Dove Campaign Battles Hair Stereotypes in India

As part of India’s recent Independence Day, Dove launched a campaign highlighting its ongoing narrative on societal benchmarks of acceptability by encouraging women to talk about stereotypes attached to their hair.

The campaign #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi, created by Ogilvy India, highlights the biases women face because of how they wear their hair and urges them “to break free from the shackles of a narrow perception of beauty.”

For example, the campaign looks at the perception that long hair equates to more beautiful. According to a study by the brand, in collaboration with Hansa Research, 71% of Indians say that short, colored and curly hair is less beautiful than long & straight hair.


“Dove recognizes and realizes the impact typecasting can have on an individual’s being,” said Harman Dhillon, Vice President, Hair Care, Hindustan Unilever, adding that “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.”


Unveiled on Independence Day, the campaign shares the story of real women Farishte, Huda and Pia, how they view their hair vis-a-vis how the society perceives them.

“As a brand that celebrates inclusion, we at Dove decided to celebrate the inclusion of all kinds of hair, in a society that has glorified just one kind of hair,” said Zenobia Pithawalla, Senior Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy India (West).

“Straight, long and black. 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.”



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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