Dove shows moms the toxic influence of social media

The Canadian version of the campaign includes an art installation highlighting the kind of beauty advice teens get every day.


Social media is becoming increasingly prominent in the lives of Canadian teen girls, and for many, that’s not a good thing.

That’s the insight at the core of the Dove Self-Esteem Project’s newest campaign, “#DetoxYourFeed,” which results from a research project that finds half of Canadian teen girls are spending more time online than they do in person with their friends – and half of girls also say the toxic beauty guidance they’re fed through their social media streams causes low self-esteem.

Dove is looking to counter that bad advice by encouraging girls to tune out on the toxic content, and urging parents to key in on what their daughters are watching.

Edelman helped develop the Canadian elements of the global campaign. It aims to de-normalize harmful beauty advice in teens’ social media feeds and give them tools that help them define what “beauty” means for themselves. The other goal is to help parents navigate conversations about these subjects with their kids.

The campaign launched internationally with a spot called “Toxic Influence,” in which a group of mothers is exposed to the harmful advice their teen daughters are receiving, which then becomes further personalized when they, themselves, appear to be giving the advice through the use of deepfake technology. The goal of the project is to demonstrate how insidious the toxic information can be, often coming from sources that may seem trustworthy and the need for parents to potentially intervene.

In Canada, Dove is activating the campaign with an installation open until May 1 at Toronto’s Sherway Gardens mall. Stylized like a bedroom, the space has actually advice from social media feeds plastered across the walls, not only cluing parents in to the kinds of things their kids are being told, but how ubiquitous it can be. It also offers resources and advice for guests that can help them address the issue with their teens.


The campaign is launching across Dove’s YouTube and Instagram accounts, with the “Toxic Influence” film also being included in email marketing materials. The film was developed by Ogilvy, while Edelman developed the Canadian #DetoxYourFeed installation and PR strategy. PHD supported paid media.

The effort builds upon numerous past campaigns about beauty standards from Dove. The most recent of which, the “Reverse Selfie” campaign, launched around this time last year and was also focused on young people, addressing the harmful use of photo retouching apps and filters.