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Masculinity in the Media:


Doves Real Strength Campaign

Sarah Murphy, Madison Oberg, Delaney Owen, & Catherine Rash

Table of Contents
Executive Summary______________________________________________________

p. 3

Secondary Research______________________________________________________ p. 4
Qualitative Research_____________________________________________________

p. 14

Quantitative Research____________________________________________________

p. 26

Implications and Strategy Recommendation___________________________________ p. 38


Appendix_______________________________________________________________ p. 39
Works Cited_____________________________________________________________ p. 43

Executive Summary
Our group spent February to May, 2015 conducting a semester-long research project for Dove,
specifically focusing on their Men+Care campaign. We utilized several research methods to
explore this brand and our target audience of college males ages 18-22. Our methods included
secondary, qualitative, and quantitative research. We held a focus group for our qualitative
research, interviewing our participants and utilizing projective techniques. For our quantitative
research, we developed an online survey which we shared on social media, then analyzed the
results. One key insight revealed was college males ages 18-22 dont like or relate to the way
their gender is portrayed in the media. Another overarching trend throughout our research is
that college aged men associate caring with real strength, but do not yet have their own
families to care for, making it harder to relate to Doves ad. Ultimately, we discovered several
key insights and made suggestions that we hope will help Dove continue to improve and
expand this already successful campaign to a younger demographic!

Secondary Research
We decided to research the Real Strength campaign by Dove, which is part of the promotion
of the Men+Care products. This campaign has recently received a lot of attention from their
emotional and discussion-provoking 2015 Super Bowl commercial and subsequent social media
campaign. We want to analyze how these messages are perceived by college-aged men, and if
these messages have an effect on their opinions of Dove or their purchase intentions.
Doves Men+Care line was started to tap into a new market for Dove products: men. Since
Doves line for women is already incredibly popular, the line for men was seen as an obvious
next step for the brand. The marketing campaign for Men+Care products also draws off the
success of the popular Campaign for Real Beauty, that is associated with Doves products for
women. The Men+Care Real Strength campaign says that Care Makes a Man Stronger,
(Dove, 2015) and is centered around defining modern masculinity, and what really makes a man
strong. This campaign features a popular Super Bowl commercial and also has a social media
campaign asking men to upload pictures of what they view to be examples of #RealStrength.
We picked this specific topic because what Dove is doing is revolutionary. They are not only
reaching a completely new target audience in a creative and interactive manner, but they are
also creating a campaign that promotes social good. The idea of masculinity has changed
throughout the years, and there has not been an adequate push to change how it is perceived
in our media. The world today is much more accepting of new ideas and, its a crucial time to
expand upon a more inclusive definition of a concept that has been misunderstood and
stereotyped for years. This campaign is a great example of how a brand can promote its
product and an idea in an innovative and successful way.
Our research will provide information about how this campaign is perceived by a different
audience than it was originally intended to target. Since Doves campaign focuses on 25-54 year
olds, we will center our research around 18-22 year olds to see if it has a similar effect, and if it
has the power to change their personal care products purchases and even more importantly,
their opinions on masculinity as a whole.
Mens Personal Care Industry
It is clear that the mens personal product care market does in fact exist, but the trends and an
understanding of the industry are not as popularly known. According to Home and Personal
Care Analyst Gabriela Elani, mens skincare and haircare segments have experienced strong
sales gains in recent years due to an increase in male-specific product options as well as

younger men growing preference for both scented skincare and haircare products (Elani, 2014,
Mens Personal Care).
More specifically, certain areas of the mens personal care industry are thriving significantly
better than others. According to Elani, 65 percent of the mens personal care product market
sales are made up of antiperspirant/deodorant (APDO) and shaving products/aftershave (Elani,
2014, "Men's Personal Care"). One of the main factors behind why the APDO market is
increasing so rapidly is because of enhanced protection benefits provided by the products,
ultimately leading to increased sales because of the willingness to pay a higher price for a
better product. One of the areas that is not doing as well would be the shaving
products/aftershave segment. This segment is struggling due to increasing competition from
private label products and as a result of the categorys price-driven nature. The ultimate motive
behind mens buying patterns when it comes to personal care, is simplicity. Whatever is easy,
whatever is quick, and whatever seems to be effective for the time given is what men are
looking for. This is the reason the most popular products used by men are the products that can
be defined as a staple product. The companies that seem to thrive in this market are the
companies that help men achieve greater simplicity, brands should explore developing
products that help reduce the amount of time men spend on grooming activities ("Men's
Personal Care"). As reflected in Fig. 1, it is clear that simplicity is the highest priority for men
when it comes to their daily routine.
Fig. 1

The mens personal care market is made up of several companies, but is ultimately run by
Unilever and Proctor & Gamble (P&G), which account for 62 percent of mens personal care

product sales (Elani, 2014, "Men's Personal Care"). A few of Unilevers most popular brands
seem to cover most audiences considering Unilever is the parent company to leading skincare
and haircare brands such as Dove Men+Care, Axe, Degree, and Suave for Men. P&G, on the
other hand, is the parent company to the popular APDO and shaving product brands such as
Old Spice and Gillette ("Men's Personal Care"). The reason behind this high level of success for
Unilever and P&G is because of their heavy marketing support, their tendency to regularly
launch new products, and the trust that most men put in mass brands for their personal care
product needs. In the executive summary of her Mens Personal Care report, Elani explains,
given that men tend to be brand loyal, brands that offer basic products like APDO, shampoo,
and bar soap are in the best position to encourage men to utilize less popular personal care
products by creating line extensions into these product categories. This is shown especially
well by Dove Men+ Care and by Old Spice ("Men's Personal Care"). According to Senior Beauty
and Personal Care Analyst Shannon Romanowski, shoppers rely on mass brands for their
personal care purchases thanks to the accessibility, affordability, and awareness offered by
these brands (Romanowski, 2014). By utilizing their large brand images and expanding their
product variety, these two companies are able to direct the trends of the market.
Target Market: Men
Doves Men+Care products fall under many industries, from grooming and toiletries, to
deodorants and antiperspirants, to personal care products, and more. All of these industries are
beginning to create new products and market them to a previously untapped audience: men.
Doves specific target audience is men aged 25-54 (Neff, 2015) and our group will be
researching the younger audience of men aged 18-22. Combined, the age ranges reach across
generations of men at very different parts in their lives, but who all are searching for similar
personal care products. According to a report by Hoovers about the personal care products
industry, new audiences including men, tweens, and ethnic markets are searching for products
that are suited for their specific needs, and now is a good time for companies to target these
consumers with male-oriented products (Hoovers Inc., 2015). In 2014, the total sales for mens
personal care were $4.1 billion. The forecast for these products have sales continuing to
increase steadily, and in the best case, to have reached the $4.6 billion mark by 2019. Figure 2
illustrates this upward trend in the best and worst case scenarios (Elani, 2014, Mens Personal
Care). The data proves that now is the right time to market these products to men, but in
order to do so successfully, its important to understand who they are and how to reach them.

