Dove encourages Indian women to break stereotypical notions around beautiful hair

Dove India has launched a local variant of its global ‘Love Your Hair’ brand platform. Called ‘Aapke Baal, Aapki Marzi’ [Your hair, your say], the campaign was created by Ogilvy India.

Like a previous edition from the Philippines, the campaign takes on national stereotypes about “beautiful” hair, telling the stories of three women with atypical hair styles.  

One of the films is about Farishte, a young copywriter whose boyfriend apparently felt like he was “dating a man” when she cut her hair short, and cancelled a proposed meeting with his parents. 

The films are backed by consumer research. It was found that 71% of Indians think short, coloured or curly hair is less beautiful than long, straight hair. 

Speaking about the campaign, Hindustan Unilever vice president of hair care Harman Dhillon said: “Dove recognises and realises the impact typecasting can have on an individual’s being. For over 60 years, Dove has showcased the beauty in diversity. 

“Through our campaigns we try to create awareness around and break the narrow definition of beauty, creating a space where women feel nurtured and liberated from societal beauty barriers. 

“There is a lot more to be done to create a systemic change in mindsets and celebrate the individuality and independence of women.”

Ogilvy India West senior executive creative director Zenobia Pithawalla added: “We at Dove decided to celebrate the inclusion of all kinds of hair, in a society that has glorified just one kind of hair. 

“After all, the freedom to do what one wants with one’s hair is implicit in the fight for emancipation. We interviewed women across the country to arrive at these inspiring stories. 

These women were left in a dilemma at some stage in their lives, all because they didn’t conform to society’s idea of beautiful hair. Instead of succumbing to societal bondage, they continued to wear their hair their way and emerged even more triumphant because of it.”


Client: Hindustan Unilever 

Brand: Dove

Agency: Ogilvy India 

Chief client officer, Ogilvy India: Hephzibah Pathak 

Office leader – Ogilvy India (West): VR Rajesh

Creative: Zenobia Pithawalla, Mihir Chanchani, Varun Sharma, Vishal Rajpurkar

Account management: Chitralekha Chetia, Deepika Das, Sanam Chowdhry, Rakshit Bohra

Planning: Prem Narayan, Abigail Dias, Akhil Menon

Production house: Curious 

Director: Vivek Kakkad. 

Executive producer: Shahzad Bhagwagar. 

Producer: Vincent Gomes. 

Cinematographer: Maciek Sobieraj.

Associate director: Divij Kulkarni. 

Production designer: Manisha Khandelwal


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