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New Dove Men+Care initiative supports dads’ mental wellbeing ahead of Father’s Day

With a growing body of research pointing to the potentially dangerous implications of the pandemic on mental health, Dove Men+Care unveils a new Father’s Day campaign focused on providing dads with resources to help them care for themselves — so they can offer better care for their kids.

Dove’s marketing efforts have made headlines for years — and as recently as April — for their notably outspoken positions on social issues ranging from body image and mental health to gender equity and inclusivity. Today, Dove Men+Care — the branch of the beauty behemoth dedicated specifically to men’s-marketed products — is back with not only a new ad campaign, but a handful of new partnerships and a resource hub designed to connect dads with resources on everything from meditation to paternity leave, just in time for Father’s Day on June 20.

The core focus of the new initiative is supporting the mental health needs of fathers everywhere. “This year has been especially challenging for families and caregivers as they have been navigating the balance of work, home and other responsibilities,” said Carlos Gil, global brand vice president at Dove Men+Care in a statement. “We know how important a dad’s care is and the transformational effect that care has on everyone around him.”

And Gil may be right, according to recent research conducted by Dove Men+Care in conjunction with Promundo-US. The study reveals that men who engage in holistic care that prioritizes physical, social and mental health may be better equipped to have interpersonal relationships that are more balanced. Men who feel that they practice this kind of holistic care are more than twice as likely to report splitting housework equally with their partners.

But it’s not just adult relationships that are positively impacted; the research also indicates that when sons see their fathers participating in housework in this way, they are 1.5 times more likely to partake in unpaid care work within their homes. Plus, daughters who witness their dads engaging in household chores are more inclined to work outside of the home and seek out job opportunities that challenge gender stereotypes.

“A storybook surprise,” the campaign’s hero film, follows the story of three dads who are surprised by their families — and children’s book author and illustrator Keith Negley. They find themselves represented as characters in the storybook Dads (They Care a Lot). The campaign was created by BBD Perfect Storm’s men’s marketing arm New Macho.

Within the new resource hub on the Dove Men+Care site, users can download Negley’s book, Dads (They Care a Lot). Further, they can access additional resources including specially curated meditations through the brand’s partnership with Headspace as well as a YouTube series called #DadsCare in which real dads offer quick tutorials and ‘how-to’s on topics ranging from managing temper tantrums to talking to children about diversity. The hub also includes resources and stories on the value of paternity leave.

“This Father’s Day,” Gil said in the statement, “we hope to not only celebrate caring dads, but more importantly support them with valuable tools to better care for themselves and those around them.”

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