Monday, August 06, 2007

More proof that inspiration comes when I'm in the shower

To the makers of the Dove line of beauty products:
(a letter that I might have sent to the company but instead decided to post it here on my blog. I am nothing if not passive-aggressive.)

As a long time customer I first wanted to thank you for your products, more specifically your soap, which I've been using for more than twenty years, and your line of shampoos and conditioners but to also bring up a few concerns I have about them. But first, few points of thanks from this mother of one:

  • Unless I'm traveling I will not use another soap - as a matter of fact I'd travel with it if the TSA wasn't all up in my face about traveling with cosmetics - and up until I had my daughter a couple of years ago and the texture of my skin changed slightly (okay, more than slightly, but that's what happens when you have kids) I used Dove soap to wash everything from my face to my toes and everywhere in between. I even shave with it. Dove soap, the white bars, has been a part of my everyday beauty routine since my mother introduced me to it when I was a young teen. It's perfect for someone with me with slightly sensitive skin. I'd use your scent-free soap but, and I hate to break it to you, it has an odor. Yeah, it's not scent-free. You might want to work on that.

  • I thank you for the free samples you sent out a few years ago when you launched your Weightless Moisture line; your direct marketing campaign was spot on there. As much as I'd love to be able to use all the expensive salon shampoos, as a stay at home mother I have to save pennies by purchasing my haircare products from the pharmacy or supermarket and you reached out to me at just the right time. The Weightless Moisture line has delivered on its promise of, well, weightless moisture. Well done.
  • I thank you for your Campaign for Real Beauty. I like that you use "real women" in your ads and that you've tried to empower women to love their true body and that you're working with the Girl Scouts to reach out to young girls for the same reason. Good job. As the mother of a girl you get the ol' pat on the back from me.
  • I also thank you for sponsoring the Blogher cocktail party at the children's museum. How did you know that hundreds of women just getting out of a conference would need free samples of antiperspirant at just that very moment? Spooky.

    Somewhere, just beyond that wall, is the cute DJ. Were you responsible for him too? If you were, I thank you.

    (I even like your Pro-Age line of products. But we need to talk about the term "Pro-Age". Are you pro-aging. Should we really all look forward to getting old? I'm confused.)

I short, I'm very pleased with almost every aspect of my experiences with the Dove line of beauty products but, as I mentioned above, I do have a few concerns. First, and most simply, your packaging. Sure, it's simple, to the point, unassuming and all that, no problem there, but let's be frank: Do the tops to the shampoo bottles have to be that freaking difficult to open?

The culprit. Always left slightly ajar because it's a pain in the arse to fully open, therefore allowing excess water to get under the cap. Hate that.

As a mother with limited monetary resources I don't have the advantage of getting cute manicures and all that. So when my nail gets torn in two because I tried to open a bottle of shampoo with my wet, slippery hands - as hands often get when in the shower and all - I'm SOL, if you get my drift. And mothers have few precious minutes to wash themselves everyday, so wrestling with a shampoo bottle is a waste of time. And a waste of time makes for unhappy mommies. And unhappy mommies don't make repeat customers. Are you following?

One more point about packaging: would it kill you guys to come up with bottles that don't collect so much water while in the shower? Your Dove Cream Body Wash (especially the cherry almond. Yummy. It smells like one of my favorite childhood candies - Cherry Wacky Taffy. I have to remind myself it's not a sweet and to not lick it straight from the bottle.) collects so much water under the cap that whenever I remove the bottles from the shower to clean it - as mothers do, since we have a hard time pawning that chore onto our husbands - the water spills out of the cap and onto my shirt. I hate that. Again, happy mommies make better consumers. Just a heads up.

Still trying to pawn the chore of cleaning the bathroom off onto my husband. It's obviously not working.

Wetness, courtesty of Dove. Shirt, courtesty of Fadiddle. Boobs, all mine.

And lastly, one more important point to mention. There's something conspicuously absent from the back of your bottles:

Go ahead, click the picture. It's not there.

No where does it say: "This product is not tested on animals". In my humble opinion Dove, and your parent company Unilever, should rethink this in the future. The world of organic, natural, eco-friendly and just overall safe products is exploding. I still have not heard a convincing argument as to why shampoos, body washes and deodorants need to be tested on animals. If other companies have released similar products without having to test them on animals first, then why can't you?

Women, specifically mothers, are label readers. We like to know what's going on with the products we buy for our families. And mothers are pissed off at the large companies who are responsible for the bulk of health and beauty products on the market not being straight with us and for possibly selling us unsafe washes, lotions and shampoos and we're not afraid to tell others about it. You might want to consider that too in the not-too-distant future as well. I hope you get that not too subtle hint.

