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Dove teams up with Kelly Rowland to release song encouraging young girls to love their hair

Personal care brand Dove has teamed up with singer Kelly Rowland to co-write a song aiming to empower young girls to love their hair. Titled “Crown”, the song is part of Dove’s ongoing Self-Esteem Project, which has reached 29m people since launching in 2004.

“I felt many of the pressures young girls face today when it comes to embracing their hair, but my mom would always tell me that your hair is your crowning glory and you should wear it proudly,” says the singer.

A music video shows the singer accompanied by a diverse cast of young girls, who share their individual stories of how they have been made to feel self-conscious about their hair. Stories include those of 11-year olds Tyrelle Davis and Faith Fennidy, who were sent home from their school for wearing hair extensions. Jorja Orrick, meanwhile, was once bullied for cutting her hair short, which spurred her sister Sarah to do the same in solidarity.

The campaign was created after research conducted by Dove showed that although 65% of young girls see hair as part of their self-expression, almost 50% said it could make them feel self-conscious as well. Furthermore, 71% of respondents cited music as an influential factor in their lives, which prompted the brand to create the empowering tune.

“Dove wants all young girls, and women, to have the confidence to wear their hair anyway they choose, and to see their hair as a source of confidence, not anxiety,” said Piyush Jain, Unilever VP of marketing and general manager of hair care.

To further promote the campaign, Rowland and the Self-Esteem Project will create a workshop at a local Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) in New Jersey. The organization offers children and teens after-school programs where they can learn new skills.

How are you thinking about your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns Uncategorized

Diesel encourages fans to wear their hate with anti-bullying campaign

Nicky Minaj for Diesel "Ha(u)te Couture"
Nicky Minaj for Diesel “Ha(u)te Couture”

Diesel’s new campaign aims to take a bold stance against bullying with a message of empowerment, encouraging its fans to wear the hate that has been directed towards them.

Using a sarcastic tone which is the brand’s signature style, the campaign, titled “Ha(ute) Couture”, features a central message that says: “The more hate you wear the less you care.” The spirit of the concept is that the more someone exposes hate, the less power it has.  

“The main thing is not to hide. Hate comments are based on the fact that people are hiding themselves,” said Bruno Bertelli, global chief creative officer at Publicis Worldwide and chief executive of Publicis Italy, to Campaign. “If you keep [hate] inside, it grows and hurts and becomes bigger and bigger.”

The campaign features a cast of outspoken celebrities, such as rappers Nicky Minaj and Gucci Mane and actors Bella Thorne and Tommy Dorfman, wearing garments that feature some of the verbal abuse that has been directed at them. To celebrate the campaign, Minaj (whose slur is the “Bad Guy”) is also launching a capsule collection with the Italian brand.

From October 6, customers in-store will also have a chance to customize products with hateful comments which they have received themselves.

Speaking to WWD earlier this summer, Diesel founder Renzo Rosso said: “Diesel’s Haute Couture will be a bold message toward haters worldwide, and an invitation for everyone to step up, face and own the negative messages we receive every day.”

A portion of sale proceeds will go to the anti-bullying charity Only The Brave foundation, which is part of Diesel’s parent company, OTB Group.

Diesel’s brand identity has always incorporated pushing the boundaries of conformity, with playfulness and satire lying at the heart of its marketing strategy. Most recently, it collaborated with a cult Berlin kebab shop on an exclusive collection, while for SS18, it launched a Deisel store selling ‘fake’ goods in NYC’s Chinatown neighborhood.

Are you thinking innovatively enough about your brand messaging and collaborations? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns social media Uncategorized

Olay celebrates unique personality traits with real women

Face Anything, Olay, Female Empowerment
Olay’s “Face Anything”

Skin care brand Olay has launched “Face Anything”, a campaign that encourages female empowerment by celebrating unique personality traits.

The campaign, launched across print and video, features nine inspiring women sharing personal stories of how they face criticism for being ‘too much’ of something, such as too emotional, or too confident, and how they embrace their uniqueness.

The cast includes Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, comedian and YouTube star Lilly Singh and fashion model Jillian Mercado, who suffers from spastic muscular dystrophy and has become a voice for diversity in the industry.

The campaign is powered by a dedicated microsite that further highlights their cast’s individualities, as well as an influencer campaign that will run on Instagram for 28 days. For the social media element, a cast of influencers have been tasked with documenting themselves using a curated collection of Olay products for the campaign period.

At the end of the programme, the influencers will be invited to join some of the cast on a New York Fashion Week runway. To underscore the authenticity principle of the brand, the influencers will not be wearing any make-up.

The campaign was developed after Olay commissioned a survey that revealed that 54% of women prefer a “natural look”, while 84% said that social media images pressure them into conforming to beauty standards.

Olay is not the first cosmetic company to embrace authenticity, with body care giant Dove, for instance, having championed this mindset throughout its communications for over ten years – such as most recently introducing a tool to identify any image that is digitally enhanced.

