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With A Pivot To Sports, Dove's Back In The Super Bowl

The Dove Self-Esteem Project is heading in a new direction, with plans to advertise in the coming Super Bowl. The 30-second spot in the first quarter aims to keep girls active in sports and is part of its recently announced #KeepHerConfident campaign.

Working with Nike, Dove offers coaching tools that are “first-of-its-kind and scientifically proven” to help girls between 11 and 17 feel more confident about their bodies and athletic skills.

The effort is based on findings that 45% of teenage girls globally drop out of sports due to low body confidence, and that 46% have specifically been told that their bodies aren’t suitable for sports.

The effort comes as many organizations intensify efforts to help girls stay on the field, promoting the mental and emotional health benefits that come from sports. Nike also partners with Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example, on an annual “It’s Her Shot” effort with the WNBA. Dick’s also works with Coaching Her Future, a nonprofit that helps coaches keep girls engaged with sports.



The football tie-in also makes sense, given the skyrocketing appeal of flag football. The NFL, just one organizer, reports that youth flag football already has 600,000 players in more than 1,800 leagues. Last year, the NFL said 474,000 girls between 6 and 17 played flag football, a 63% jump from 2019.

The NFL’s flag football “Run With It” commercial, which debuted during the most recent Super Bowl and featured a lightning-fast Diana Flores, scored some of the Big Game’s highest ratings.

Dove, which has already reached over 100 million young people through the Dove Self-Esteem Project, launched in 2004, says addressing dissatisfaction with sports is an essential step in helping girls succeed.

"Dove is on a mission to make sports a place where all girls can thrive and feel like they belong," says Leandro Barreto, senior vice president of the global Dove brand, in the announcement. "The prevalence of negative body talk in sports and focus on appearance over ability harms girls' body confidence. We are thrilled to return to the Big Game and use this massive stage to drive meaningful awareness for this important issue and help girls stay in sports." 

The Unilever-owned brand says its research with Nike included more than 4,900 kids in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S.

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