Doctors and nurses wear the raw, red indentations from their masks and other protective equipment like battle scars in this simple, stirring tribute from Dove.
Devised by Ogilvy Canada, the :50 below, dubbed "Courage," presents a stream of such faces, weathered and weary after spending untold hours in ERs, hospital wards and negative pressure rooms fighting the pandemic:
Tired eyes tell the story: Though the war rages on, their spirits remain unbowed. In the end, this message appears: "Courage is beautiful. As a thank you, Dove is donating care products to front-line heath care workers in Canada." (Expressive eyes also feature prominently in this COVID-19-related spot from Thrive Cannabis Marketplace, while Facebook proffers faces to convey strength and joy in troubled times.)
All told, Unilever, the brand's parent, says it will contribute $153 million to the global cause through donations of soap, sanitizer, bleach and food.
To collect the images, Dove reached out directly to real doctors and nurses, usually on Instagram, and asked for permission to use their photos. Creatively, the brand strove to juxtaposes the duress written on the features of these heroic men and women with the underlying grace and compassion of their actions.
"Courage" marks a stirring extension of themes explored in Dove's vaunted "Real Beauty" campaign, which bores beneath the surface to examine abiding value within. Here, that ethos informs a powerful paean to professionals who selflessly face deadly risks to save and comfort others.
"With this film, we want to thank front-line healthcare workers for the courage they have shown every day since the outbreak started," says Divya Singh, marketing manager for Dove masterbrand and skin cleansing products. "We want the whole world to join us in saying thank you."
The video appears across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and various TV platforms, in both its full-length version and 15-second edits.