In Branding, Caregiver, Marketing Strategy

Focusing on Fatherhood (not just on Father’s Day)

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 12.55.35 PMRob Candelino, vice president of skin care marketing at Unilever shared that “73% of men believe they are falsely or inaccurately depicted in advertising.” What are they seeing? Candelino said media depictions fell in three categories: alpha males with chiseled abs and sports cars, guys obsessed with winning women, or buffoon dads…none of which represent the men we encounter every day.

One of Unilever’s brands, Dove Men+Care, is working 365 days a year to reframe the media’s representation of fatherhood through authentic snapshots of “real dad moments.”

Dove Men+Care’s target audience, men age 25 to 54, has more to say than their stereotypes depict. These are men that have taken on household duties and shopping. They are equally responsible for childcare and, as Dove Men+Care sees, are buying their own personal-care products.

Unilever says on its website that it “wants to show real men in real life” because, when they asked men to describe themselves, most of them said, “First and foremost, I’m a dad.” Therefore, Dove Men+Care’s campaign features authentic, real-life stories focused squarely on fatherhood.

What does the campaign entail?

We’ve aggregated some of our favorite aspects of this touching and inspirational campaign.

1. #RealDadMoments on social media

Under the hashtag #RealDadMoments, users are sharing photos of what they believe fatherhood looks like. Dove Men+Care also added a “Fatherhood” page to its website where it curates photos, tweets, videos and more from all of those “real dad moments.”

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2. Sponsoring the “Modern Dads” series on NBC’s Today Show

Over the entire week before Father’s Day, The Today Show featured various segments on the “Modern Dad.” Some of the highlights included:

    • The male anchors on the show talked how they differ from their fathers. Al Roker noted that “It wasn’t accepted for our dads to be affectionate. I’m a big hugger now. I want my kids to feel important and loved.”
    • YouTube user and father of three, Corbyn Tyson, shared his “Fatherhood Project.” His goal is to show that there is no “normal” when it comes to fatherhood.
    • A reunion of military dads and their families
    • A “New Dad Bootcamp” to help first time dads adjust
    • An interview with President Obama with the tough question of “Which is harder…being president or raising teenage girls?”

3. A short film

Dove Men+Care pulled together “all those moments that call for Dad” to “spotlight the many ways dads care.” (Keep the tissues handy for this part)

4. Advertisements

Using the user-submitted photos and videos, Dove Men+Care has run various print and digital ads sharing the “real dad moments.”

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Why it matters

Brands are powerful. With that power comes responsibility. Cheers to Dove for putting Dads in view every day of the year, not just for Father’s Day. This campaign really touches us because each photo, each user-submitted note, each moment is a story we can all relate to. Brands that tell stories have that much more impact on our lives.

Do you have a photo of a #RealDadMoment? Share it with with Dove! And since we’ve come this far…here are some of my own favorite #RealDadMoments.

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