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Building body confidence: Dove’s campaign for girls in Saudi Arabia

By Jalaja Ramanunni

In line with the 2030 vision, businesses in Saudi Arabia have been launching initiatives to encourage women to achieve their true potential.

Creative communications network Memac Ogilvy and Dove have teamed up for the Self Esteem Project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The goal of this campaign is to reduce beauty pressures and societal expectations faced by girls and help provide a more positive transition to womanhood.

The film features young girls from different backgrounds in the Kingdom sharing their interactions while transitioning to womanhood. The campaign was created as a a response to a survey which found that societal pressures and expectations to look a certain way materialise almost overnight after hitting puberty and often come from their closest social circles. Sometimes, this pressure can cause females to alter their behavior and image at a young age.

The message is of the video is to help build girls’ self-esteem and confidence. Viewers are directed to a webpage where they can download a Confidence Kit, produced by experts in psychology, that provides parents with guidance on how to help their child to build body confidence.

Over 1,000 Saudi Arabian women and girls (pre-teen and teen girls) were surveyed and analysed by Dove and behavioural experts. About 73 per cent girls reported feeling pressure to conform to narrow beauty standards at the onset of puberty, according to the survey, and 76 per cent want adults to be better equipped to educate them about body image.

A paid campaign supported by a multilingual tagline is increasing the campaign’s awareness across social media: #WelcomeToWomanhood / #مبروك_كبرتي.

The film features the artwork of Saudi artist, Noura Bint Saida. The campaign makes use of influencer marketing with regional influencers like Ascia, Basma el Khereiji, Raha Moharrak and Adwa Al Dakheel who are carrying Dove’s campaign message forward.