- Unilever's Dove Men+Care brand announced via a news release the launch of a global campaign that aims to challenge stereotypes around men as caregivers and raise awareness about paid paternity leave. The effort, arriving ahead of Father's Day, also includes a digital content hub to provide resources to new dads.
- To kick off the campaign, Dove released a short film, "Dear Future Dads," featuring a diverse group of dads sharing advice and stories about the importance of taking time to care for their children. Dove partnered with Promundo-US on a study about what keeps fathers from taking paternity leave and being fully involved as caregivers. The findings showed that 71% of fathers said there is little workplace support for dads. While 15% of men have access to paid paternity leave, one in five were afraid of losing their job if they took the full leave offered.
- Dove Men+Care is contributing to 27 crowd-funding campaigns to fund family leave requests for dads and families. The brand's "New Dad Care Package" hospital program is also in its fourth year of providing dads with skin, hair, deodorant and baby care products. The program has distributed 40,000 care packages to new dads so far and plans to reach 20,000 over the next year, the company said.
With its latest Father's Day campaign, Dove Men+Care continues to try and meet a demand for marketing that doesn't stereotype fathers as being feckless and disconnected from the family, but rather depicts them as attentive caregivers. The brand is again blending cause marketing into its efforts by supporting paid paternity leave, which can be an overlooked issue in the workplace, per the Promundo-US research. The short film, crowd-funding efforts and digital hub together create the type of content-rich multichannel experience that might resonate more with consumers.
As family dynamics continue to evolve, marketers are trying to break with stereotypes in order to come across as grounded and relatable, especially to younger parents who shun traditional roles. A survey by the agency Saatchi & Saatchi published last year found that 74% of millennial fathers in the U.S. think advertisers and marketers are out of touch with modern family dynamics. Eighty-five percent of those surveyed said they know more than people give them credit for, and 80% thought a "real man" was one comfortable with expressing his feelings.
Dove's parent company Unilever has launched several campaigns in recent years that lean into men's more sensitive sides. For Father's Day last year, Dove Men+Care created YouTube content that celebrated men who care and how that caring makes men stronger. The campaign was based on internal research showing that only 7% of men could relate to depictions of masculinity in the media. Unilever has also tried to change perceptions around its Axe line of male grooming products, namely through an effort last year that challenged notions of toxic masculinity.