In closing, my overall experience with Dove has been more than satisfactory, but the aforementioned issues are some deal breakers that you may want to bring up at the next development meeting. Mothers tend to do the majority of the grocery shopping for their families, and I know you're already considering that when you develop your product lines, so you may want to go the extra step and make your products as user friendly and safe as possible. I'm not asking for much. Just remember that your not the only act in town.

Respectfully and simply,

A customer with a blog who is not afraid to use it.


Jen said...

SNORT! Girl, that is hilarious!

Avalon said...

Mrs. C~~~ I think the whole "not tested on animals" is a line of whooo-ha. I mean, I would LOVE for a few Dove reps to come to my humble abode and test some of their products on the Poodles. Give em' all a good washing, fluff and buff em' and then go home.

Of course, I draw the line at letting them get any suds in the pooches' eyes.

Amie Adams said...

And I thought I was the only one who hated the water getting trapped in the lids!

Hope your mailbox is soon brimming with lots o' free products!!

flutter said...

You. Are hilarious. And Amen to the cherry almond body wash which I also dearly love and which also squirts me with ice cold water first thing in the morning because it catches a little bit ever so in the flappy thing.

And yet, I will use it, always.

Kyla said...

Wacky Taffy. Mmmm.

Excellent points (and funny too!). I cannot for the life of my understand WHY the corporations are so careless. Isn't it in everyone's best interest for them not to test on animals or put cancer-causing agents in their products? If you kill your consumers with cancer, pretty soon the consumer pool with dwindle. Don't we all inhabit the same planet? Aren't the people who run these corporations human as well? The whole thing gets my knickers in a twist. Okay, that is enough ranting from me, where was I?

Mmmm. Wacky Taffy.

Anonymous said...


Except, I still say those "real women" women were not completely real. Not that they were fake, but if a size 12 is your fat girl you are still leaving out a lot of people.

S said...


I use only the Dove bar soap, but now I am forewarned should I ever buy the washes in the bottles with the faulty lids.

Now that is a PSA!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Your showers are way more productive than mine (and funnier too).

Lawyer Mama said...

Yes! The water in the damn lid! And Dove isn't the only culprit. If they fix that, they'll have some seriously loyal women for life.

P.S. Love the gratuitous boob shot. Nice rack!

Girlplustwo said...

Chicky, how nice to see your boobs again.

seriously, this is hilarious. and true. have you seen Corporation? I think Unilever was one of the companies profiled there - interesting information.

Phoenix said...

Personally, I think you should mail it.

I love their shit, I do, but I'm with you on all of these problems.

And yes on what Sarah said.

petite gourmand said...

Same- been using dove since I was a babe,
and like you, I always travel with a bar of the stuff.

Haven't tried the body washes, the packaging does sound annoying.
the deodorant is great though.

good point about animal testing.
hopefully someone from dove is reading your blog.

Blog Antagonist said...

I love, love, love the Dove gentle exfoliating soap. I use it on my face and it does just as good a job as the fancy cleansers.

But yes, I HATE that water thing. HATE it. And yes, I prefer products not tested on animals.

Good for you for being an involved consumer.

Jenn said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. (No REALLY. I really couldn't have.)

By the way,

You've Been NAB'd for doing nothing!

Julie Pippert said...

Hear hear!

Rah rah!

Especially the not tested on animals bit!

And...booooooo to the husbands who do not understand they own 50% of bathroom cleanup! (Mine understands his share is exactly 0%.)

Here's to hoping they hear this.

Another blogger who was slightly irritated by the "Rollings Reliable Baking Powder" style moments Dove had in that shaggy serial melodrama with Grace from Will&Grace.
Ravin' Picture Maven

Anonymous said...

I've never used the body washes, but I do love the smell of the soap. My husband thinks it makes him smell too girly, so I don't buy it often, though. :(

Totally send this in. You may get a lifetime supply of Dove goods... and then you won't care if the cap is faulty. 'Cause it'll be FREE!

Jane, P&B Girls

Julie Marsh said...

How did you KNOW?! I'm actually using the solid antiperspirant they sent (vs. the Dove aerosol I normally use), but it is nearly impossible to remove the cap without ending up with product under my fingernails.

Unknown said...

Exactly spot on. I'm a Dove body wash user and the freaking cap drives me nuts. Plus, the shampoo and conditioner is such a PITA that I transfer them into old Treseme pump bottles. The pumps are wicked cool and so much easier to use. Plus they're huge so I can get the Dove stuff on sale, and pour a couple of bottles right into the Treseme pumps. I'm weird like that!

motherbumper said...

