Unilever’s Baby Dove Woos Imperfect Moms and Mums


Dove UK real mums Waterloo Station perfect mum billboard

Baby Dove is now launching in the U.S., the first new product category from the Unilever-owned Dove since Dove Men+Care in 2010.

The launch follows a series of local launches in other markets including creating a Stepford Wives-like (fake) mom in the UK to push its idea of what makes a real mom? Or mum, as they say, promoting #realmums with a billboard in London’s Waterloo Station (at top) as an extension of the brand’s ongoing Real Beauty campaign.

Unilever has already launched Baby Dove in markets including Canada (where first-time millennial moms and social media influencers were invited to sample the products), Poland and Portugal:

The Baby Dove line includes baby care products from the brand’s 60 years of skin cleansing heritage.

The insights informing the product line came from talking to 1,000+ new moms. The researchers found that nine out of 10 of them felt pressured to be “perfect” — and defined that as someone who always puts her family (52%) and child (44%) first and someone who is a good role model (51%).

However, 84% of moms think the stereotype of the “perfect mom” is outdated, unattainalbe and unrealistic — as well as unrealistically portrayed in the media.

“When you look at how brands are talking about parenting, there’s a real opportunity to bring a modern, updated view of parenthood,” Nick Soukas, VP Skin Cleansing for Dove, told Ad Age.

To that end, Baby Dove released a video reimagining Rudyard Kipling’s “If,” as #RealMoms trust themselves first with what’s best for their kids.The description:

Meet #RealMoms whose diverse parenting styles shatter stereotypes about motherhood and prove that there are no rules about how to be a parent today. From Cassidy, who is raising her son on a cattle ranch, to Elise, who brings her daughter to breakdance battles – we’re so inspired by moms around the country who trust their way.

A second U.S. film will feature real dads in their role as caregivers.

In order to shatter the perfect parent stereotype, Dove’s research study with millennial moms dove into why they feel pressure to be a ‘perfect mom’:

• 95% of new moms believe that real motherhood is different than what is portrayed in media
• Only 26% of new moms think its achievable to be the ‘perfect mom’ they see displayed in the media
• Millennial moms want to fit baby into their lives without giving up the other aspects of who they are as women
• 94% of moms say that while they love their baby, they love themselves and many other things as well (including their career, relationships, travel, etc.)
• 8 out of 10 moms say they don’t think they have to give up their other passions and interests to be a good parent
• 94% of moms believe they are able to provide better care to their children when they care for themselves too
• Moms agree that the role of a supportive partner / caregiver helps her pursue interests beyond motherhood
• 76% of new moms say that the assistance of a partner helps them to do the things they love outside of their family, while also bring a good mom
• Dove Men+Care research has shown that 97% of dads say they are involved in their child(ren)’s life and 7 in 10 see themselves as highly involved.

As Soukas said in the release, “Baby Dove wants to help build parents’ confidence and encourage them to trust their way when it comes to doing what they think is best for their baby and themselves. This new research, combined with our deep understanding of the role dads’ play as caregiver through our Dove Men+Care work, has led to the Baby Dove belief that there’s no such thing as perfect parents, only real ones, and we are proud to support parents in the care of themselves and their babies.”