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Dove redefines ‘real beauty’ in new campaign

Dove celebrates the marks on the faces of health workers because courage is now the new beautiful.

A hero can be anyone. A hero does not always have to wear a cape like Superman, a tiara like Wonder Woman, carry a revolver like our law enforcement officers, or jump out of aeroplanes into enemy territories like our armed forces.

A hero can be anyone.

Today, our healthcare workers are our real heroes. They’re the ones standing on the front lines taking care of patients who outnumber them to laughing proportions. And yet, they’re spending the day in and out doing their best to ensure each patient gets to go back home to their families one day.

And these heroes too have their battle scars, it’s the linings of those masks on their faces they wear for hours and hours until they’re tired to death.

Dove, the soap brand from Unilever has run a campaign called ‘Courage is Beautiful’. In it, the brand shows marked faces of healthcare workers - caused by wearing masks while treating patients infected with Coronavirus.

While the US version of this ad ran of April 8, 2020, an earlier version of the campaign ran in Canada.

Alessandro Manfredi, executive vice president of the global Dove brand, told Ad Age, “There was a feeling we got that courage is beautiful. We thought why not try to show people who were doing this and also ask people to join us to thank these people who are risking their lives? We did it in, I have to say, four or five days. Then we needed to know we have the images that were right for the U.S. and took two more days for the U.S. It was the fastest campaign I ever saw in my entire life.”

To look at beauty in a different light in something Dove is known for. Back in 2004, it launched the 'Dove Campaign for Real Beauty' that aimed to encourage women to feel comfortable with their natural (physical) shapes. The campaign which had billboards advertisements put up in Germany and the UK featuring photographs of real women, instead of professional models was a stellar hit and it expanded to ads, workshops, events, and so on.

Ogilvy Canada and Ogilvy USA were behind the campaigns in their respective countries.