Fig. 2

The typical target consumer for personal care products has traditionally been women, but
according to data gathered by Elani in her Mens Personal Care, report, some 90 percent of
men say they purchase their own personal care products
(Elani, 2014, Mens Personal Care).

Targeting men specifically is incredibly important to boost sales and to create a bigger batch of
loyal customers. These consumers are looking for efficient and personalized options to include
in their average routines. They want functionality and simplicity in the use and the promotion
of these products. Doves Men+Care products provide necessary information regarding the
product benefits directly on the label with short and to-the-point taglines, such as Tough on
sweat, not on skin, for their deodorants, and 3 times stronger hair, on their shampoos. Dove
also combined products to appease the majority men who want fewer products in their daily
routine, such as their body wash that boast skin care built in (Dove Men+Care, 2015).
In her Personal Care Consumer report, Romanowski discovered a key insight for the personal
care product industry. The average consumer is overwhelmed by the gross amount of personal
care brands and products that all promise different outcomes and benefits. Many consumers,
especially men, also think many personal care products are unnecessary (Romanowski, 2014).
In order to change this perception, Doves Men+Care campaign is targeting men with
male-oriented products, while also creating a manifesto to the new concept of the modern
man. This positions Dove as more than just a brand in the eyes of the male market, which
makes their products more relevant and therefore more necessary in ordinary life. According to
Fiona ODonnell, a Mintel analyst, emotional triggers make the best connection with todays
men. Gone are the macho-stereotypes of past generations, with modern men being expected

to be both strong and sensitive (ODonnell, 2014). This duality is crucial for marketers to
understand in order to make a relevant connection with their target audience. By including the
emotionally charged message about real strength, Dove is taking advantage of this key insight.
Traditional TV ads continue to reach the most men of all ages. ODonnells Marketing to Men
report found that 22 percent of men who saw an advertisement on television went to that
companys website after, as compared with only 16 percent who saw an online ad (ODonnell,
2014). Doves Men+Care TV advertisement ran during the Super Bowl and included a hashtag in
order to take advantage of the large male audience and encourage interaction with their ad
online as well. ODonnells analysis also reported that younger men are the most engaged with
online ads and social media advertising (ODonnell, 2014). The website for Dove Men+Care
features, in addition to product promotion and store locators, a gallery of user-generated
content with their promoted Real Strength, hashtag (Dove Men+Care, 2015). Overall, Doves
campaign does an excellent job of giving men reasons to buy their product through the
messages they are sending and the way they are sending it.
Unilever Analysis
Unilever, the parent company of Dove, is one of the worlds leaders for manufacturing and
selling consumer goods in the food, home, and personal care product categories. Unilever has
multiple competitors but their main competitors in the personal care products industry are The
Proctor & Gamble Company and Johnson & Johnson (Hoovers Inc., 2015). Both of these
companies are headquartered in the United States, which gives them an advantage in the US
market since Unilevers headquarters is in London, England (Hoovers Inc., 2015).
Unilever has built up the Dove brand name by creating a successful womens product line and it
only makes sense that Unilever would capitalize on its recognizable and commendable name
brand to create a new product line. This opportunity to become the worlds leader in mens
grooming outside of shaving (Renfrow, 2010) by creating a mens line would further expand
not only Doves, but Unilevers brand image.
In 2009, Unilever began competing with other brands that target to men ages 25 to 54 to create
a successful campaign in order to make the Dove Men+Care product line exemplify masculinity
instead of femininity. The Unilever vice president of marketing for personal care in the United
States, Kathy OBrien, explains that bold ideas, insight from consumers and world-class
innovation remain core to everything we do at Unilever and we feel multi-channel campaigns
bring imaginative ideas to life in impactful ways (Renfrow, 2010). Now in 2015, Unilever is still
using these imaginative ideas in their current campaigns just like in the Dove Real Strength
campaign where it is trying to help men feel they are recognized as bona fide caregivers
(Heine, 2014). Rob Candelino, the marketing vice president and general manager at Unilever

stated that three-quarters of dads say they are are responsible for their childs well-beingbut
only 20 percent see that in media (Heine, 2014). This statistic is one reason why Unilever is
using campaign messages that have an impact on the lives of the viewers in order to create a
successful campaign.
Fig. 3
Unilever SWOT Analysis
Strengths

Weaknesses

Innovation and new product


launches

Strong brand portfolio

Headquarters not in the US

Competitive market

Opportunities

Threats

Growing personal care market

Growing counterfeit goods market

The SWOT analysis for Unilever can be seen in Figure 3 (Unilever SWOT, 2014). Unilever has
capitalized on its strengths by launching new products such as the Dove Men+Care line and has
brought the company great success. They are one of the top personal care products brand
portfolios in the world with one reason being that Dove is the number one
dermatologist-recommended brand in the US (Unilever SWOT, 2014). One large weakness for
Unilever is that its headquarters are not in the US, but in London. This creates problems for
Unilever when its trying to compete with other personal care product companies that have
their headquarters in the US. Unilevers biggest opportunity is the growing personal care
market because this market has been rising rapidly primarily due to the increasing purchasing
power and consumer interest (Unilever SWOT, 2014). Unilever is aware of every aspect of
their SWOT analysis and recognizes that these things must be taken into consideration when
launching new product lines and campaigns.
Dove Analysis
The Dove Men+Care Campaign was first launched in Italy in 2009 and then expanded to France,
the UK, and the US. This brand provides a mature alternative to the brands stable mate
Axe/Lynx brand for this particular demographic (Datamonitor, 2010). The target market is the
over-25 year old male consumer, a market that is significantly under targeted. Women are
generally more targeted for personal care products because women are more willing to try new
products while men do not show as great of a desire to try new products (Datamonitor, 2010).

