Out with the Old
For the longest time hair removal ads had fuelled unattainable expectations for women. All we’d see was glamorous women posing for the male gaze while removing body hair from already perfectly smooth legs. Them calmly ripping off wax strips as if no pain was ever involved. Happily shaving in the shower when we all know it’s an annoying daily chore. But society’s understanding of hair removal began to evolve.
Philips, once a dominant force in hair care and removal, had lost its edge. In fact, old Philips communications were part of the problem, adding to societal pressure. The goal was simple: empower women all around the world, making them feel seen, heard, and proud of their bodies. And thus, Philips would have a chance to reclaim its position as the unrivalled leader in the hair removal industry.
In with the New
We recognised the need for a diverse and inclusive approach, so we assembled an all female team to tackle this project head on. Because who better to speak to this target than women themselves? We unleashed a social-native format that returned the power to those who truly understand the subject at hand: real customers.
We handed them the mic. The women we interviewed, who helped us truly understand the complexities of their relationship with body hair. We dove head first in their world to make sure we spoke in a way that would truly resonate. These women were casted to be at the forefront of the campaign, with their stories, in their own words.
The footage was shot by the women themselves, thus reclaiming the gaze as well. To enhance the uniqueness of each narrative, we partnered with top female illustrators, to tell parts of the story that couldn’t be shown through camera.
The women reclaimed the narrative and together with them we challenged the unrealistic notion that women must be hairless. We did it by proudly showcasing hair, in every place it can grow and that removal is always a personal choice. Then we dismantled the notion that removing hair is some easy breezy process and a pleasant ritual by highlighting the reality of pain, inconvenience and even the effect it has on mental health.
By harnessing the power of choice and unravelling the complexity of women’s body hair, we contributed to relieving women today – and young girls too – from the burden of unrealistic expectations.
So for those women who want to, we spread the message: “Be free in your own skin! If that means removing body hair: Lumea is here for you.”
Not-your-usual product campaign
We embraced a digital-first, format-playful approach. Our main product film was headed by a female director. It was centred around the empowering message: “Your hair, your choice” and with this we shattered norms by showcasing body hair in various places—something never before seen in a Philips ad.
And it wasn’t limited to women alone. Lumea can empower anyone who chooses to remove body hair, so we intentionally included men as well, breaking gender stereotypes when it comes to hair removal.
With a staggering 180+ assets, our campaign effortlessly adapted to each market’s specific needs and local cultural nuances, delivering the most relevant messages to the right audience at the perfect moment. This allowed us to showcase the product’s unique qualities free from the unrealistic portrayal of female body hair.
We reclaimed the gaze, for women, by women.
Impactful all around
This is how we know we got it right:
Brand recognition grew significantly in our key markets. Return on ad spend exceeded target in all markets. This was the best scoring content we’ve ever made for Philips.
Beyond this, we sparked a conversation and the world took notice. Several media outlets praised our for women, by women campaign.
We generated great traction amongst our target audience with a lot of interaction on various social media assets, where women expressed their excitement for the brand and the product in numerous comments.
Through proactive conversations and leading by example, we not only propelled Philips back to its position as a category leader in the hair removal industry, but also reclaimed the narrative.