Dove Men+Care launches a hockey challenge

The Unilever-owned brand will be pitting Wendel Clark and Guy Carbonneau against each other to show consumers what a real man looks like.

When Dove Men+Care first launched in 2010, the brand discovered through a global study that the men it was targeting don’t feel akin to those portrayed in advertising.

In fact, 80% of Canadian men believe that they are stereotyped in ads, and 71% find it difficult to relate to men their age in advertising.

Sharon MacLeod, VP of marketing, Unilever, says that this convinced Dove to campaign for “real men” through its latest initiative, “Real Man Challenge” – a night with hockey legends Wendel Clark and Guy Carbonneau, going against each other in a triple-header dare.

The highly recognized players will partake in a series of challenges at arenas in Toronto and Montreal. From them playing the stadium organ to contending for the most beer and program sales, MacLeod says that the plan is to have fun, to get people to see a different side of their personalities and most importantly to show how approachable these men that occupy the media can be.

All of the events will be filmed and uploaded to a dedicated microsite, launching Feb. 20, where consumers can vote for who they believe should be crowned the “Real Man Challenge” winner.

While at the stadium, Dove will have access to the in-arena signage, such as behind the players’ bench, says MacLeod, adding that the brand will also have a TV spot, featuring Clark and Carbonneau, that will air on Canadian stations at the end of February. Ogilvy is handling creative, with Capital C on the media planning and buying.

“People who use Dove are looking for the brand to have a point of view and certainly we feel that the right place is to show real men, their journey in life and the different roles that they play,” she says. “There’s much more to a man’s life than what’s in advertising.”

This story has been updated to reflect a correction. It was mistakenly reported that the challenges will take place during a single hockey game, when in fact, the challenges will take place during four separate games in Toronto and Montreal. Wendel will complete his challenges on Feb 21 and Feb. 25 at the ACC, and Guy will do the same at the Bell Centre in Montreal on March 1 and 3. We regret the error.