Dove “As Early As Five” campaign targets race-based hair discrimination

"as early as five" Dove crown act campaign

Dove has released a new US campaign, called “As Early As Five”, inspired by the many real stories of children and adults who have experienced hair discrimination and bias in schools and the workplace.

“As Early As Five”

Created by WPP agencies Ogilvy and Swift with valuable consultant input from JOY Collective, the bold new campaign is part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to take action, raise awareness and lead on the issue of race-based hair discrimination and advocate for the passing of The CROWN Act – legislation to make race-based hair discrimination illegal in all 50 US states.

The campaign follows new research from Dove showing the alarmingly early age at which Black girls experience hair discrimination in schools. 

The ‘Dove 2021 CROWN Research Study for Girls’ study reveals that 53% of Black mothers in the US, whose daughters have experienced hair discrimination, say their daughters experienced the discrimination as early as 5 years old, and approximately 86% of Black teens who experience discrimination have endured it by the age of 12.

“As Early As Five” centres on a film which depicts three scenarios of race-based hair discrimination experienced by a girl starting in elementary school at age 5, in high school and into adulthood – all inspired by real life events.

The film is directed by writer/director Aisha. 

In an introductory video accompanying the film, Aisha explains the inspiration behind the film, saying: “With this film, I wanted to tell a story about a Black woman going on a journey and staying rooted in her self love about her hair that her father taught her.”

With the campaign, Dove aims to spark urgency in parents, school administrators and advocates to sign The CROWN Act petition.

Dove As Early As five campaign
Sign it: The Crown Act will make discrimination illegal, and rightly so.

The campaign launched on 25 January with a PR and social influencer campaign, followed by the launch of the online film on 1 February.

Alessandro Manfredi, Dove’s Global Executive Vice President said: “As Early As Five is a continuation of Dove’s longstanding efforts to contest harmful beauty standards.  

“Dove believes Black women and girls should have the freedom to wear their hair how they choose without the fear of job loss or education. 

“As CROWN Coalition co-founders committed to ending race-based hair discrimination nationwide, we’ll continue to take action to help protect the 2.3 million children nationwide who are most vulnerable to race-based hair discrimination and are currently unprotected by the law”.

Daniel Fisher, Ogilvy Global Executive Creative Director Unilever and Special Projects, WPP, said of the work, “It’s impossible to indicate how important work like this is and that it is presented in creative and powerful ways to share a clear message. 

“Showing this story and knowing how it will be recognised by so many people is a delicate balance. 

“Aisha’s beautiful direction and lead on this work gives me hope that more organisations and educational establishments will do the right thing and sign the CROWN Act petition.”