Dove launches Real Beauty in Gaming campaign to push diversity in games and educate game creators

Unveiled last month, the ‘Real Virtual Beauty in Games’ campaign aimed to increase diversity and representation of female characters in games, as well as support young girls with self-esteem education in virtual settings. The campaign was a collaborative effort between Dove, the non-profit Women in Games, and game developers Unreal Engine and Toya, spearheaded by the launch of an education course designed to help game creators reflect real-life diversity and avoid contributing to stereotypes and biases in design. The collaboration was also setting out to build a broader online character library for game developers, as well as deliver an experiential self-esteem education session on Roblox for users.

Leandro Barreto, global VP for Dove at Unilever, said the campaign formed part of a wider series of long-term actions designed to address representation in various settings, but was especially timely in 2022.

‘It has never been more relevant’

“The popularity of gaming has significantly increased over the last couple of years. With young girls spending the equivalent of one full school day gaming per week, it has never been more relevant to help tackle the issue of representation in the games space,”​ Barreto told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

The overarching goal of the campaign, he said, was to “transform gaming into a positive place for women and girls”.

So, why was the gaming world important or even relevant for a beauty brand?

“For over 60 years, Dove has been taking action to represent real beauty – working to debunk the beauty stereotypes that surround us on TV, in magazines and social media. Our actions have always been driven by women and girls. So, when research told us 1.3 billion women and girls make up half of the global games community, with 60% playing video games before the age of 13, we knew this was the next space we needed to tackle,”he said.

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