men's grooming

Dove's Post-Super-Bowl Medicine: Hugs For Philly Fans

No one likes to see their team lose in the Super Bowl -- but for some guys, it’s crushing. This year, Dove Men+Care was ready, drafting a team of superfans to comfort and console Philadelphians as residents of Kansas City swilled beer and waded through confetti-strewn streets.

It doesn’t seem fair, says Lindsey Lapin, senior brand manager at Unilever. “One city gets a big victory parade, and the other gets sadness and disappointment. We started thinking about how people in the losing city really needed some care.”

The brand worked with Edelman to cook up #HugLikeADoveMan, a consolation mission powered by manly hugs and samples of its newly reformulated antiperspirants, now offering 72-hour protection.

Lapin tells Marketing Daily the effort stems from its research, which finds that 81% of men avoid showing care (like hugging) because of concerns about sweat and odor.

The company recruited seven superfans based on their emotional responses to sports losses. DoveMen+Care then flew the squad to Philadelphia, making a film as they dispensed hugs, “There’s always next year!” pep talks, and samples of its 72-hour formula antiperspirant.



Lapin says the brand’s larger mission is to change views about masculinity and help men experience the transforming effect of care on themselves and others.

“But this is a small slice of that,” she says, intended to support despondent fans. “We decided there is an interesting role for DoveMen+Care to play, getting rid of insecurities, making them feel more confident—and to try to give them some care.” 

Previous efforts from DoveMen+Care have focused on such issues as addressing stereotypes about Black dads, advocating for paternity leave, and the importance of men giving tender care.

Dove has long used these kinds of activations, and Lapin concedes that brand’s success can make it harder for the men’s brand to get attention. “It’s a mixed bag,” she says. “It can be more challenging for Dove Men to assert itself separately, but we have the wonderful benefit of coming alongside Dove, which has been such a beacon of brand purpose.”

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