Brands encourage body positivity with new campaigns aimed at Gen Z consumers

October 8, 2021
4 min read

When influencers and celebrities get behind a cause, it creates an impact. Clean & Clear’s ongoing digital campaign #Don’tPauseForPimples is a prominent example. With Barkha Singh, Aashi Adani, Kritika Khurana and many more voicing their support, the campaign encourages skin positivity, especially among Gen Z consumers. 

Redefining beauty

The campaign – a much-needed deviation from regular films, which at first ostracises a breakout and then provides solutions to fix it – features teenagers who take a breakout in their stride. They focus on other aspects of their personalities and keep their regular plans, even if it shows their imperfect side. The campaign sends the message that nothing and no one can affect your confidence levels and one should take pride in their routine body cycles and not let it impinge work or social meetings.

The campaign gives voice to more than one in every three Indians in the age group of 18-24, who strongly agree that they are tired of being told how they should look, according to Mintel Global Consumer research. The campaign promotes a sense of confidence among Gen Z. 

The Gen Z populace is still at crossroads with respect to their personality development. Social media has become a platform for seeking validation and a benchmark for beauty standards. The essence of the campaign is to question these tenuous norms which have become the order of the day. Its popularity will cause more people to trash unrealistic beauty standards and soon, mental degradation due to self-image issues will be a thing of the past.

Clean & Clear’s campaign is in sync with Mintel Trend, “Moral Brands” which states that consumers don’t need to spend time or money being ethical when the moral brand can do it on their behalf. Brands are recognising that a more personal consumer-brand relationship comes with additional responsibility and accountability and that given a choice, consumers will increasingly opt for the ethical or moral brand, and in some cases, they will pay more money for these qualities.

The more than 1.18 million views that the #Don’tPauseForPimples campaign has garnered is in line with Mintel Trend, ‘The Body Beautiful’, which states that beauty becomes more diverse than ever before, and self-love and inclusion lead as the true way to shine. Consumers have challenged one-size-fits-all offerings and single results while becoming more interested in products and services that enhance their natural beauty and help them be the best version of themselves. 

Dove’s campaign #StopTheBeautyTest highlights India’s matchmaking process and the judgment and rejection women face during the process for not meeting preconceived notions of beauty. The campaign shows real-life examples of the reasons a man and his family reject a woman and that it has to stop as no one is born perfect. A similar approach was taken by the feminine hygiene brand, Pee Safe. Its new body hair removal range ‘Furr’ is positioned for “if and when” women want to remove body hair. In another example, the Norwegian Government’s Ministry of Children and Family Affairs passed a regulation that forbids influencers to put up photos without it carrying the necessary information on the level of retouching in promotional posts on social media, a step towards combating the evil of superficial beauty standards. 

What’s Next

With inclusivity, body positivity and awareness being the order of the day, consumers wish to see brands steer away from the tried and tested route of showing beauty and perfection. Accepting all body and skin types will definitely put an end to the superfluous standards of beauty that brands stress on. Brand communications will have to evolve to show realistic depictions of beauty and bodies rather than relying on Photoshop, thus making it more relevant to the audiences.

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