Dove ran a national ad campaign that celebrates female athletes, “Hard Knocks,” in Super Bowl LVIII. Accompanied by the song “It’s the Hard Knock Life” from the popular musical Annie, “Hard Knocks” shows a montage of young female athletes falling as they practice and compete in various sports.


Halfway through the spot, the ad cuts to a white screen with the phrase “The knocks don’t stop girls from playing sports, low body confidence does.” Dove cites research they collected in collaboration with Nike, that 45% of girls drop out of sports by the age of 14 due to low body confidence. The poignant spot raises awareness for Dove’s Body Confident Sport program, and encourages viewers to keep girls active by supporting body confidence.

Want more information on trends within the wellness industry? Check out our Personal Care: An Industry Snapshot report for insights and brand data. 

This is not the first time that Dove has championed body positivity. The personal care brand has worked towards a more inclusive understanding of beauty for about two decades. This ad successfully connected with viewers by aligning their ad creative with the brand’s genuine values.

Dove’s Emotional Attributes Among Female US Adults – Pre Vs Post Super Bowl

QuestBrand. Base: Female US adults. Pre: 1/1/24-2/11/24, n=452. Post: 2/12/24-2/15/24, n=217.

Using data from QuestBrand by The Harris Poll, we can see that “Hard Knocks’” message resonated with female consumers. When we compare the emotional attributes that US women use to describe the Dove brand pre-Super Bowl (1/1/24-2/11/24) versus post-Super Bowl (2/12/24-2/25/24), women more often described Dove as “trustworthy” (+9.2) and “wholesome” (+7.9) after the Big Game.

This positive growth highlights the power of maintaining a consistent brand identity. Dove’s campaign aligns with the brand’s basic values. Rather than simply creating an eye-catching Super Bowl ad, Dove leaned into its brand identity as a champion of body positivity. The personal care brand was rewarded for its authenticity with increases in positive consumer sentiment.

What else did US adults think about Dove’s Super Bowl ad? Check out our Brand Bowl 2024 report, which tracks the impact that this year’s Super Bowl commercials had on advertisers’ brand health. Dove made several appearances in this year’s report for growth across several brand equity metrics.


Catherine Ake

Senior Marketing and Content Strategist

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