When workplace ageism and sexism became a major media story in Canada, Dove quickly mobilized to take a stand on the issue with a social-first campaign under the hashtag #KeepTheGrey.
The abrupt dismissal of Lisa LaFlamme, a renowned Canadian news anchor, presumably over her decision to keep her hair color grey, sparked outrage and highlighted the double standard for grey hair in the workplace. Dove, committed to promoting gender equality and challenging narrow beauty standards, felt a responsibility to stand up for women facing age-based discrimination.
This intersectional issue of ageism and sexism lacks adequate legal protection, and so, we were challenged to develop a campaign to not only generate awareness of grey hair discrimination, but also drive long-term change.
Dove wanted to show solidarity, and Edelman turned its iconic gold logo grey, making a large, visible statement to start a social movement against women being aged out of the workplace for choosing to keep their hair grey. Social images showcased older women with naturally grey hair, in a greyscale color scheme and supported by the new grey Dove logo and hashtag #KeepTheGrey. The campaign was launched on all of Dove's social media platforms, with a call to action for others to join in by changing their profile picture greyscale.
Influencers were also engaged across social platforms, and paid media plans were developed to amplify brand assets. Through this social-first approach, we encouraged audiences to join the movement by turning their profile pictures to greyscale, and as a result, we sparked a social movement against ageism and sexism in the workplace.
To further support the cause, Dove donated $100,000 to Catalyst, a Unilever global partner dedicated to advancing women in the workplace.
THE MEASUREMENT STRATEGY
Edelman DXI designed a comprehensive, analytical solution to determine attitudes around age-based discrimination and assess how #KeepTheGrey resonated with campaign viewers. The team measured and quantified public sentiment using statistical analysis, partnering with a trusted and well-established panel provider, the Angus Reid Forum, to source survey participants and ensure representative demographic distribution that replicated that of Canada at large.
The survey used a sample of 1,514 general population Canadians, which provides a minimal margin of error (+/-3% at a 95% confidence interval). Strict demographic quotas were in place throughout fieldwork to ensure the sample was representative of the Canadian population based on the latest census data.
Quality assurance measures included:
Thorough survey link testing
Continuous data monitoring throughout the field
Detailed data accuracy checks post-field
Edelman DXI strategically chose to field the survey approximately one month after the campaign launch, increasing the likelihood of survey participants' exposure to the campaign. The data team assessed attitudinal results among the total sample demographic subgroups and among campaign viewers and non-viewers to understand the campaign's connection to attitudes.
The strategy also included a deep dive among campaign recallers. Survey participants were exposed to de-branded campaign assets to determine whether they recalled the campaign. Those who identified the campaign were asked a series of follow-up questions.
The deep dive resulted in the following key research objectives:
Evaluated channel-specific campaign recall
Assessed brand association to the campaign
Determined brand fit with respect to messaging
Measured campaign impact on brand image
Gathered top-of-mind campaign reactions, communication effectiveness and campaign perceptions from emotional and creative perspectives
Learned Canadian viewers' attitudinal and behavioral changes concerning age-based discrimination after campaign exposure
The campaign drove unmatched talkability as the most covered campaign in the history of Dove Canada. The consumer impact report’s results proved very positive:
90% of campaign viewers felt #KeepTheGrey brought attention to an important topic that needs to be discussed
70% of campaign viewers agree that women face more discrimination at work for having grey hair than men
61% of campaign viewers are more likely to purchase Dove
89% of campaign viewers found the campaign gave them a good impression of Dove
83% of campaign viewers would like to see more work like this from Dove
Nine in ten campaign viewers felt #KeepTheGrey brought attention to an important topic
Two in three said they have or will speak up about ageism after seeing the campaign
There were also positive brand connection results, with three in five saying the campaign made them more likely to purchase the brand and over four in five wanting to see more work like this from Dove.
In response to the overwhelming social and media support, Dove became the first-ever beauty and CPG brand offered a seat on the Ontario Human Rights Commission Advisory board in order to continue fighting for women’s rights and ending ageism in Canada.