- Dove is expanding a campaign that encourages women to feel more confident about their armpits with an activation timed to New York Fashion Week (NYFW), according to a press release.
- On Sept. 7, the first day of NYFW, the Unilever personal care brand will open a Pit Stop in New York City’s Chelsea Plaza where consumers can pick up a Pit Kit carrying its deodorant, a free MetroCard and other gear while supplies last. People on the scene at NYFW can take a #FreeThePits challenge and show off their underarms with abandon.
- The NYFW blitz builds on “Pits of New York” subway takeover ads that launched Aug. 21 and feature women proudly displaying their armpits in train cars. The push aligns with Dove’s long-standing positioning around challenging beauty conventions.
Dove is trying to capitalize on the excitement around NYFW with a campaign that encourages embracing underarm confidence. The initiative responds to a 2022 survey conducted by the brand that revealed 80% of women believe society pushes an “ideal” armpit that is hairless, odorless, smooth and even-toned. The findings also showed that many women are self-conscious about their underarms and will avoid events like social gatherings or dates in times of insecurity.
New out-of-home subway ads running through Sept. 17 on the E, F, G, R, 4, 7 and L lines and in several high-traffic stations take direct aim at these airbrushed standards. The placements showcase models with armpit hair, tattoos and other features that go against the grain and carry copy like, “Pit peeve?,” along with stats from the Dove Underarm Confidence Survey. Ogilvy worked on the creative.
Dove’s candid, diversity minded approach could create a contrast with NYFW, a gathering for an industry notorious for promoting narrow conceptions of beauty and heavily manicured looks.
“We’re excited to connect with women directly, particularly during a notably fashionable week in New York, when women from all over come together to redefine and celebrate the next evolution of fashion and beauty,” said Bianca Cancellara, global vice president of Dove Deodorants, in the press release.
Beyond acting as a statement, Dove’s NYFW push could resonate with consumers on a practical level, with its Pit Stop experience doling out deodorant and subway tickets at the height of late summer. New York City is currently experiencing temperatures in the mid-90s, sweltering conditions that might make people more aware of their underarms and welcoming of a free roll-on stick for their commute.
Dove is encouraging consumers at NYFW and beyond to post their underarms on social media with the #FreethePits hashtag and by tagging its brand, which could help extend reach beyond New York. The empowerment aligns with Dove’s focus on Real Beauty, a purpose-driven concept that’s also tackled issues like hair discrimination, model diversity and body positivity.