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Dove campaigns to boost women's self esteem cuts across geographies; roars at Cannes

The beauty-brand's 14 metals are for its campaigns that hold a mirror to society's ideas of beauty.

Unilever's Dove has won 14 metals at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. While these awards are for campaigns conducted by different agencies in different parts of the world, they all relate to a common theme- society's ideas of beauty and its impact on women's self esteem.

These campaigns reflect the beauty brand's fight for establishing the idea of 'real beauty' amongst women. Here's a look at the award-winning campaigns.

Thumbstopping Beauty Biases

Created by Mindshare India, the campaign won the Bronze Lion in the 'Use of data and analytics' category under the 'Media' section at the Festival.

The campaign is a part of the digital leg of the Dove 'Stop the Beauty Test' campaign. Mindshare, in collaboration with Bobble AI, a keyboard application, innovatively using the "predictive text" technology in smartphone keyboards to build a highly targeted, real-time media intervention, to identify text messages aimed at body shaming individuals and provided alternative suggestions.


Created by Ogilvy London and David Madrid, the campaign won a Grand Prix, Gold Lion and a Bronze Lion.

The campaign sent out a strong message against the use of AI filters to change facial appearances. TikTok's Bold Glamour filter transformed a person's face, and it was impossible to tell that the user had used a filter. The filter was having a harmful effect on the minds of young girls. The only way for the filter to not distort the face, was for it to not 'see' it. So the campaign urged people to #TurnYourBack.

Reverse Selfie

Created by Ogilvy London, the campaign bagged a bronze lion in the 'Consumer Goods' category under 'Creative Strategy' section.

The brand found selfies to be the biggest threat to young girls' self-esteem. It found 80% of girls had distorted the way they look online using retouching apps by age 13. These apps were pressuring girls into altering images to the point they were hardly recognisable. It urged parents to have conversations with their daughters about social media with the Dove Self-Esteem Project toolkit.

The Cost of Beauty

Created by Ogilvy London and Ogilvy Toronto, this campaign bagged six metals in multiple categories. It won in the Film Craft, Health and Wellness, and Social and Influencer category.

The brand tells us the real cost of beauty through the story of Mary, a real girl who almost lost her life from an eating disorder. By the end of the film, it is revealed that this isn’t just Mary’s story, but the story of millions of girls. It urges people to sign a petition in support of the Kids Online Safety Act.

Let Her Grow

Created by Edelman Bangkok and Select Start Bangkok, the campaign won a bronze lion in the 'brand-led education and awareness' section under the 'Health & Wellness' category.

Hair rules are considered one of the methods of instilling discipline among Thai teachers and educators. While this attempts to bring in discipline, the punishment enforced on students can be quite harsh. This has turned teaching disciplines into a toxic practice that destroys people’s confidence at a young age.

#LetHerGrow invited newscasters, key opinion leaders, and Thai artists to sport the bob and stand together in ending these confidence-cutting forced haircuts for good and creating a future where students can grow into the greatest version of themselves.

A Seat in the Sun

Created by Soko Sao Paulo, the campaign won a Bronze Lion in the 'Design for Promotional Items' under the 'Ambient and Experiential' Section of the 'Outdoor' category.

When visiting the seaside, people rent beach chairs on Brazilian beaches. The chairs available at the local kiosks are structured only for thin people. After months of product development, Dove launched the biggest, widest, and sturdiest beach chair that ever existed and made them available to borrow for free in the busiest beaches in Brazil and Rio de Janeiro.

Keep the Grey

Created by Edelman Toronto, the campaign won a Silver Lion in the 'Real-time response' category under the 'Social Insights & Engagement' Section of the 'Social and Influencer' category.

The campaign raised awareness about the double standards for grey hair in the workplace. While men may benefit from grey hair, signaling experience and wisdom, women may be labeled as letting themselves go or unprofessional. Dove aimed to create lasting protection from the ageism and sexism grey-haired women face through partnership with an NGO and government.

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