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Stand tall and wear your hair as you like is Dove’s message to women

The campaign #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi 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

Click on the Image to watch the TVC.

Beauty brand Dove has taken forward its long-standing narrative on societal benchmarks of acceptability by encouraging women to talk about stereotypes attached to their hair. Dove’s #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi campaign highlights the biases women face solely because of how they wear their hair and urges them to break free from the shackles of a narrow perception of beauty.

For most Indian women, being told to grow their hair long and black is the earliest memory of ‘beautiful’ imbibed in them. Slowly, the stereotype becomes jarring and evident as most movies, advertisements and societal norms depict long, straight black hair to be the symbol of beautiful women, concretising the biases that exist. For instance, an earlier study by the brand, in collaboration with Hansa Research, found 71% of Indians think short, coloured and curly hair is less beautiful than long and straight hair. This approach creates a tendency for women to measure their beauty on the scale of social norms, making them feel under-confident and diffident. The typecasting limits choices for women who conform to pre-defined standards of ‘beauty’ to be socially acceptable.


Dove’s new campaign, developed by Ogilvy India, is an endeavour towards addressing these archaic, pre-defined stereotypes and encouraging women to stand tall and wear their hair as they like #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi.

Harman Dhillon, Vice President, Hair Care, Hindustan Unilever, 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.”


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. In an inspiring and moving narrative, it draws focus to the conditioning that women undergo, early-on, towards hair beauty norms. Whether it is short or grey hair, curly or coloured hair, it is the time women are the creators of their beauty standards and feel free to choose for themselves, that reflects their true personality.

Zenobia Pithawalla, Senior Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy India (West), said, “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. 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. These are their stories. Stories that helped us arrive at our campaign idea, #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi. What better day, than Independence Day, to share these stories of freedom and diversity with every woman of India.”

With campaigns like #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi, Dove hopes to ignite a conversation among women, across generations, on experiencing biases and the need to overcome them – to inspire others who have held back so far. #AapkeBaalAapkiMarzi gently pushes for a change in outlook – one that is more accepting of women without pre-conceived notions, allows them to make their own choices without the fear of being judged and takes a step towards truly liberating women.






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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