Dove has signed on as the first official sponsor of The Hair Tales as original episodes debut on both The Walt Disney Co.’s Hulu streaming service and Warner Bros. Discovery’s OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
The unique sponsorship mirrors an unusual partnership among Disney’s Onyx Collective, OWN and Hulu to bring the series to life. OWN and Hulu simultaneously premiere new episodes of The Hair Tales on Saturdays.
Executive-produced by Tracee Ellis Ross, Michaela angela Davis and Oprah Winfrey, the series looks at the complex culture of Black hair and Black women’s identity.
Unilever’s Dove brand was a natural choice as a sponsor, the companies said. It promoted the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act and co-founded the CROWN Coalition to advance the CROWN Act legislation, which would outlaw discrimination based on hairstyle and hair texture in schools and the workplace.
“Black women and girls have been subject to unfair scrutiny, and even discrimination, because of our natural hair texture and styles,” Esi Eggleston Bracey, president, Unilever U.S. and CEO, personal care, Unilever North America, said. “Dove believes that our natural beauty should be embraced and celebrated, and we are thrilled to forge this incredible partnership with OWN and Hulu to shine a national spotlight on stories that need to be told.”
As a sponsor, Dove will be present throughout the docuseries with commercials and custom vignettes that celebrate the beauty of Black women and natural hairstyles.
“At Disney, we prioritize innovation, creativity and more representative storytelling and we are thrilled to partner with OWN Networks, an industry leader that believes in this mission just as much as we do, to push our efforts forward with The Hair Tales,” Disney Advertising Sales president Rita Ferro said. “This series is a beautiful embodiment of our commitment to inclusivity — from on-screen talent to the content we produce to the ad creative and campaigns — and our ability to connect brands with opportunities to elevate their messaging.”
Disney Advertising also secured Nutrafol, a subsidiary of Unilever, and Toyota as national sponsors of The Hair Tales on Hulu, along with Google, United Artists Releasing’s Till film and Walt Disney Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, as midroll sponsors on the platform.
“At OWN, we create intentional opportunities for our clients that best serve their brands’ needs while honoring our primarily Black female audience who comes to us for inspiration and authenticity," OWN senior VP, ad Sales and inclusive content solutions Sheereen Russell said. "Dove championing the Crown Act is an excellent example of this; It serves as an endemic sponsorship for The Hair Tales, celebrating the liberation and joy of Black women embracing their hair texture and style. We're proud to elevate partners who share our mission to not only entertain, but also create a meaningful impact on our audiences.” ■
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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