The fact that increasingly beauty and skin care brands are choosing to feature real women – flaws and all – to speak to their customer base is a huge indication that this is no longer a trend, but rather a shift in mentality that has been a long time coming.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns Editor's pick product

Aerie pushes empowerment with new product, campaign and experience

Aerie - "Bras make you feel real good"
Aerie

Aerie is launching a 360-degree campaign that aims to create a positive environment for women to shop and feel good about themselves.

The initiative, titled “Bras make you feel real good”, includes advertising, a new bra collection and a reinvented shopping experience, all of which aid the brand’s mission to promoting female empowerment and inclusivity.

Speaking of the brand’s overarching message of empowerment in January, Jennifer Foyle, Aerie’s global brand president, said: “At Aerie, we believe in authentic, real beauty and never airbrush our models.” Adding: “Now, more than ever, we want to encourage women everywhere to feel empowered to embrace their own unique qualities and beautiful REAL selves.”

The unretouched print campaign features a cast of 57 real women, which includes contest winners such as a cancer survivor, a woman with a colostomy bag and a woman with an insulin pump, as well as Olympic gymnast and sexual abuse survivor Aly Raisman.

In-store, the experience translates into two new consumer-facing features: a new bra fitting process titled Best Fit Finder (BFF) that provides a less invasive tool to finding the perfect bra fit; and in the fitting room, encouraging consumers to leave sticky note affirmations behind for the next woman to see, not too dissimilar from an experience found at mirrors in their Soho, New York flagship.

Moreover, the initiative also includes staff training: the brand has implemented a body confidence training campaign for its store team in partnership with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which is designed to create a judgement-free zone during the shopping experience.

To accompany the #AerieReal campaign, the American Eagle-owned brand is launching a new bra collection that includes products such as The Real Happy™, Real Me™ and Real Power™. All styles feature enhanced details such as softer fabric, removable padding and j-hooks for easy adjustments.

Appealing to real women both in its communication strategy and in-store experience, has worked in the Pittsburgh-based brand’s favor, as it announced a same-store sales growth of 38% in the first quarter of 2018, adding to a 25% increase in 2017.

The success reflects a clear appetite for realistic messaging, one which brands such as Victoria’s Secret have failed to swiftly respond to – in comparison, L Brands’ (the group that owns the lingerie company) stock has fallen by more than 45% in 2018.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns Editor's pick

The North Face reaches global community with “Walls Are Meant For Climbing” campaign

The North Face

The North Face has expanded its “Walls Are Meant For Climbing” campaign this year, aiming to reach a global community of up to 100,000 people and re-evaluate perceptions of what walls represent.

The campaign supports the brand’s second installation of its annual “Global Climbing Day”, which will take place on August 18. Partnering with a multitude of indoor climbing spaces globally, the brand will offer free climbing lessons for anyone attending on the day, donating $1 per person to the non-profit The Khumbu Climbing Center in Nepal. It is also launching a limited edition collection available for purchase now.

According to the outdoor brand, the aim of the campaign is to create a community and reflect its founding values. “Since 1966, we’ve seen walls not as obstacles but as opportunities. They are mirrors that reflect the best versions of ourselves. Walls do not divide us, walls bring us together. Walls are meant for climbing.”

With this initiative The North Face aims to reach a much larger audience than in 2017, where the campaign attracted 20,000 people to participate in climbing activities globally.

It has also taken this as an opportunity to let female climbers tell the stories of how they started their journey of conquering walls.

Under the banner “Climbing, the Great Equalizer”, the brand has released a total of four inspirational videos, each illustrating a unique story from a diverse set of characters – featuring three female climbers and one male. This week’s release – which has so far been viewed over 300.000 times on YouTube –  tells the story of Monserrat Matehuala, who dedicates the video to “my brown girls from the ‘hood’.”

This links back to the brand’s efforts to celebrate female explorers with their “She Move Mountains” campaign launched in April.

 

Brands are upping the ante when speaking to their consumers in a way that mirrors their values and in particular, their anxieties, in modern societies. In a politically charged landscape, encouraging positive activism is an increasingly important tool – as also seen by Patagonia’s Action Works platform which encourages charitable behavior.

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Campaigns film

SK-II launches campaign to empower women to embrace their age

The Expiry Date - SK-II
The Expiry Date – SK-II

Japanese beauty brand SK-II has launched its #INeverExpire campaign in the US after a successful reception in China, focusing on empowering women to embrace their age.

The campaign centers around a video called The Expiry Date, which has so far garnered over 100 million views globally and opened a discussion on Asian age-related pressures. To make the content more relevant to the American audience, the brand chose key influencers, among them actress Chloe Bennet, who kicked off the campaign this week, and #Girlboss founder Sophia Amoruso.

