Dove brings its self-esteem messaging to bath time

Taking inspiration from its parent brand, Dove Kids Care aims to make sure children get positive affirmations from the shelf to the tub.

Dove Kids_Gift Pack

Unilever’s Dove brand is all about self-esteem, and it’s taking that message to an even younger demo with its new Dove Kids Care collection.

The packaging for the new bath products highlights positive affirmations like “I am thoughtful caring, fun,” and “I am fantastic, smart and helpful,” and the boxes come with playful, cloud-shaped sponges.

And much like the parent brand has aimed to show a more diverse conception of what “beauty” looks like, Dove Kids Care packs feature illustrations representing kids of different races, skin tones, hair types and physical abilities, encouraging children to embrace their uniqueness as they engage with the self-assurances during bath time, according to Divya Singh, category lead for the skin cleansing portfolio at Unilever.

Singh tells strategy that the brand was deliberate in having the line of body washes and bubble baths take inspiration from Dove’s longstanding Self-Esteem Project, and that the newest Dove Kids Care bath collection encourages kids to discover the fun side of caring for themselves, while promoting self-worth.

According to Singh, Unilever is on a mission to make kids feel represented, and she cites research that body image issues are affecting kids as young as three years old.

To amplify the confidence-boosting message in-store, the brand is deploying shelf blades, coupon pads and display units at key mass grocery and pharmacy retailers. Gift pack formats will be available in the late summer to encourage confidence and self-assurance as kids prepare for a new school year.

Dove Kids_Shelf Wing

Singh says shopper programs remain an important awareness driver, and coupling it with a coupon pad drives conversion for a full funnel experience.

But another means of driving trial, especially for product meant for kids, is a gaming component: scanning a QR code on each bottle unlocks an interactive team-based Dove Self-Esteem Game, in which kids get “confidence” scores when they run and jump through the game. And the game is not just about driving engagement with the product itself, but also the brand’s message.

Dove Kids_Shelf Blade“Having the QR code on the pack allows for further discussion, equipping parents with thought-starters for bath time conversations to prompt healthy family discussions with evidence-based guidance to raise self-esteem in kids,” Singh maintains.

Dove Kids Care is also activating search and display programs through e-commerce retailers and online to ensure Dove Kids Care is top of mind when parents are searching for products.

The campaign ties into a Cartoon Network link up with Steven Universe, a coming-of-age cartoon which emphasizes complementary themes like confidence and self worth. Unilever is also teaming up with the show’s creator to make short cartoons infused with similar messaging.

In addition to the positive messaging, Singh claims its formulation is a category differentiator: products are 100% natural and tear-free, in addition to being hypoallergenic, dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested. Each bottle is made from 100% post-consumer recyclable plastics.

After graduating from the use of Baby Dove, the target user of Dove Kids Care, Singh says, is between four and seven years old.

Mindshare and design agency Davis worked on the creative, while Edelman handled the public relations side.