Mentoring Is the Theme of Dove’s New Campaign

Features Stanford's football coach in a heavy social media push

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Dove Men+Care’s new football-themed "Care Always Wins" campaign puts an equal emphasis on social media and traditional media as it targets youth football coaches who make a difference in their communities.

The Unilever brand enlisted Stanford University head football coach David Shaw as the campaign’s spokesman to illustrate that coaches should mentor players on and off the field. Research on kids' attitude towards coaches drove the campaign’s strategy. According to, 90 percent of children in the U.S. say that a coach should care about more about players than simply winning a game. And, findings from a PCA Responsible Sports Youth Sports Survey in 2013 found that 77 percent of dads and parents prioritize the caring role that coaches play for children.

Dove Men+Care deodorant has created a caring coach of the year award with an online contest. Via the brand’s website, parents and athletes can nominate football coaches that work with kindergarten through high school-aged players. The catch is that the submissions must be no more than 250 words and explain the nominee’s level of sportsmanship and mentoring.

Social and digital components supporting the campaign look to capitalize on the uptick of football-related chatter at this time of year. The hashtag #carealwayswins will group together branded and user-generated content.

Social content will primarily take place on Twitter and include a push on Facebook. Posts designed specifically for the award will drive traffic to the online contest, but the initiative also includes user-generated posts. Ads on Facebook and Twitter will amplify the content.

"Social will be as important as the traditional paid locations and that’s what makes this campaign a little bit different from some of the other things that we’ve done in the past," said Matthew McCarthy, senior director of antiperspirants/deodorants at Unilever. "We think we’ve got an idea here around care that has its own legs and we really want to—as quickly as possible—turn over that conversation to real guys through social."

In addition to digital, Dove Men+Care’s campaign includes public relations efforts, such as Shaw speaking about the brand and a sponsored clinic at Stanford; product sampling; and an advertorial in the December issue of Sports Illustrated.

"Guys really understand the role of care, particularly around sportsmanship and the power of mentoring in sports," McCarthy said.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.