Men aren’t seeing enough bromance in popular culture.
That’s what Dove Men+Care found in its research surrounding male friendships.
According to Jennifer Bremner, director of marketing at Unilever, which owns the men’s grooming brand, 74 percent of men agreed that popular culture does not give enough credit to the support and care involved in male friendships.
“Men today place a high value on their friendships and acknowledge the importance, positivity and care that they bring to their lives,” Bremmer told WWD.
Dove Men+Care used these findings as the basis of its new campaign, “Bonds of Real Strength,” which features Jim Calhoun, the former head coach of the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, and Kevin Ollie, Calhoun’s successor who previously played for the team. The ad will appear on digital and social media platforms during the 2016 NCAA March Madness tournament, an event rife with opportunities for male bonding.
In the video clip, Calhoun and Ollie recount an on-court hug that happened during the 1995 NCAA tournament when UConn lost to the University of California, Los Angeles. This was Ollie’s last game as a UConn player. He went on to play in the National Basketball Association with various teams.
“While sports heroes are often considered superhuman and stoic, the longstanding friendship between Jim Calhoun and Kevin Ollie exemplifies that in reality, it’s the impact of their caring sides — both on and off the court — that show their real heroics,” Bremner said. “Men already know the mentorship role Calhoun has played in Ollie’s life, but they may not know that the two men say ‘I love you’ when they get off the phone, or about a half-court hug the two shared that carried more weight than any championship.”
This is the sixth season Dove Men+Care has been a partner of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. The brand previously tackled another aspect of masculinity in an ad campaign that featured NFL players Jordy Nelson, a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, and Carson Palmer, a quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.
See the video below: