Philips, a renowned leader in the realm of hair care and removal, were losing their edge. The communications were outdated, and the landscape was becoming increasingly more competitive. Moreover, the culture and female view and understanding of hair removal were undergoing transformative changes. As a result, Philips was losing its position as a category leader.
The task at hand was clear: re-introduce Philips Lumea in a relevant way and grow preference on a 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 internalized pressures. Thus, the objective was to create communications that not only acknowledged and validated women's experiences but also empowered them to feel confident and at peace with their bodies. And as such, allowing Philips to reclaim their position as the category leader in hair removal.
We know that women all around the world feel an overwhelming pressure to conform to specific standards of hair removal. And who better to address these challenges than women themselves? It is for this reason why we assembled a full 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 immense opportunity: the urgent need to create communication specifically tailored towards women's experiences with hair removal. While this might appear obvious, the reality is far from it. Women have constantly been bombarded with unrealistic portrayals of female body hair. Leading to extreme pressures, and conformity to look one way. No one was talking about the struggles even if they were there.
Together with Philips it was time for change. We refused to perpetuate these unrealistic standards and opted to get real about body hair. Our priority was unleashing the power of choice and unravelling the intricacies surrounding body hair. To show multiple realities of hair removal to take away the pressure to conform to that one we always see: hairless. Something especially novel in traditional hair removal markets like southern and eastern europe.
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.” A message that spreads awareness and starts a conversation about body hair positivity.
We unleashed a social-native format that returned the power to those who truly understand the subject at hand. Because 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 themselves, in the comfort of their own 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. In our main product film, we shattered norms by showcasing body hair in various places—something never before seen in a Philips ad. Taking away the pressure that hair removal can only look one way. 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 adapted to each market's specific needs, as it was essential we left room for local nuances. 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 campaign hinged on our ability to reintroduce the Philips Lumea in a manner that would cultivate a stronger brand and product preference among our female audience.
This is how we know we got it right:
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.” As well as Shots who said “Philips Lumea IPL rips the metaphorical band-aid (and literal follicies) off 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.