Dove’s New Ad Shows What Dads Really Do

Besides resenting gender stereotypes

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Dove Men+Care’s digital campaign for Father’s Day riffs off the idea that dads are sick of their Ward Cleaver image and want credit for changing diapers, making dinner and consoling heartbroken teens. But this creative isn’t all touchy-feely—it’s based on some hard data.

Dove hired Edelman Berland to interview 1,000 fathers ages 25-54. “Three-quarters of dads say they are responsible for their child’s emotional well-being,” said Rob Candelino, marketing vp and general manager, Unilever’s skin care. “But only 20 percent see that in media.”

Dove also learned from its data that men spend nearly twice as much time on YouTube than women.

Buoyed by amazing YouTube returns for its 2013 “Real Beauty Sketches” online spot aimed at women, Unilever leans on video here, too. Dubbed “Calls for Dad,” a 30-second ad—which went live on Monday and can be watched below—depicts 28 fathers in quick-cut edits, as they help their child get through small-but-trying moments.

There will be a big ad push on NBC’s, with other promos in play via social media and lifestyle platforms. Mindshare and Davie Brown Entertainment are the media buying and creative agencies, respectively, behind the initiative. 

While largely a branding effort, Dove hopes the campaign will encourage spouses to buy Men+Care — and to help men feel they are recognized as bona fide caregivers.

“There’s been a lot of judgments and tribalism in parenting circles about who is doing what wrong,” said Doug French, a parenting blogger and co-founder of Dad 2.0. “So any positive message that supplants those ideas will resonate with this community.”

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.