Similar to the themes discussed in another recent blog post, The Future Of Beauty Marketing, it’s becoming increasingly important to represent diversity and inclusivity in your marketing materials where possible. In February The Guardian published an article describing Victoria’s Secret’s struggle to keep up in this area. The brand has previously been called out for using only white waifish models in their catwalk shows, promoting uniform beauty standards, spurning trans women, and failing to protect models from sexual misconduct…
The recent news that Leslie Wexner – founder of L Brands, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company – will be stepping down and selling his controlling stake in the lingerie empire felt like the end of an era. Wexner’s reputation had been tarnished by his relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, and he seemed to have lost touch with what women wanted (the company’s stock fell by 41% in 2018).
Despite the brand starting to use a greater variety of models in their marketing materials and on their social channel content, there is a general feeling that this is too little, too late.The article goes on to cite Rihanna’s Fenty x Savage lingerie collection as the antithesis to Victoria’s Secret, using plus-sized, trans and disabled women in it’s shows. There’s certainly an aura of the empowered woman here!
In September, Australia’s #1 selling period and leak-proof underwear brand, Modibodi, launched its latest campaign ‘The New Way to Period’. The campaign included a TV advert, social media pushes, and influencer seeding across Australia, the UK and the US.
Directed by award-winning Sydney-based director Dani Pearce, the script follows the journey of multiple womxn, each with their own nuance and story as they embrace ‘the new way to period’.
Says Pearce: “To honour Modibodi’s philosophy of inclusivity it was imperative that the film capture all womxn, all stories. My vision was to create a film that is part of a much larger social dialogue, with the aim to normalise womxn’s lived experiences.”
*The term womxn is one of several alternative spellings of the English word woman, or the plural women. It is used to include transgender, nonbinary and genderqueer individuals.
In October, Modibodi was shocked to find that Facebook had banned this ad on it’s platform. They claimed the spot violated its guidelines, which block ”shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content.” This sparked a Twitter storm, forcing Facebook to backtrack on it’s decision to censor the ads, following a review. The extra PR can’t have hurt the brand, though.
The key takeaway here being that it’s not easy being diverse and inclusive for a brand, but if you aren’t, it’s possibly worse, certainly on your profit line.