Contenders at Cannes 2023: Dove Thailand – Let Her Grow | Edelman

Leading up to Cannes Lions, we showcase creative campaigns submitted from across the Asia Pacific.

Campaign Background


A longstanding tradition in Thailand’s school system was having a significant impact on students’ confidence. To raise awareness and advocate for change, Dove’s #LetHerGrow integrated campaign focused on creating a future where Thai students can grow into the greatest version of themselves.

For decades, Thai schools have enforced the practice of punishing students with forced haircuts. While some believe these restrictive rules maintain order and teach discipline to younger generations, others see them as an infringement on students’ rights to make their own hair choices.

“We developed a rallying call, #LetHerGrow, to unite people in ending this toxic practice and creating a future where students can grow into the greatest version of themselves.”

In fact, through extensive research, we learned that 8 in 10 secondary school students, and 7 in 10 young women reported that forced haircuts have a negative impact on their self-confidence, highlighting the emotional toll this practice takes on them.

With Dove’s mission to make beauty a source of confidence, we set out with the ambition to end these confidence-cutting, forced haircuts with a sustained initiative that would not only raise awareness of the persisting issue, but also take action to educate, inform and positively impact the future of the next generation.

The Strategy

Amidst a Thai population that’s divided on the issue, we needed to explore and evaluate how we would tackle this challenge of shifting perceptions and behaviors in a way that would spark constructive dialogue and debate.

We developed a rallying call, #LetHerGrow, to unite people in ending this toxic practice and creating a future where students can grow into the greatest version of themselves.

By leveraging this shared value and raising awareness of the unintended consequences of forced haircuts, we successfully galvanized widespread support and encouraged people to stand in solidarity with the cause.

Together, we can make a positive impact on the lives of students and create a better future for the next generation by removing the toxic practice and social norms of forced haircuts in Thai schools.

The Execution

Dove turned the iconic school bob into a powerful symbol for change. It was a rallying call, inviting everyone to stand together in ending confidence-cutting forced haircuts for good, and to create a future where students can grow into the greatest version of themselves.

To inform the initiative, we partnered with Dr. Jiraporn Arunakul, a Thai-based self-esteem and child psychology expert. We turned the bob into a strategically-placed QR code in OOH and newspapers, driving people to learn about the real harm of forced haircuts before inviting people to share their stories and pledge support.

We also engaged newscasters, key opinion leaders, and Thai artists to sport the bob, taking over TV stations and culture with the message to #LetHerGrow. We released research findings in an earned media blitz and an emotional brand film.

We also established a long-term commitment to ending forced haircuts through The Growth Fund, which will direct resources toward research, education, and advocacy. Through these efforts, Dove galvanized support to create a future where students can grow into their best selves.

The Outcome

#LetHerGrow achieved widespread awareness, advocacy on behalf of girls by the government and influencers, thousands of pledges to support students on, and led the government to lift unfair rules on hairstyles.

  • Following our campaign, in January 2023 the Ministry of Education made a formal announcement with headlines on mass national media declaring, “Ministry lifts ‘unfair’ rules on hairstyles” — calling for an end to forced haircuts, for good.
  • And Dove got the credit. Brand meaningfulness scores increased +15% and brand salience increased +8.5% y.o.y in Thailand. Overall, brand power reached its highest in 5 years.
  • Drove positive word of mouth with not only the public, but also influential KOLs such as Srettha Thavisin, CEO of Sansiri
  • Engaged more than 50 media, influencers and stakeholders at the national press event, which was covered by broadcast, print, online and social outlets with earned reach of more than 66 million.
  • Prompted education officials to address the issue and support the initiative: “The fact that Dove has come to organize this project is a great way to create awareness for the society,” — Mr. Niphon Kongweha, Assistant Secretary General of the Basic Education Commission.

The Work

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