The 30-second ad, called Hard Knocks, amplifies the finding that 45% of young girls drop out of sports programs due to low body confidence. It will run during the first quarter of the Big Game.
“The emotional trauma young girls can face in a sporting environment, during a time when their body is changing, is sometimes greater than any physical knock they may sustain playing sports,” said Daniel Fisher, global executive creative director at Ogilvy, Dove’s creative agency partner for the campaign. “The whacks of a failed landing in gymnastics, nor the hard tackles of soccer are the primary driver in making girls drop out of sports by age 14, it’s low body confidence. “
The spot opens with clips of girls taking tumbles while playing sports. Halfway through the ad, viewers are introduced to a young swimmer looking at herself in the mirror, radiating discomfort about how she looks in the one-piece swimsuit she’s wearing for practice.
The girl overcomes those thoughts by the end of the spot when she exits the locker room with her goggles and swim cap on and cannonballs into the pool with her friends.
Set to the tune of “Hard Knock Life” from the musical Annie, the campaign shows that girls can persevere through countless “hard knocks” during games, but all too often call it quits due to the negative body image they’ve inherited from societal norms.
Hard Knocks introduces Dove’s Body Confident Sports program, which offers coaches a set of tools developed by Dove and Nike for building body confidence in girls aged 11 to 17.
The spot marks Dove’s return to Big Game advertising, having sat out since 2006 when it ran Walking the Talk. It comes as this year’s Super Bowl is expected set to bring in a strong female viewership, in part due to a potential appearance from pop-artist Taylor Swift.
Around 50 million women plan to tune in on Feb. 11, and the overall viewership is expected to be evenly split between men and women. Sixty-one percent of all consumers plan to watch this year’s game, according to data and tech company Numerator.
Meanwhile, according to data from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence, Gen Z and millennials’ interest in the NFL has grown to 64%, its highest-ever level. Many of this year’s advertisers will be targeting the female demographic, including beauty brands Nyx and E.l.f. Cosmetics.
Women’s sports have seen a notable increase in interest from fans in the last few years, a majority of whom want brands to be investing in them just as much as men’s sports.
This article originally appeared on Campaign US.