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The Dove Men+Care line targeted men so the product line needed to look different enough
from the womens products in order to make the products appear masculine. All of Doves
products have the same font and logo but vary in color and shape depending on the product.
The male product is given a masculine color and a revised font style but remains recognizable
as part of the wider Dove brand (Datamonitor, 2010). Figure 4, as seen below, is an example of
how Dove changed their product presentation by incorporating masculine colors.
Fig. 4

Before the creation of the mens line, OBrien said she knows that for women, we understand
its about celebrating real beauty (Renfrow, 2010) but this campaign directed toward men
does not encompass the same message. Dove was first seeking to position itself as a product
for those men who are comfortable in their own skin (Datamonitor, 2010) but Doves new
campaign for Real Strength is targeting men who can see real strength by showing others that
they are caring fathers and husbands. Doves goal with all of their campaigns is to penetrate
culture each time we construct a campaign not just with the large idea, but with every tactical
element (Renfrow, 2010), according to OBrien. For the past six years, Dove has used their
Men+Care campaign to expand its brand image while spreading inspiration and emotional
messages to everyone who sees their advertisement.
Dove Men+Care Real Strength Campaign
Doves first campaign geared toward men was launched in 2010 with a commercial aired during
the Super Bowl encouraging them to be comfortable in their own skin (Johnson, 2014). This
focus on a new target audience was inspired by brand research revealing 73 percent of men felt

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they were depicted inaccurately in advertisements (Johnson). For this reason, Dove set a goal to
challenge these stereotypes. Vice President of skincare marketing at Unilever Rob Candelino
found advertisings typical depictions of men included alpha males with chiseled abs driving
high-powered sports cars, guys obsessed with winning the affections of women or buffoon
dads (Neff, 2015). Although Unilever plays up some of these stereotypes in their Axe
campaigns, they targeted an older male audience, aged 25 to 54 with their new line of Dove
products and altered their campaign accordingly.
Since most men did not associate with the way they were portrayed in advertising, Dove set out
to discover how they truly viewed themselves. A 2014 study conducted by Dove Men+Care
entitled Care Makes a Man Stronger revealed that although caring for others remained
important to men over time, their perception of masculinity had changed (Nikolla, 2015).
Masculinity author and research expert Dr. Michael Kimmel discovered the following key
insights from the study:
86 percent said the meaning of masculinity had changed since their fathers generation
90 percent associate their caring side with strength
Only 7 percent relate to the way the media portrays masculinity
Based on these insights, Kimmel concluded that the core of male masculinity today is rooted in
this strength of character how he cares for himself and those around him are integral to how
a man perceives his own masculinity (Nikolla). Further supporting this finding, Jennifer
Bremner, the director of marketing at Men+Care said that men today are embracing their
caring roles more than ever, and that these experiences are fulfilling and strengthening them
(Poggi, 2015) This inspired Dove to create a campaign that redefines what it means to be a man
today and says care makes a man stronger.
In 2015, Dove created a film and associated social media campaign (following their first in 2010)
to display how men really perceive themselves today (Poggi, 2015). The film was created to
challenge stereotypes and build a brand that is directly focused on talking to men. Bremner said
she hopes this commercial sparks a conversation that extends beyond the Super Bowl
(Johnson). This conversation can be continued on social media, which is also meant to build
awareness for this relatively new brand. One social media strategy included a Real Dad
Moments campaign, which asked men to share their personal examples of what it means to be
a dad. They also launched the #RealStrength campaign, which encouraged male Super Bowl
viewers to share personal photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that displayed their
caring sides (Nikolla, 2015).

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The 2015 Super Bowl averaged 114.4. million viewers per minutemaking it the most watched
event in the history of television in the US (Riccobono, 2015). The reaction on social media was
clear, as Dads from all over the world shared their personal photos and thoughts about being a
dad on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A tweet sponsored by Dove Men+Care (Fig. 5) asks
men to retweet if they agree that care makes a man stronger. Other tweets from everyday
men included Being a #safehaven for my daughter makes me feel stronger than superman.
She Gives me #RealStrength. @ DoveMenCare (Liley, 2015) and @DoveMenCare
#realstrength is holding three kids when you can hardly keep your eyes open (Isenberg, 2015).
Fig. 5

Research Objectives
We want to use both qualitative and quantitative research to gauge the reactions of a different
audience than the target market to the Dove Real Strength campaign. We will be focusing on
how college-aged males, ages 18-22, respond to these messages from Dove that are intended
for an older audience, and if this campaign affects their purchase decisions or their perceptions
of Dove as a whole. We will use a combination of focus groups and interviews to answer our
qualitative objectives and a survey to answer our quantitative objectives. In the end, we can
compare some of the answers we receive from our research to answers that Dove has provided
from their own research and their own target audience. This will provide a complete picture of
the overall effects of this campaign.
Objectives
a. To understand how college-aged men (ages 18-22) define masculinity.
b. To explore what real strength means to college-aged men

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c. To determine whether the media accurately represent 18-22 year old males idea
of masculinity
d. To analyze how Doves campaign and messages are perceived by 18-22 year olds,
since it is targeted to an older audience (25-54 year olds)

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Qualitative Research
Research Objectives
In our in-depth interviews and focus group, we asked our participants questions that would
specifically relate to our research objectives regarding the Dove Real Strength Campaign.
Through our research, we wanted to discover if Doves new advertising campaign was reaching
college-aged men (ages 18-22) and if their message was resonating. We wanted to explore how
individuals in this demographic defined real strength and if they associated caring with
masculinity. Our specific purposes were:
Objective 1:
To understand how college-aged men (ages 18-22) define masculinity.
Objective 2:
To explore what real strength means to college-aged men
Objective 3: T
o determine whether the media accurately represent 18-22 year old
males idea of masculinity
Objective 4:
To analyze how Doves campaign and messages are perceived by 18-22
year olds, since it is targeted to an older audience (25-54 year olds)
Qualitative Tactics: Description & Rationale
For our qualitative research section, we decided to host one focus group and conduct five
in-depth interviews with members of our target audience. We constructed an interview guide
with various open ended questions that answered our research objectives and planned to use
association and construction projection devices.
We held our focus group on Monday, March 23 at 8 p.m. in the Student Development Services
conference room. There were seven boys in attendance
.
We made sure to recruit males with
various backgrounds and involvements on campus so we would have a diverse sample of TCUs
population. We had a wide variety of majors present: Journalism, Spanish, Biology, Geography,
Communication Studies, and more. Our participants were from different states: Texas, Kansas,
Alabama, and California. We had at least one participant from each classification in college to
give us a full sample of our 18-22 year old audience. This diverse group turned out to be very
talkative and responsive to all our questions and stimuli.
Our focus group began at 8 p.m., after the boys all signed their informed consents and had a
cookie or two. Two of our group members facilitated the focus group by switching off asking
questions relating to a research objective. The other two members of our group sat and
transcribed what the boys said. We also recorded the entire group so that we could go back and
listen to their responses, since some questions provoked a stronger reaction and the boys
talked over each other.

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We began by using an easy ice-breaker elicitation device and asked what the boys did in their
free time. This was to ease into conversation and also to get a grasp on what activities
college-aged men participated in. Since the Dove ad showed older men in father figure roles,
we wanted to hear how our target audience related or differed.
After the first round of introduction questions, we gradually moved to more specific questions
that pertained to our research objectives. We steered the conversation toward how males were
portrayed in TV shows, and then to advertisements. We used an association and construction
projection technique and asked the boys to make a word cloud with all the terms they
associated with masculinity. We chose to do the word cloud activity to encourage a more
lengthy discussion on this topic, and people are more likely to share their opinions if they have
time to think about the question and write down their answers beforehand. This exercise also
eliminated the possibility of groupthink due to the individual answers produced, and gave us
tangible data to interpret and analyze.
Our next stimulus was the Dove Men+Care Real Strength, advertisement from the Super
Bowl. We showed it to the group on a laptop and facilitated a discussion about what they saw
and how they interpreted it. This was a crucial conversation to facilitate in order to hear what
college-aged men thought of how Dove displayed males. We directed the conversation to
talking about what real strength meant to them and to give us concrete examples. We
finished the focus group by asking if the advertisement changed their perception about Dove
and if it would encourage them to buy Doves product.
We also completed five of in-depth interviews which followed the same question guide as the
focus group. The reasoning behind our decision to conduct many in-depth interviews was that
these one-on-one discussions provided an opportunity to understand exactly what a member of
our target audience felt about masculinity, Dove, and real strength, without the groupthink
mentality that focus groups can sometimes create. These interviews provided us with an
opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our target audience.
Key Insights
The following key insights were derived from the focus group and the five personal in-depth
interviews that were conducted. These insights are divided into sections relating to the mens
overall perception of masculinity and strength, their favorite male television personalities, how
they view and relate to male characters in advertisements, and an overall reaction to the Dove
Real Strength Super Bowl commercial.

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Overall Perceptions of Masculinity


To delve into our focus group research, we asked our participants to do a constructive exercise
dealing with word associations. We prompted them to each create a word cloud to gauge how
they defined the word masculinity, as well as to lead into a discussion about whether or not
the media accurately portrays their perception. This expressive method gave each participant
time to process their individual thoughts and opinions before sharing them with the group.
To begin, we gave each participant a pen, a sheet of paper, and the instructions to make a word
cloud for the term masculinity. After about five minutes of quiet writing time, we asked the
men to go around the table and share a few of their words that they thought best embodied
the theme.
One immediately started naming physical qualities, saying strong, athletic, abs, muscular, stuff
like that. Others agreed that being physically strong and fit was an important part of being
perceived as masculine. Another went on to say testosterone and steroids, as the rest of the
participants laughed and joked along with him, agreeing with these ideas.
A different participant shared bald eagle, America, jeans, construction, cars, to which another
responded, or debonair. Like, James Bond is debonair.
After a few minutes of playful banter and humorous remarks all around, one participant threw
out a few words that seemed to calm down the group: Responsible, caretaker, in charge,
witty, quick on your feet. He then went on to say All that and beef jerky, sending the group
back into hysterics.
It was clear the group wasnt yet fully comfortable having a serious conversation about
associating caring roles with being masculine. Instead, they gravitated toward discussing
characteristics that they admitted were stereotypical even though 73 percent of men
surveyed by Dove felt they were depicted inaccurately in advertisements (Johnson).
Advertisings typical depictions of men included alpha males with chiseled abs driving
high-powered sports cars, guys obsessed with winning the affections of women or buffoon
dads (Neff, 2015). Our focus group clearly did not identify with these depictions, but were
quick to point out their prevalence in society.
We gave the participants no specific instructions as to what aspects of masculinity they should
be describing, but we were able to organize their responses into four different categories:
personality traits, physical traits, roles, and things masculine men like/use. The words they
came up with can be seen in the following word clouds.

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Fig 6: Physical Traits

Fig 7: Roles

Fig 8: Things Masculine Men Like

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Fig 9: Personality Traits

Although the group laughed and joked throughout most of this exercise, there were common
themes and trends among the words they selected. Many regarded physical strength as being
an important aspect of masculinity; however they also agreed that a lot of this idea came from
medias depiction and stereotypes. They did not see this as particularly relatable or
attainable.
This insight corresponded with our initial secondary research, which revealed that

only 7 percent of men relate to the way media portrays masculinity (Nikolla, 2015).
Another insight was that our participants saw the caring roles they associated with masculinity
such as husband and father as more realistic, but did not necessarily relate to these because
of their age range (18-22) and stage in life. This finding was supported by Doves Care Makes a
Man Stronger study, which found 90 percent of men associate their caring side with strength
(Nikolla). Dove used this information to create their Men+Care campaign centered around the
idea of masculinitys core being rooted in caring for oneself and others (Nikolla). This campaign
was targeted at men aged 25-54, so it made sense that our participants found the idea of caring
being masculine a concept that would be more relatable in a few years.
We utilized the ideas generated from the participants word clouds as well as the insights we
uncovered as the launching point for the rest of our discussion about medias portrayal of men,
the meaning of real strength and the perception of Doves Men+Strength campaign, and how
our participants related to these ideas.

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Favorite Male Personalities/Characteristics Depicted on TV


We asked our participants to list their favorite male TV personalities, characters, and athletes.
We did this to gauge what types of men are popular amongst our target audience and to see
why our participants liked them. We wanted to know what characteristics, traits, or personality
types stood out to our respondents, and if they related. This exercise was designed in order to
gain insight into what makes a modern man likable, which lead to insights into what a modern
image of masculinity looks like to this audience.
The focus group and in-depth interviewees identified males in every category. For athletes, Tim
Tebow and Dustin Pedroia were mentioned. TV actors mentioned were John Krasinski, Will
Ferrell, and Steve Carell. Charles Barkley and Jon Stewart were listed as favorite personalities.
We then asked the participants to describe the men and tell us what traits they admired. They
identified traits like being charismatic, strong, smart, unique, outgoing, bold, funny and driven.
One participant reflected on Will Ferrells physical stature: Hes very comfortable with
himself hes not super fit, but hes okay with it. Another participant cited intelligence as a
key facet of Jon Stewarts personality. I admire him because he knows what hes talking
about. Steve Carell was described as goofy and smart, and another respondent indicated his
preference for characters that are witty and blunt.
Immediately we noticed the lack of physical traits that were mentioned. This provided insight
that the age-old stereotypes of buff, fit men being admirable was outdated. Doves initial
research indicated this idea for 25-54 year old men, and the data that we gathered here
suggests the same trend for 18-22 year-old men as well.
We continued the conversation by asking if our participants considered the males they
identified to be strong, and in what ways. This question raised some eyebrows in our
respondents, but after thinking about it for a minute, the conversation picked back up again.
Jon Stewart was brought up as the first example and one respondent said Stewart was strong in
the sense that he is valid when he says controversial things because he can back it up with
smarts. In the athlete category, one respondent identified Dustin Pedroia as strong because he
dedicated so much time to becoming a better athlete. Charles Barkley was described as
strong in his opinions as well as his knowledge and expertise.
The key insights we discerned from this section were the themes of
humor, intelligence, and

competence as being strong aspects of men in popular culture. These traits were the ones
that stood out to us from the interviews and focus group because they reflect our target
audiences deep seated feelings toward what makes a modern man likable. These words are

