Gold Spike
Product / ServiceDOVE MENS + CARE
CategoryA06. Use of Talent
Idea Creation OCTAGON Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production OCTAGON Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Lizi Hamer Octagon Regional Creative Director
Ethan McLean Milkmoney Senior Director
Ben Hartman Octagon Managing Director
Matt Taylor Milkmoney Executive Producer
Ian Davidson Octagon Account Director
David Gregory Octagon Account Manager
Andrew Clarke Octagon Head of Agency
John McKeon Unilever Brand Manager
Charlotte O'Rourke Milkmoney Producer
Aaron McLisky Milkmoney Director Of Photography
Jay Hall Milkmoney Editor

The Campaign

David Pocock was the key to the successful delivery of our Strength to Care story. He spoke to an audience not traditionally open to conversations about masculinity and care. But he was not to be just a 'face'. Notoriously reclusive and private, our creative team and production partners created an environment in which David was comfortable to share, at length, many of his closest and personal thoughts on masculinity and care. We worked with David through a series of workshops, to better understood the motivations behind his beliefs, and pieced together through film, how these elements of care away from the field makes him so prolific on the field. David's stories - in his own words - also gave our campaign, credibility, recognition, substance and engagement in the rugby community. A community historically resistant to conversations on the subject.

Creative Execution

We had found the perfect guy, but at first glance, the perfect guy wasn’t likely to work with us. In order to get Pocock’s support for the campaign, we had to undertake a very personal process, demonstrating how the brand aligns with his beliefs. David had refused many ambassador opportunities in the past - his intense moral compass making traditional approaches useless. Dove's track record of honesty and reality in advertising with 'Like a Girl' and 'Campaign for Real Beauty' provided us the proof we needed to convince David to work with us. It wasn’t the pay check for David. It wasn’t a profile opportunity. This was an opportunity for him to share what he cares about in a way that he felt comfortable, confident and proud of. Not at all your traditional celebrity endorsement, but one for which the hard work and effort has paid off.

The creative and media placement strategy meant our message resonated immediately with rugby fans. Hearing these stories from a hero in such a relevant environment (live sport) ensured they were open to the challenging message. Dove and Pocock’s stories have sparked instant debate. Positive articles about Homophobia, Mental Health and Masculinity. We created newsworthy attention being featured on Sky News, Channel 10, SBS and a range of local channels. We felt the force of a national standing beside David Pocock posts #IStandWithPocock and I have the #StrengthToCare The conversation about traditional Aussie masculinity has taken its first very big hit - which almost half of the Aussie population hearing and discussing the campaign.

Dove wanted to challenge traditional stereotypes of Masculinity. So we needed to grab our audience – Aussie Blokes - by the collar. We wanted to hit them where we knew we had their attention. Via the sport they care most about. Rugby. So we convinced the most interesting, entertaining (and introverted) Wallaby to tell his stories of strength. Because introverts often speak the loudest.

We were seeking to address the unbalanced perceptions of masculinity in Australia, but our tool was arguably the most masculine sport of all. Rugby. How do we deliver a message via a sport that is the antithesis of what the brand was trying to land in its creative strategy? We explored the world of rugby and uncovered a player who: (1) Was an active campaigner against climate change, recently being arrested for a protest outside a mine (2) Refused to marry his partner until his gay friends were able to do the same in Australia (3) Is known as an incredibly compassionate, strong, socially conscience person A man who lived his life with 'Strength to Care'. A perfect star and curator for our stories. David Pocock.


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