One of the latest campaigns on this topic that has drawn my attention is the ‘go play’ campaign released by ASOS in September, for their new beauty product range: Face + Body. In a way, I thought they were the first popular brand to approach, embrace and represent diversity beyond body shape (Dove) and ethnic diversity (Fenty). Moreover, I think that they also managed to redefine or question the actual purpose of ‘beauty products’.
Attempts to represent diversity can be a sensitive topic to approach because diversity is supposed to be inclusive and so it has to talk to ‘everyone’. For instance, one can be offended by a missing representation or by the choice of one representation over another. What I find interesting in the ASOS campaign, is that they go beyond diversity of skin colour or body shapes as it includes different women of colour, plus-size women, men, plus-size men, and a queer.
In their press release, they wrote: “At ASOS, we want to empower 20-somethings to confidently be themselves, however they choose to do so. We believe your face and body are a canvas, an adventure in individual self-expression, an opportunity to experiment and play.”
Which leads us to the second point of this campaign: the repurpose of beauty products.
The campaign breaks down the clichés of beauty and cosmetics that we’ve seen for years: not everyone wants to look like models such as Kate Moss (Rimmel) or Gigi Hadid (Maybelline).
Rather than following a trend in beauty, ASOS shows beauty products as a timeless product to have fun with; it’s like a game where anyone can play, and ultimately, it’s something that empowers people to express all the different versions of themselves. Make-up is not just about looking ‘beautiful’ but enjoying yourself, and everyone in their campaign seems to have fun with their new range.
So they succeeded in making the brand totally different from the classic make-up brand. ASOS will be the brand where anyone can find a variety of products they can play with, and won’t find in other classic cosmetic brands.
But then again, although ASOS is one of the biggest retailers in the world, it’s always been surprisingly thoughtful with its inclusivity. In fact, this campaign came out a few months after they claimed to not digitally augment some of its models on their website.
So it makes sense that ASOS promote a more realistic diversity in a stunning and incredibly progressive campaign.
Myriam, Community Builder