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the most definitive and exhaustive of the data collected and they best represent how our target
audience feels about this topic.
This data provides an opportunity to start a new conversation in the realm of personal care
product advertising, which is historically targeted to females. Dove has the opportunity to be a
leader in the way male personal care products are marketed to younger men by moving
forward and creating an advertisement featuring a more accurate depiction of what 18-22 year
old men admire. The results gathered through these interviews also provide insight into the
shared concept that college-aged men have of a modern man with favorable qualities, which
could lead to more accurate depictions and less stereotypes of males in the media, which
would be beneficial for advertising as a whole.
Depiction of Males in Everyday Advertisements
The most remembered television advertisements on a daily basis by college men include Old
Spice, Budweiser, Doritos, and Powerade. All of these advertisements are for different products
that delve into multiple aspects of the stereotypical male persona. The stereotypical male
persona involves playing sports, working out, drinking beer, being outdoors, or being in a
businesslike atmosphere. These are actions that are common in the everyday lives of
college-aged men, which is why these advertisements resonate with them.
When the respondents were asked about everyday advertisements, they said that most
commercials have a male as the main character who portrays the ideal man, by being
someone that every man wants to be like, which is a strong individual.
Strength can be defined in many ways, either through physical or mental means. For example,
Old Spice and Powerade commercials always include men that are physically strong because
they have defined muscles and abs or are engaging in activities that make a man appear
physically strong.
In other advertisements, men are perceived as being strong by the way men present
themselves in a non-physical way.
One participant said that the men in advertisements are

strong in the sense that theyre competent in their abilities, such as being respectable, smart,
and responsible individuals that emulate what kind of man a college boy would want to become
someday. In addition, the participants all agreed that men who give off an aura of confidence
demonstrated that they would be able to be leaders to those around them.
Advertisers want to find ways to connect with their audience by creating an advertisement that
is relatable to their audience but they do not always succeed. When the participants were

21

asked if they relate to the male characters in the advertisements, there was a mixture of
responses.
When asked if the boys felt they related to the male characters in advertisements, one
participant said, yes, I do relate, but I dont want to emulate. Advertisers pick people whom
they think are the perfect example of the male persona to be in advertisements but that does
not mean that everyone watching will agree that the male character exemplifies the ideal
man. Another participant said, I notice most men are strong and I think people want to be like
the men in the ads so thats why they pick strong guys.
While some participants agreed that their desire to be a strong man allows them to relate to
the advertisement, other participants said they do not relate to these male characters. One
participant gave an example comparing a Gillette advertisement with a Doritos advertisement.
In the Gillette commercial there is a buff man with defined abs shaving his face on a beach
while the Doritos commercial shows a fat, lazy guy eating Doritos on a couch. This participant
said he does not relate to either of these ads because they both do not know the average
guy. An average guy would not shave his face on the beach or sit around all day eating chips so
these portrayals of men are not relatable.
The biggest hype for advertisements happens around the time the Super Bowl airs every
February. Advertisers pay millions of dollars for time slots during the football game because the
Super Bowl is one of the most watched events on television each year. When asked about
Super Bowl advertisements, the participants said the commercials they remembered most were
from Doritos, Budweiser, and Nationwide. The participants agreed that the pre and post
commercial hype played a role into which commercials they remembered the most.
One participant explained that a lot of the commercials started off with a story and then
introduced the product that is being sold as a way to emotionally connect with their audience.
Advertisers also used humor to connect with their audiences and the participants said that the
commercials they liked the most were humorous. In the advertisements with humor, one
participant said that advertisers used something to make the ad hilarious and make the
dominance of a man more vulnerable while using the funny, dumb guy stereotype.
In college, the consumption of alcohol is a large part of the college atmosphere. Beer
companies are one of the Super Bowls main advertisers and most beer commercials are
stereotypical representations for how a guy acts. When asked if our participants relate to beer
commercials, one participant said, no, maybe to the beer drinking to some extent, but thats
more like a caricature. College men do enjoy throwing back a few beers with their friends but

22

these advertisements are only relatable for the partying aspect, not how a guy would present
himself on a daily basis.
Overall, our participants agreed that many advertisements depict men as strong individuals but
they are not always able to relate to these characters. Various male stereotypes are present
throughout everyday advertisements but not everyone is a stereotypical male, which is why
some of college men do not relate to everyday advertisements. On the other hand, some boys
relate to the male characters in advertisements because of their desire to be like these strong
characters one day.
Perceptions and Reactions to Doves Real Strength Men+Care Advertisement
During the focus group portion of our research, we showed the Dove Men+Care commercial to
the participants. Within seconds of the commercial ending, all of the participants broke out in a
nervous giggle. The first verbal response to the commercial included an explanation of how the
commercial started off as beautiful and then was ruined by Doves attempts to connect
someone taking care of their kid directly relating to shampooing their hair. It was clear that
this group of participants was not impressed by the advertisements connection between caring
for your family and caring for your body; however, there was a lot of recognition of the
significance in the first part of the commercial. One participant stated the commercial inspires
people to be a better dad and to be a better person, and even [made him] want to drop out
of college and have kids. Although the second statement was quite possibility a reflection of
his sense of humor, there was much agreement with this statement among the other
participants.
Conversation then continued about the confusion between how the two parts connected and
the participants came to a general conclusion that the ad catches you off guard when the
product comes up because shampoo doesnt correlate with the first part of the ad about men
caring for their families, so you then forget the effectiveness and emotional connection to the
first part.
After clearly identifying the primary part of the commercial was a reflection of men who were
strong, we asked the participants about whether they agreed or disagreed with the idea that
being caring made the men strong. They all agreed that there were stereotypes used
throughout the commerciallike barbeques, being outside, and physical activitiesbut an
important insight into what made the characters strong was their selflessness and confidence.
Throughout our in depth interviews we heard various answers that explained this concept
extremely well such as someone who cares for the people who mean a lot to him when theyre
in need is someone who is strong.

23

The definition of real strength that almost every participant gave throughout the focus group
and in depth interviews consisted of doing something for the right reasons. One participant
summed this idea up by saying that strength is knowing what you believe and sticking to it. Its
about working hard to get better and reach goals. Another participant cited perseverance in
the face of adversity, as his definition of real strength. There was a trend among the
participant responses that emphasized strength coming from the ability to remain loyal to your
morals and persevering in tough times. This trend of caring for the right reasons
was the main

idea seen through all of the research regarding definitions of strength.