In total five women are starring in a series of video interviews, which will be released throughout this week, where they discuss the premise of the campaign and from their personal viewpoint, the societal pressures they believe are put on women in the US.

SK-II has been playing in this space for some time. Its most famous campaign to date is the Marriage Market Takeover, which highlighted China’s “leftover” women –  women above age 25 who are deemed too old to be marriage material. The viral video showcases so-called “marriage markets” that take place all over the country and see families putting out ads for the marriage of their female offspring. It then ends in an emotional message of Asian women defending their singledom status to their families. It was viewed over 1.2 million times in one day.

The#INeverExpire campaign, as well the Marriage Market Takeover, both sit under SK-II’s brand philosophy titled: Change Destiny. Launched globally in 2015, the ethos focuses on communicating female empowerment through a series of campaigns and other marketing activities that encourage women to take charge of their own destinies.

Marriage Market Takeover by SK-II
Marriage Market Takeover by SK-II

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business Editor's pick Startups sustainability

H&M Foundation empowers women with list of 500 all-female entrepreneurs

Elankumaran Selvmalar, one of the Foundation 500 women
Elankumaran Selvmalar, one of the Foundation 500 women

H&M’s non-profit arm has launched an alternative to the Fortune 500 list, published each year by Fortune magazine. Foundation 500, as it’s called, showcases female-only business leaders from around the world.

Done in partnership with humanitarian agency, CARE, the aim is to challenge stereotypes and redefine what a business leader looks like. The initiative ties to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals on women’s empowerment and gender equality, which demonstrate that empowering women is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty and create economic growth.

The stories of successful women from 11 emerging countries, including Burundi, Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Jordan, Peru and Zambia, among others, are told, alongside imagery captured by Malin Fezehai in a style similar to that of business magazines covers.

“The entrepreneur is the hero of our time, and it is estimated that over the coming years over 1 billion women will enter the workforce – a majority through entrepreneurship. But, you can’t be what you can’t see. Women rarely make the covers of business magazines, in fact the last time a woman was on the cover of Fortune Magazine was October 2014. With the Foundation 500 list we want to redefine what a business leader looks like,” says Diana Amini, global manager at H&M Foundation.

Further women in the Foundation 500: Karunakuran Kirupaliny, Philomène Tia And Suriyanti
Further women in the Foundation 500: Karunakuran Kirupaliny, Philomène Tia And Suriyanti

The 500 women included are a representation of the 100,000 participating in the Global Program on Empowering Women through Enterprise Development initiated by H&M Foundation and CARE in 2014. From 2014-2020, H&M Foundation has pledged 120 million Swedish krona ($14 million/€12 million) to support over 200,000 women entrepreneurs from emerging markets with seed capital and skills training to start and expand their businesses.

”Born with zero privilege, the women portrayed in the Foundation 500 list have made their own fortunes in the harshest of startup-environments. Yet, their stories often go untold. I wish I had seen women like these on the cover of business magazines when I grew up in South Sudan,” said British/Sudanese supermodel, entrepreneur and H&M Foundation Ambassador, Alek Wek.

“Media can play an important role in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by unveiling inspiring stories helping to change mindsets of what women entrepreneurs can achieve and giving role models a platform to show what is possible. This can contribute to changes in convictions, attitudes, behaviour, rules, regulations and policies,” the write-up from the Foundation reads.

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Editor's pick film

Vogue India empowerment video clocks record 9m views

VOGUE EMPOWER - MY CHOICE

Vogue has struck a chord with women in India – its recent My Choice video, which focuses on female empowerment, has been viewed nearly 10 million times since it was published on March 28.

Directed by Homi Adajania, it features Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone as one of 99 women from varying walks of life coming together to send a powerful message around the things women should see as their rights.

“In my family, my father is the only male in the house, but all of us have a voice,” says Padukone. “I’ve always been allowed to be who I want to be. When you’re not caged, when you don’t succumb to expectation, that’s when you’re empowered.”

In part of the narration of the video, she reads: “My body, my mind, my choice. To wear the clothes I like; even if my spirit roams naked. My choice; to be a size 0 or a size 15. They don’t have a size for my spirit, and never will. To use cotton and silk to trap my soul is to believe that you can halt the expansion of the universe. Or capture sunlight in the palm of your hand. Your mind is caged, let it free. My body is not. Let it be. My choice.”

As for the use of 99 women, Adajania explains: “I liked the idea of telling people I originally had 100 women planned but God said she was busy.”

The video is part of the #VogueEmpower social awareness initiative, which launched in India last October. This is designed to “encourage people to think, talk and act in ways big or small on issues pertaining to women’s empowerment”. It pushes a simple message to everyone: “It starts with you.”

The initiative has engaged opinion leaders and influencers since launch including Aamir Khan in a radio campaign, Sudha Murthy who contributed towards cervical cancer screening, and AR Rahman who dedicated an album to the cause.