Unilever wants to be a progressive beauty business. However, the commitments at the centre lacked the differentiation to cut-through.
They came to us for an iconic campaign that would position Unilever as a progressive beauty business.
The beauty industry exists to help people feel better, but often makes them feel worse.
Products created for ‘normal skin’ and ‘normal hair’ suggest that there is a ‘normal’, and that anything outside of that is ‘not normal’ or ‘lesser’.
But what is normal anyway?
Traditional product descriptions have become discriminators.
Unilever is about inclusion not exclusion. So their biggest activity of the year couldn’t be about adding something, it had to be about taking something away…
No To Normal
Unilever removed every single mention of the word normal from bottles, packaging, store shelves, content and communications – in fact, everywhere.
So now, if you find a Unilever bottle at the back of a shelf that still has the word ‘normal’ on it, you’ll know that’s not normal anymore. And probably neither are you.
Unilever knew that it was time to say ‘no to normal’ and remove the word from all packaging, all advertising and all content. Validated with global diversity and inclusion research, it made the change across all brands and in all markets.
This action put a stake in the ground to symbolise Unilever's intent to create a new era of Positive Beauty - long-term commitments to a more inclusive, sustainable era of beauty.
With more and more people paying attention to a company’s stance and action on social issues, beauty brands that catalyse the inclusive and equitable society and culture that people want to see will thrive. It was imperative for Unilever to lead the way for this transformational change.
Existing and potential customers of all ages and backgrounds
We conducted research into nine markets to understand peoples’ perceptions of the beauty industry and the actions they want to see it take.
This supported the ‘No To Normal’ transformation that would become an iconic action to bring to life our Positive Beauty ambition.
With the understanding that the full removal would be complete within two years, and would to apply to internal and external facets of the business - we launched our iconic action and long-term commitments across all continents simultaneously, in partnership with experts, activists and influencers, to create a coordinated global media moment.
The portfolio of global brands, along with their own influencers and ambassadors, helped to fuel the news machine further and to carry the message to consumers via social and digital.
Normal’ removed entirely from Unilever brand packaging, content and collateral.