We ultimately wanted to know whether these participants could relate to the characters they
saw in the commercials and two advertising insights developed from this. One participant
brought up the concept of advertising to women because women are often the person who
does all of the shopping and makes the final decision on personal care products. He stated this
commercial threw him off because the main characters were people he could relate to, but he
was not used to seeing them directly targeted. The commercial made him feel like he could
relate because Doves ad reminded [him] of growing up and playing with [his] dad. He also
stated he does not see himself this way (as the father) yet, but probably will in a few years.
When a participant brought up was how Dove is known for their self-confidence and more
emotional ads from the past about inner beauty, a second insight was discovered: men seem
confident when they show they are caring for their family, whereas women are confident when
they believe they are beautiful. In fact one participant stated during an in depth interview that
Doves ad stands out as more emotional than others. This brand is usually for women. These
ads were originally targeted toward women so it is difficult to use the same strategy, but alter it
slightly to resonate with men instead. The way that Dove did this, however, is by utilizing the
idea of the family man. The man who is
caring for the right things, which means caring about
family and not necessarily looks. An overarching trend seen through all of our research is that
college aged men understand the idea of caring being real strength, but they do not have their
own family to care for yet so it is hard to create tangible results to show that they have this real
strength.
Qualitative Research Conclusion
Our qualitative research tactics of one focus group and five in-depth interviews lead us to
discover many key insights from our target audience. We learned that they associate
masculinity with being displayed as physically strong or other overused and outdated
stereotypes by the media, which they didnt view to be attainable. They saw caring roles within
masculinity to be more associated with being a father or husband, which is something they
cannot yet relate to in their current stage of life.

24

Our target audience admired traits of TV personalities, actors, or athletes in the media like
competence, humor, and intelligence. Of men depicted in advertisements, some of our
respondents related to the stereotypes presented, but did not want to emulate them.
When describing real strength, our participants agreed on terms like selflessness, confidence,
perseverance, and caring for the right reasons. They liked that Doves ad targeted men, even if
the Real Strength campaign depicts men at a stage in life that they themselves have not yet
reached.

25

26

Quantitative Research
Method
We created an online survey about portrayals of masculinity in the media and reactions to
Doves Real Strength, commercial using Qualtrics. The survey was completed by 68 men
between the ages of 18 and 22.
Objectives
The objectives of the survey were:
Objective 1:
To understand how college-aged men (ages 18-22) define masculinity.
Objective 2:
To explore what real strength means to college-aged men
Objective 3: T
o determine whether the media accurately represent 18-22 year old
males idea of masculinity
Objective 4:
To analyze how Doves campaign and messages are perceived by 18-22
year olds, since it is targeted to an older audience (25-54 year olds)

Key Findings and Insights


Question 2: Perception of Masculinity
The first question in our survey, besides the informed consent, was a set of seven statements
that help us understand our first objective: how college-aged men (ages 18-22) define
masculinity. Each statement was set up in the same format with only one word changing each
time. That format was I associate _____ with masculinity. We utilized a Likert scale with this
question so the respondents could reply with an answer between strongly disagree, all the way
to strongly agree.
Fig 10: Word associations with masculinity

27

For the first statement in the question, I associate confidence with masculinity, there was a
wide range of answers; the standard deviation was 1.14, which is a large spread for a question
with only 5 possible responses. Confidence is something that is a trending at the moment.
Many commercials feature it as a something that is a rising admirable trait, so this could lead to
the still mix opinions of the trait.
The second statement of the question, I associate caring with masculinity, received an even
larger spread of responses than the first. This was interesting because the Dove campaign
revolves around caring, so this could either be seen as a negative because there is not an
established positive opinion of caring; but, it also could be seen as positive because it is an area
to expand the perception of caring.
The third topic was athleticism. This received pretty average scores when it came to the mean
score (3.72) and standard deviation (.99). It would be expected that this would score higher but
there is also the idea that females who play sports and are athletic are not necessarily
masculine.
Intelligence was the fourth topic covered and its mean score was 3.26. This was a lower mean
score meaning the respondents did not necessarily agree with this statement as much as they
did to the other statements. Although the idea of intelligence is something that is valued, it is
not necessarily something that is considered masculine.
There was a trend for the average response to be between Neither Agree nor Disagree and
Agree (the mean score for all of the responses was 3.56) with the exclusion of the statement
I associate fatherhood with masculinity which exceeded the Agree marker and received the
only average above 4.0 (the marker for Agree). With this being the only statement with a
mean score over 4.0, it shows that the role of being a father is something that is seen as
something that makes you more of a man. The role of a father includes mental strength, self
control, and commitment, as wells as several other traits that are often associated with being a
strong person. It also is the only topic that is exclusive to men within the question.
Another statement that had results that almost did not fit within this Neither Agree nor
Disagree and Agree range was the statement I associate humor with masculinity. This
statement received the lowest mean score, however, it was also the only statement that
received no Strongly Disagree responses. This shows that many people were not passionate
about this topic and chose a middle answer. This can be associated with the idea that humor is
something silly and not serious, which the rest of the statements happen to be, yet it also takes
confidence and intelligence to be humorous in some ways.

28

The final statement was I associate respect with masculinity. This received a mean score of
3.68 which means that people generally agreed with this statement. The strongly agree
category had the most responses for this statement (20), which was rare in this questionmost
of the statements had a bell shaped curve to their answers, with Agree and Disagree
containing the most responses.
Question 3: How Men are Portrayed in the Media
The next part dealt with our third objective: whether or not the media accurately represents
our target audiences idea of masculinity. We first asked the respondents to write down words
they associated with how men are portrayed in commercials in general to discern how they felt
about this topic before watching Doves Real Strength, commercial. Out of 30 total responses
for this specific question, we received a variety of responses, from positive words like
confident, outgoing, and independent, to negative words like bald, mean, and
stupid. The word strong, was mentioned 11 times, the most of any words, with confident
coming in second place with five mentions.
We divided the responses into similar categories as we did in our qualitative research. We
started with physical traits. Words like handsome, and athletic, stood out, with many more
words associated with positive aspects of being good-looking rather than unattractive qualities.
Out of all the words, the only negative physical trait was fat, which was mentioned once. In
all of the word clouds featured below, the bigger words represent the amount of times they
were mentioned by respondents.
Fig 11: Physical Traits

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The character traits, however, were divided evenly between positive and negative aspects. For
the positive traits, confident, funny, charismatic, and similar words were the most
popular. The negative traits painted a different picture of men that were stupid, ignorant,
and unrealistic.
Fig 12: Positive Character Traits

Fig 13: Negative Character Traits

An interesting idea emerged out of this activity: our target audience views men in commercials
positively in regard to their physical appearance, but are more divided between positive and
negative characteristics in regards to the traits of men portrayed in commercials.

