Dove and Diversity: Not Just for Women

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In 2005, a group of ad executives stripped down to support Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. The photo does not promote Dove’s new men’s line. The Toronto Star

By Sharon Haywood

Ads for cars, beer, and action movies typically dominate the costly airtime during Super Bowl.  But during The Big Game of 2006, it wasn’t another Bud Light commercial that captivated viewers. Instead, the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty reached an estimated 90.7 million football fans via a 45-second spot that promoted Dove’s Self-Esteem Fund. Dove’s manufacturer, Unilever, created the hard-hitting video, True Colors, enlightening the audience – many of them parents – to the importance of fostering a positive body image in girls. And this year, they will do it again.

On Sunday, February 7th Super Bowl XLIV airs another spot that celebrates body diversity. This time, men are the focus:

According to Unilever research, 80 per cent of men in Canada believe they are falsely portrayed in the media – that the washboard abs, bulging pecs and ripped biceps so often featured in television and print ads do not reflect their pale, doughy reality. This imagery makes men feel stereotyped … Unilever has even solicited the support of Canadian gender expert Michael Kaufman, who is sensitive to the plight of men who find it difficult to live up to hyper masculine expectations.

Unilever representatives are tight-lipped regarding the upcoming ad campaign, which will promote the company’s new skin product line, Dove Men+Care. For the moment, all they’re saying is that they hope “the new product line will spark the same conversation about men and body image that the original women’s campaign ignited.”

Football fan or not, Dove has given us more than enough reason to tune in this Sunday.

Read the full story at The Toronto Star

FOLLOW-UP POST: Dove: Redefining Male Beauty

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