Narrow beauty standards make it difficult for women to freely celebrate their own beauty. In the U.S., society’s bias has resulted in unfair judgment and discrimination against Black women based on hair texture and styles
Dove has always been the brand that shattered beauty stereotypes and promoted authenticity and real beauty. In the Hair category more specifically, Dove has focused on widening the definition of beautiful hair by showing how society’s narrow vision affects the younger generation. Past campaigns have shed light on the impact, but we knew it was not enough to just champion the message...we need to create actionable change. That’s why in 2020, our objective was to raise awareness about Dove’s role in the CROWN Act—a law that prohibits race-based hair discrimination—and for that, we needed a partner.
Enter Matthew A. Cherry, a young Black filmmaker who produced a short film—funded through a Kickstarter campaign—called Hair Love about a Black girl learning to love her natural hair. Seeing an opportunity to further the conversation around hair discrimination, Dove Hair supported the film to get it into production. Then when Matthew received the Academy Award nomination for Hair Love, we took our commitment to the next level by instigating a “For Your Consideration” campaign designed to make the film—and the pressing issue of hair discrimination—unmissable to Oscar judges and the wider public.
STRATEGY & EXECUTION
Knowing that the Oscars is the biggest night in entertainment and remains one of the most-watched broadcast events in the United States, we saw an opportunity to take our message to a grand stage, getting the CROWN Act into the spotlight for a tidal wave of awareness and engagement across our key targets: Black women, White allies, lawmakers and key opinion leaders.
Despite only having four weeks to create massive buzz, we drove momentum for the film’s nomination across a variety of high-profile U.S. media: national morning shows, national newspapers, and entertainment trade outlets all with the goal of influencing the members of the Academy prior to voting.
Our Pre-Oscars activity was designed to get Matthew the gold on Oscar’s night by pairing the message of the film with the actionable issue of the CROWN Act. The reality is that a good narrative matters just as much as the film itself in determining who ends up with the gold statue and it was crucial for Oscars judges to see organic buzz around the film.
Our Oscars Night activity was designed to secure Dove in the headlines, with red carpet tactics, pulled straight from the Hollywood playbook. Dove hosted celebrity dinners and sponsored the glam squad for Matthew Cherry’s special guest: a young Black man who was banned from walking the stage at his graduation because of his natural hair, now with the opportunity to walk the red carpet on the biggest stage in the world.
And the Academy Award goes to...Hair Love! Our “For Your Consideration” campaign helped the film win the Oscar and cemented Dove’s role in ending hair discrimination, contributing to an unprecedented lift in brand salience and the highest Brand Trust scores ever amongst Black women for Dove. A few short weeks after Oscar night, the CROWN Act passed in Virginia, and 22 more states are considering the bill.
Our efforts also resulted in:
- Unique visits to Dove's website TheCrownAct.com increased 667% with +10,000 unique petition signatures
- Dove was featured in 350+ media stories about "Hair Love", earning 800MM+ total earned impressions, with headlines in the NY Times, Washington Post, Variety, Fast Company, and more.
- 350K+ social impressions with shares from celebrities like Shonda Rhimes, Gabrielle Union, and April Reign (#OscarsSoWhite founder)
- CROWN Act was mentioned on the Oscars stage—a media spot that is impossible to buy