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Question 4: How our target audience views men portrayed in commercials


Fig 14: Commercials depictions of men

We continued with the objective of whether or not the media accurately represents our target
audiences idea of masculinity with our next questions. We provided a sliding scale from 1 to 10
for our respondents to rate how they agreed with statements regarding men in
commercials.This graph only goes to 8 because that was the highest value put in by one of our
respondents.
We started by asking how much they agreed or disagreed with the statement that commercial
depictions of mens behavior was accurate. As pictured above, the average value was 3.45 out
of 10. This means that most of our respondents chose a number less than 5 to reflect their less
that neutral feelings toward our question.
We asked how much respondents agreed with the statement that commercials depict men they
would look up to. These results were very similar with the first question, with an average score
of 3.43 out of 10
.
The next two questions asked if our audience liked how men are portrayed in
the media and if they related to that portrayal. The answers here continued with the theme of
dissatisfaction: an average value of 3.45 again for the first question, and 3.11 for the second
.
The last question in this section asked about masculinity. This response was greater than any of
the previous ones, with an average value of 5.97 out of 10 for how much our respondents
agreed with the statement that men portrayed in commercials are masculine. This is our only
answer that shows a positive response (above a 5).
This information displays an overall tone from our target audience of disagreement with the
accuracy, likability, and relatability of how men are portrayed in commercials. They agreed
more with the idea that men were portrayed as masculine than anything about relatability.
Although our audience described men in commercials with positive traits regarding their
physical stature, their choice words for how men act in commercials showed both ends of the

31

spectrum, including many undesirable traits. This information contributes to the idea that men
ages 18-22 dont agree with how they are portrayed in commercials, and that the idea of
masculinity, is still misunderstood and misrepresented in the media.
Question 5: Super Bowl Views
The Super Bowl is one of the most watched televised events every year and it is arguably the
biggest day of the year for advertisers. The Super Bowl attracts a wide range of audiences,
including a majority of college-aged men. We asked our survey participants if they watched the
2015 Super Bowl and a large majority, 79 percent, of the 68 responders did watch the Super
Bowl.
We used this question as a contingency question. If participants answered yes, they were
directed to a question about recalling advertisements from the Super Bowl. If participants
answered no, they were directed to a video, which was a 30-second version of Doves Real
Strength commercial.
Question 6: Recalling Super Bowl Advertisements
If participants answered yes to having watched the Super Bowl, they were then asked to recall
which advertisements they remembered seeing while watching the Super Bowl. We picked
eight Super Bowl commercials that all gained a lot of media coverage and asked participants to
check off how many of the eight they remembered seeing.
The advertisements we asked our participants to recall were by Doritos, Nationwide, Geico,
Budweiser, Dove, T-Mobile, Fiat, and Always.
Of the 55 responses recorded, the advertisement that had the most recall was the Budweiser
Lost Dog commercial. With an overwhelming majority of 80 percent recall for that
advertisement, that was the most remembered advertisement by a wide margin. The Geico
Push It commercial received a 56 percent recall and the Always Like A Girl commercial
received a 47 percent recall.
Doves Real Strength commercial had the second lowest recall rate at only 35 percent. That
percentage is equivalent to only 19 participants recalling seeing Doves commercial during the
Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the high percentage of participants who said they watched the
Super Bowl did not recall seeing the commercial.
Question 7: Commercial Reaction
While sticking to our fourth objective, after the participants answered the Super Bowl
questions, we asked our participants to watch a 30-second version of Doves Real Strength

32

commercial. Even though the Dove commercial that aired during the Super Bowl was a
one-minute version, we believed that our participants would be more willing to watch a
30-second commercial in its entirety as opposed to a one-minute long commercial in this
setting.
Following watching the commercial, we asked our participants to rate their initial reaction to
the commercial (our fourth objective) on a scale of 1 to 5 using a smiley face scale. The five
levels included a large frown (1), a half frown (2), a neutral face (3), a half smile (4), and a large
smile (5). There were 58 responses to this question so we are assuming that all 58 respondents
watched the commercial in its entirety before answering this question.
Most participants rated the commercial with either a half smile (4) or a large smile (5). The half
smile generated 40 percent of the responses while the large smile generated 38 percent of the
responses meaning that 78 percent of the respondents had a positive initial reaction to the
commercial.
Only 5 percent of respondents rated the commercial with either a large frown (1) or a half
frown (2). The neutral face, representing an indifferent feeling toward the commercial,
represented 17 percent of respondents.
The mean value of how the participants initially felt about the commercial was 4.07. This
statistic shows that a majority of college-aged men liked what they saw in the Dove
commercial.
Fig 15: Initial reaction to Doves Real Strength Commercial

The graph only goes up to 50 percent because our highest percentage for a single response was
40 percent.

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Questions 8 & 9: Real Strength


To explore what real strength means to college-aged men (our second objective), we asked
our survey participants to write a few words that they associate with the term. We received
162 words and short phrases in response. We sorted these replies into physical and
personality traits.
Out of the 162 words and phrases generated, only seven were coded as being strictly physical
descriptions. The most common were muscle and lifting. These can be seen in Figure 16.
None of these words seemed to be negative in nature, and seemed to describe things men did
or words describing their stature or physique.
Fig 16: Physical traits associated with real strength

We coded the next portion of responses as words associated with personality and character
traits (see Figure 17). Out of this set of 145 words, the most common were caring (7),
confidence (7), integrity (7), respect (6), power (6), honesty (5), and love (4). These
answers revealed that our target audience most strongly associated caring with real
strength. This was an interesting finding, as this was the main idea behind Doves Men+Care
campaign. Although their original advertising was aimed at an older demographic aged 25-54,
their insight clearly resonated with a portion of college males ages 18-22.

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Fig 17: Character traits associated with real strength

The remainder of the responses were whole phrases that our participants associated with real
strength. These gave further insight into the minds of our target audience, revealing some
described real strength as strength of character, caring for and serving others, standing up for
what is right, overcoming adversity, and being who you are without compromise. Their exact
responses can be seen below:
Real strength is being able to weather any storm without compromising your values
focus on family. kids before all else. it's cool to be a good dad
Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the
sculptor.
serving others
Being nice
Real strength is about who you are on the inside. Not the physical aspects of who you
are.
Standing up for and doing what is right and moral.
The ability to own up and be the person you are no matter the circumstance.
Strength protects the powerless, Strength perseveres
pushing through adversity
A big heart

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We continued to focus on caring in our next set of questions, which addressed objective 4: To
analyze how Doves campaign and messages are perceived by 18-22 year olds, since they are
targeted to an older audience (25-54 year olds). In this section, we asked respondents to rate
their agreement with four questions on a sliding scale of 1-10 (see Figure 18).
Fig 18: Real Strength responses

We started with the statement caring for others makes a man strong. Participants responded
with the highest level of agreement on average, with a mean score of 8.43. They also
responded positively to the statement caring for oneself makes a man strong with a mean
value of 7.69. These responses supported what we found from our last objective: On average,
our college aged participants associated real strength with caring.
Our respondents also agreed with the statement I liked the way men were portrayed in this
commercial with a mean response of 7.78. The lowest average response was to the statement
I relate to the way men are portrayed in this commercial with a mean score of 6.72. This
displayed that although our respondents liked the way men were portrayed, they didnt relate
to them as strongly. This could be caused by a potential disconnect between the way Dove
portrayed caring and our target audiences perception. There is an age gap between the
demographic Dove was targeting and our respondents, which could explain this difference. This
discrepancy is minor, but could be worth exploring further.
Conclusion
On average, our target audience tended to respond either neither agree nor disagree or
agree when asked whether or not they associate with masculinity. Most of the statements
had a bell shaped curve to their answers with agree and disagree containing the most
responses, showing the lack of confidence in their perception of masculinity. Our target

