Gabey Goh
Aug 15, 2016

The secret search lives of Australian girls

A campaign for Dove by J Walter Thompson Sydney uses online search as a prompt to get parents and girls talking about self-esteem issues.

A new campaign from Dove in Australia seeks to highlight the issue of low self-esteem among girls in the country.

The campaign, called ‘Searching’, features an online film developed by J Walter Thompson (JWT) Sydney utilising insights gained through research by Dove regarding Australian girls online search history.

The ad shows searches ranging from 'how to kiss a boy' to whether teens can get cosmetic surgery. It then asks parents, ‘What is your daughter searching for?’

The campaign follows a recently announced partnership between the beauty brand and Coles to reach 100,000 Australian children, and seeks to engage customers with information about the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) while supporting the Butterfly Foundation to present the programme in 150 schools.

The DSEP aims to deliver self-esteem education to young people aged 8 to 17 through lessons in schools, workshops for youth groups, and online resources for parents.

Tessa Black, senior brand manager, Unilever:

Dove is well known for its stance on Real Beauty challenging the perception of women in media based on the belief that beauty should be a source of confidence, and not anxiety. But few people know that Dove is also committed to ensuring that the next generation of girls grow up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look. The Dove Self-Esteem Programme goes into school to help kids find greater self-esteem and realise their full potential. We hope Searching generates some important family discussions, and ongoing support of this important dove self-esteem programme.

Simon Langley, ECD, JWT Sydney:

At face value ‘what is your daughter searching for?’ talks to girls’ online searches, but the real lesson is about their emotional needs. Dove’s research shows that girls use the internet to research body confidence issues rather than talk to their parents. As a result, this is a question that most parents simply don’t know the answer to. Australian teens and families are already bombarded with messages about beauty, so Searching was specifically developed to cut through that noise to generate some important discussion about low self-esteem—and present the reality in a way that hits home.

Campaign Asia-Pacific’s view: Overall, great effort to highlight just how many insecurities teenagers, especially females, grapple with and how more needs to be done to support them. We like the approach of the online film, which centres on educating parents about just what their teen daughters are concerned about as they mature into adults; it’s always heart-warming to see reactions and hear vows of needing to do more to support. It’s also nice to see the use of search history data in a more positive tone, given that the phrase “search history” usually conjures up a variety of stigmatised and sometimes, illegal pursuits.


Client: Unilever
Vice president & chief marketing officer: John Broome
Senior brand manager: Tessa Black
Assitant brand manager: Gillian Choo

Creative: JWT Sydney
ECD: Simon Langley
Copywriter: Giles Clayton
Art director: Simon Hayes
Executive planning director: Angela Morris
GAD: Milly Hall / Ana Lynch

Director: Cybele Malinowski
Production Company: Network

Online Film
Director, Online Film: Jack Naylor
Production company: Collider
Producer: Amanda Slatyer for JWT, Aineslee Littlemore for Collider
Editor: Alex Feegans
Post production: Resolution Design
Audio postproduction: Sound Reservoir

Media agency: PHD


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