Reclaiming the category
Philips, a renowned hair care and removal leader, was losing its edge. Their communications were outdated, the landscape was becoming increasingly more competitive, and the hair removal culture was changing.
As a result, Philips was losing its position as a category leader.
The task was clear: re-introduce Philips Lumea. Improve preference on the brand and product level among a female audience in various markets.
The existing communication within the hair removal space perpetuated unrealistic expectations for women, contributing to years of self-doubt and internalised pressures. So, the objective was to create messaging that not only acknowledged and validated women’s experiences but also empowered them to feel confident and at peace with their bodies.
Be free in your own skin
We know that women worldwide feel an overwhelming pressure to conform to specific hair removal standards. And who better to address these challenges than women themselves? It’s for this reason that we assembled an entirely female team.
It meant we could uncover insights that were often overlooked but hidden in plain sight, forming the foundation of our campaign.
It didn’t take long for the team to realise the opportunity: the urgent need to create messaging tailored towards women’s experiences with hair removal.
Women have constantly been bombarded with unrealistic portrayals of female body hair. Leading to extreme pressures and conformity to look a specific way. No one was talking about the struggles, even if they were there.
Together with Philips, it was time for change. Our priority was unleashing the power of choice and unraveling the intricacies surrounding body hair. To show multiple realities of hair removal and take away the pressure to conform to that one we always see: hairless.
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.”
This message spread awareness and started a conversation about body hair positivity.
Reclaiming the gaze
Who better to speak about the intricacies of body hair and the comfort Lumea provides than real customers who have lived through it themselves?
We handed them the mic and let them share their own stories, from their own perspective. The footage was shot by the women in the comfort of their homes, adding an extra level of authenticity and intimacy. To enhance the uniqueness of each narrative, we partnered with top female illustrators—one illustrator per story, with a personal interpretation.
We embraced a digital-first, format-playful approach. Our main product film shattered norms by showcasing body hair in various places—something never before seen in a Philips ad. They took away the pressure that hair removal can only look one way. And it wasn’t limited to women alone. Since Lumea can empower anyone who chooses to remove body hair, we intentionally included men, breaking gender stereotypes.
With a staggering 180+ assets, our campaign adapted to each market’s specific needs, because leaving room for local nuances was essential. This allowed us to showcase the product’s unique qualities in a way that would resonate, and free from the unrealistic portrayal of female body hair that saturates the media.
We reclaimed the gaze for women, by women.
The success of this influencer marketing campaign hinged on our ability to reintroduce the Philips Lumea in a way that would cultivate a stronger brand and product preference among our female audience.
This is how we know we got it right:
- Brand recognition grew significantly (38% average) in our key markets, exceeding all targets
- Return on ad spend exceeded target in all markets, including by 6.3x in Germany, 4.3x in the UK, and 3x in Italy
- We also scored the best-tested TVC
Beyond achieving brand awareness and sales targets. We sparked a conversation, and the world took notice.
Media outlets like The Drum credited us for “reframing the conversation around body hair.” Shots said, “Philips Lumea IPL rips the metaphorical band-aid (and literal follicles) of the hair removal process.”
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 empowered women and generated awareness around body hair positivity.