It’s amazing how human minds work and how brands target the human psyche to appeal to them. In branding, the perceived risk is potentially high when you take a path untrodden by others. Either it succeeds, or the brand receives more than what was expected or it fails miserably, questioning the marketing strategy adopted. Recently, an Indian brand ‘Joy’ with the tagline ‘Beautiful by Nature’ captured eyeballs and maybe a few eye-rolls because it broke the perception of beauty in the country. The ad featured a renowned Indian stand-up comedian and the so called queen of comedy in India, Bharthi Singh for a body lotion commercial. For people who do not know her, she drastically varies from the typical norm of being size zero model or being fair & lovely to get featured in a skincare ad. A celebrity testimonial form of advertising is used to feature this commercial where Bharti connects with the product on a personal level. It sends out a huge message to the masses that it's inner beauty that ultimately matters.
Appealing to the general public in terms of inner beauty is not a new concept; The Dove Real Beauty campaign launched in 2004 by Unilever was based on a similar idea where they questioned the stereotype of being beautiful. The campaign was called ‘Dove Evolution’ and received wide attention. There were newspaper features, television talk-shows and what not! But eventually the campaign gained negativity as Unilever also produced products like ‘Fair and Lovely’ and ‘Slim-fast’ diet bars. Also they objectified women to market their hygiene products under the sub-brand label 'Axe'.
However, it took time for Indian brands to try something like this. But it’s better late than never! I hope other brands could also see the light of this perspective where beauty can be viewed in the character, personality and ability of an individual rather than their outer appearance. Let stereotypes be broken!