famous “alternative facts” line.
‘You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving – Sean Spicer, our press secretary – gave alternative facts.’
Dove has seized on Conway’s colorful turn of phrase and released an ad spread in a few large British newspapers. These included The Guardian and the Times.
Dove’s list of made-up facts concludes with the hashtag #alternativefacts. It draws parallels between the ridiculous lies that the company lists about their product and the Trump administration’s complete rejection of reality during their responses to questions about the inauguration crowd size and Trump losing the popular vote in the election. The other side of the two-page spread lists actual information about the Dove product, and concludes with the hashtag #realfacts.
The campaign is indicative of the interesting time in which we live. No matter what your opinions on Trump, it’s certainly not common for a corporation to openly mock an elected official as part of an ad to sell more soap. And Dove’s ad campaign is also indicative of a wider, perhaps more significant point. It shows that countries outside the US are watching the drama unfolding in the American political system, simultaneously horrified and entertained. It betrays a bit of nervousness about the future of the country when looked at from afar by our allies. The truth may not have ever enjoyed a heyday in politics or advertising, but it’s also never been so blatantly and openly derided. Perhaps it’s a good thing that even a soap company is willing to pay attention when our elected officials make such a frightening shift.
The question is whether some humor at the expense of our president is cathartic for a country licking its wounds, or whether it does nothing but further the gap between us.
Featured image via Getty/Chip Somodevilla