36

audience did identify fatherhood as a masculine topic, which can be associated with the idea
that it is exclusive to men, and also requires an increased level of strength mentally.
Our target audience described men in commercials with positive terms about physical
appearance, but both negative and positive terms in regard to their characteristics. We learned
that this population of men doesnt like or relate to the depiction of men in commercials,
although they are willing say that these men are masculine.
Our target audience described real strength in positive terms and focused on character and
personality traits much more than physical qualities. We learned that this group of college aged
men associated caring with strength most strongly, and also valued confidence, integrity,
and respect. These responses were very in line with the research and insights driving Doves
Men+Care campaign, which found that men ages 25-54 associate strength with caring.
We also found that our target audience strongly associated strength with caring and liked the
way men were portrayed in Doves commercial. They didnt relate to the way men were
portrayed in this commercial as strongly, displaying a disconnect between Doves messaging
and our targets perception of real strength and caring.
When the participants were asked to watch a 30-second version of the Dove Real Strength
commercial, an overwhelming majority of the respondents had a positive initial reaction to the
advertisement. This supports our fourth objective by finding out how college-aged men (18-22
year olds) perceive and react to an advertisement targeted toward older men (25-54 year olds).

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38

Implications and Strategy Recommendation


The research we conducted this semester has provided many insights into our target market
and their views on masculinity, men in the media, and what it really means to be strong. We
hope the data we have collected and analyzed will help Dove continue their Real Strength
campaign by targeting a younger age group of men who hold the same dissatisfaction with how
commercials in general depict their gender. The implementation of a new campaign can create
a new genre of commercials that more accurately represent the feelings of the target audience
and ultimately make commercials meaningful instead of stereotypical.
Our first recommendation is to repeat this study. Our scope was relatively small, and in order to
best reflect a generalized population, a much larger and diverse sample group is needed. We
would recommend obtaining a more graphically, ethnically, and economically diverse group of
participants to better understand our age group.
Our focus group and survey found that men ages 18-22 do not relate to nor like how they are
portrayed in the media, which proves that this age group has a similar response to Doves initial
study with 25-54 year-olds.
Our research revealed that our respondents associated real strength with caring, as Dove
intended, but did not relate to the men in the Real Strength commercial as strongly because
they are not fathers or husbands with families of their own. This disconnect (along with a
general inability to relate to men in other commercials) creates the opportunity to reach this
younger demographic.
To our audience, real strength has a lot of connotations. It means caring for others, doing
something for the right reasons, working hard, persevering through tough times, and remaining
loyal to your morals.
Dove can use this research to expand their campaign to directly target men ages 18-22. These
men value confidence, humor, intelligence, and competence as strong traits that are likable
and relatable. Dove could create an advertisement that depicts a funny, intelligent, and
competent young man being perseverant, selfless, or demonstrating high morals in a more
relatable situation to an 18-22 year olds stage of life.

39

Appendix
Informed Consent Form

Qualitative Interview Guide


Tell me about how you spend your free time? Do you watch TV? Pay attention to
advertisements?
Elicitation device
Who are your favorite male characters/athletes/personalities? Describe them. What
traits do you like? Do you consider them strong? If so, what makes them strong?
Objectives 1,2

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Do you see men portrayed as strong in TV commercials? What makes them strong? Do
you relate to these depictions?
Objectives 1, 2, 3
What words do you associate with masculinity? Strength? Being manly?
Projection device: word cloud
Objective 3
Did you watch the Super Bowl this year? Did any ads stand out? Why?
Objectives 3, 4
How do you feel males are depicted in advertisements? Do you relate to this? Why or
why not? In what ways?
Objectives 2, 4
What does real strength mean to you? What is an example of a time youve seen real
strength?
Objectives 2
SHOW REAL STRENGTH MATERIALS
Describe what you see. Does caring make a man strong?
Does Doves ad demonstrate real strength? Is strength associated with caring?
Objectives 2, 4
Quantitative Survey
Definition of Masculinity:
Objective 1:
To understand how college-aged men (ages 18-22) define masculinity.
1. Choose the answer that best represents your level of agreement or disagreement with
the following statements:
a. I associate
confidence
with masculinity
b. I associate
caring
with masculinity
c. I associate
athleticism
with masculinity
d. I associate
intelligence
with masculinity
e. I associate
fatherhood
with masculinity
f. I associate
humor
with masculinity
g. I associate
respect
with masculinity
i.
Strongly disagree
ii.
Disagree
iii.
Neither agree nor disagree
iv.
Agree
v.
Strongly agree
Commercial Perceptions:
Objective 3:
To determine whether the media accurately represent 18-22 year old males idea
of masculinity

41

2. Write three words that you associate with how men are portrayed in commercials
3. Rate on a scale (with 0 being low and 10 being high) how much you agree or disagree
with the following statements:
a. Commercials depictions of men accurately portray the way I think men behave.
b. Commercials depict men that I look up to.
c. I like how men are portrayed in commercials
d. I relate to how men are portrayed in commercials
e. I think men are portrayed as masculine in commercials
Dove Questions
4. Did you watch the Super Bowl this year? Yes/ No
a. If no is selected, skip to Dove video
b. If yes is selected, go to next Super Bowl question
c. Contingency questions
i.
Which of these brands advertisements do you remember? (Check all that
apply)
1. Doritos: Middle Seat
2. Nationwide: I Died From an Accident
3. Geico: Push It
4. Budweiser: Lost Dog
5. Dove: Real Strength
6. T-Mobile: Kims Data Stash
7. Fiat: Blue Pill
8. Always: Like A Girl
Please watch this 30 second commercial:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOhlRQ9d9hY
Perception of Real Strength:
Objective 4:
To analyze how Doves campaign and messages are perceived by 18-22 year olds,
since it is targeted to an older audience (25-54 year olds)
Objective 2: To explore what real strength means to college-aged men
5. Whats your initial reaction to this commercial? (Rate on a smiley face scale, 1-5)
a. large frown (1) / half frown (2) / neutral face (3) / half smile (4) / large smile (5)
6. Write three words that you associate with real strength
7. Rate on a scale (1-10) how much you agree or disagree with this statement:
a. Caring for others makes a man strong
b. Caring for oneself makes a man strong
c. I liked the way men were portrayed in this commercial

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d. I relate to the way men are portrayed in this commercial


Demographics
8. Which gender do you identify with?
a. Male
b. Female
9. What is your age?
a. Under 18, 18-22, 23+
10. Whats your classification in college?
a. 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year, 5th year+, I am not enrolled as a student

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Works Cited
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