Can I love you more because you are passive/agressive? Hell yes.

I'm a Dove soap devote and I'm hoping they send you a life-time supply for writing this and putting up with the boob-soak while cleaning.

Difficult to open packaging, like the ones you mentioned, make me cross the product off the list. I only bought that stuff once and it drove me nuts, so until packaging redesign happens, I'm not a consumer of that particular product.

kittenpie said...

OMG wacky taffy. Was that the flat stuff in the wax paper package? Mmm.

(Yes, that's me. Get stuck on the candy and never mind the whole gist of the post. Gah.)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what she said! *shakes fist*

Lisa said...

Dear Dove people,


Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

I always make sure that the cold water that has collected in the shampoo or whatever bottles spills out onto my husband's foot when I open it.

You would think that he would know it's coming, but every time, I get him, and it's such a good laugh.

And yes, I basically just told you that we always shower together.

Unknown said...

I LOVE Dove products and their commercials showing REAL beauty. I hope they don't change until after I am pushing up roses. I think I need more of their products...
Catherine, the redhead

Major Bedhead said...

Oh, dood, that water in the lid thing? It's why I use bar soap. That drives me seriously insane. Of course, after reading Izzy's blog today, I probably won't be buying Dove or any other mass produced soap products any time soon. Gah!

Cristina said...

You rock. And you should totally send them the link to this post. And be sure to let them know you have approximately, give or take, 10,000 readers a day. That should make them take notice.

Anonymous said...

And WHY Aren't you sending this to them...???

You should woman.

Blog Owner said...

And I thought I was the last Dove woman standing!

I hope you forward this onto the good people at Dove!

Magpie said...

That kind of well-reasoned, calm complaining makes my day.

moosh in indy. said...

Could you write to Bath and Body Works next? I tried but the swear words just kept coming and I couldn't control them.
Their finished product is not tested on animals...grrr. Nice try but you're not there yet.


the best focus group/product testing ever. it's like MOMsumer reports. do i smell a new tagteam blog...?

Her Bad Mother said...

Yes. And? you have nice boobs.

Jenifer said...

I also love the Dove products, especially the face wash and moisturizer, but I agree about the packaging....

Oh and I too, as a mother of a girl, love the "Real Women" campaign....especially since I am no size 0!!

The Domesticator said...

I love my Dove....especially the cool moisture bar. My favorite! I never noticed the problem with the lid on the body wash. I think I was too busy trying to wash the shampoo out of my eyes *LOL*

P.S. I am trying to catch up on all the bloggy goodness I've missed out on. I just read through your last several posts. I am so sorry to hear about your Grandmother.

Anonymous said...

I love this and think you should send it...mainly because I have broken a couple of fingernails and taken a chunk of skin out of the knuckle on my thumb due to the stupid packaging.

LTYM said...

So I guess I'm not the only one who's been tempted to hack the crap out of the Dove bottle with their Lady Venus razor while desperately praying that their hand doesn't slip and accidentally cut off one of their favorite toes thereby completely ruining the $40 pedicure they just got the day before. Or, um, maybe I am the only one....

carrie said...

Oh geez . . . you and my husband and the Dove soap addiction.

And you ARE right about the unscented bars (I tried switching his when they were on sale - didn't think he'd notice) they totally reek!

And the caps, oh the pain in the necks that they are. The water squirting out all hither and yon. And the breaking of nails - been there too!! :)


Anonymous said...

Whatever you do DO NOT open the Dove shampoo with your teeth. There is a danger of cutting your lip/gums and then, as if that wasn't bad enough you'll get shampoo in your mouth. Ask me how I know....

karengreeners said...

I understand brand loyalty, but there's some pretty nasty stuff in that stuff.

NoMommy said...

I love that they use real women in their ads. I love their deoderant (the only Dove product I use), but never noticed the missing not tested on animals statement...this could be a deal breaker.

You should totally send it.

Unknown said...


P.S. My Dove love comes by way of their Face Cloths.

Damselfly said...

Yeah, I hate that the water gets under the cap!

The Estrogen Files said...

Water under the caps suck. Dove is love. Thanks for sharing all my thoughts with them. Rock on, blog mommy.

Slackermommy said...

God this is funny! You certainly know how to work your charm to get a point across.

Anonymous said...

First time reader here...

Love it. Thanks for the laugh and gratuitous boob shot. Although I must say, as much as I love the smell of Dove deodorant, it doesn't keep the pits dry! Sure they smell nice, but whose going to want to come near me when I look like I ran 5 miles in the summer heat?

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