Pro-age without a pro in sight.

(Sorry the above video is so small, Dove have removed it, fortunately, we had a tiny embed code!)

Here’s Dove’s new pro-ageing ad. It’s well packaged and on the surface does a nice job of creating a new image of us. But look deeper and it’s just another anti-ageing ad.

It was directed by a man, produced by a man, edited by a man, had a male creative director and was written by a young female team. No wonder they’ve got it all wrong.

It’s not entirely their fault. The only insights any of them were given came from some pretty dodgy research. The whole premise is based on a massive sample of 103 women in a demographic too wide to make any sense at all. No one would ask 103 females between the ages of 10 and 39 what they thought about being young. So why do we get lumped into an amorphous demographic past 50?

Because we don’t exist. Not in the research companies. Not in the marketing departments. Not in agencies. And not in the production companies.

Which is madness when a company like Unilever (the manufacturers of Dove) make 47% of their profit from us.

At a time when marketers are screaming ‘Brand purpose’, Unilever aren’t doing their bit to help the one third of women over 50 who face long term unemployment. You know the sort of women who were researchers and marketers, advertising creatives and directors.

Women who look at the ad and take umbrage to almost every line:


Hey girls, get wrinkles they’re great! said no mature woman ever.

Just reversing anti-ageing is lazy and stupid. Just because you’re anti anti-ageing doesn’t mean you’re pro-wrinkles, pro-dodgy knees, or you’ll embrace your natural hair colour.

Some of us love our wrinkles, some are learning to, some of us wear them as a badge of pride, and some just try and forget about them. Because, short of having our skin burnt off with a laser, paralysing our facial muscles, or undergoing the knife, they’re not going anywhere. A nice moisturiser will keep our skin supple, add a few light-reflecting particles and it will be ‘radiant’ but the story of our life is written in the lines on our face and there isn’t a cream on this planet that will erase them.


Yeah, yeah, I’m sure they believe we’d all love to be skinny, white, white-haired supermodels with the time in the world to go to the gym and all the money in the world to go to the beautician, the hairdresser and the nail salon. Of course, we all stand up and defend the supermodels who get crucified in the press for daring to show their midriff. But honestly it’s a luxury most of us can’t afford. Doctors say that a realistic weight gain for a midlife woman is generally 10kgs more than she weighed at 18. If that’s the case, the women in the ad doing yoga or playing her guitar must have been the models for the heroine chic we all had shoved down our throats as young women. Enough!


Ah, Marcia, we love her. But all she’s flaunting is her beautiful body dancing in a nightclub instead of slaying us at the deck like she does in real life. Why the fuck isn’t she flaunting her mastery? Or her midriff? Seems women of colour are the only ones allowed to add the natural kilos, but God forbid they show it!

And why isn’t the rock goddess on stage?

You’re selling us fear of ageing and you’re really scaring the crap out of us when you actively show us not working!

But don’t worry Unilever, help is at hand. The Uninvisibility Project has a network of some of the world’s most experienced, highly-awarded, and brilliant midlife creative women. We know how to work with you, we’ve been doing it for years. Our founder Jane Evans even won your highest honour – the Unilever Grand Prix. But you won’t find us in agencies, which is why they say we don’t exist.

Instead of polling 103 women who need a few quid from a research study, let the pros show you how to sell the pros of age. Just whistle.