Last year, when I blogged about the lack of inclusivity of women my age in advertising campaigns in beauty, I thought it would resonate, I just didn’t fully realise how many of you felt the same way.
An entire generation of women being ignored by an industry that thinks we all aspire to be, look and feel 21 again. In case it wasn’t glaringly obvious, we don’t.
I don’t pertain to speak for all of you, but personally, I feel like I’m just getting started, yet I work in an industry that prefers to talk to my kid in their campaigns. Uses models that my daughter can relate to. Uses images that don’t speak to me (or my mother) at all. Images and text that don’t speak to my life experience, work, raising a family, travelling, caring for people – it’s all pretty much fluff and ‘youth’. It doesn’t speak to me on any level.
When Max Factor contacted me to talk about their new campaign I asked two questions before I even asked for further details (I always ask the same things):
‘How old are the women in your visuals?’ and ‘Are you representing WOC?’
They sent me their visuals and campaign details and honestly, I was pleasantly surprised. When I saw the woman with the c-section scar I said out loud ‘well that IS me’.
Max Factor have conducted the largest survey in the beauty industry of the past five years, talking to 26,000 of their female customers aged between 25-55, and although you could say the results were anticipated, they were both depressing and shocking in their findings.
This generation of women do not feel represented in beauty advertising; full stop.
- 80% of women in our generation say that they know who they are, and that they feel confident in themselves and their lives, but in the UK less than half of those women feel confident in how they look
- Only 10% of women globally think beauty advertising represents relatable women
- 88% believe that beauty is a combination of appearance, personality and charisma, but feel that this doesn’t come through in beauty advertising at all
- 4% of women in the UK feel that beauty advertising is aspirational – FOUR PER CENT
- 81% look to other women they know for beauty inspiration instead of models or actresses
- 80% say beauty advertising doesn’t represent women’s character
Taking these findings into account, Max Factor are committing to changing the way they advertise and create products.
The YOU x MaxFactor Campaign promises to show beauty with depth, committing to listening to us, giving better representation and creating products that answer our needs and wants, as opposed to what some aspects of the industry ‘think’ we should aspire to. They are ensuring that they will ask questions and listen, then go away and create our vision of how we see ourselves, not one dictated to us by others.
“YOU X MAX FACTOR WAS CREATED BECAUSE THIS GENERATION OF WOMEN HAVE BECOME OUR MUSES: IT’S WHERE THEIR POWERFUL LIFE EXPERIENCES MEET OUR MAKE UP ARTISTRY EXPERTISE.”
MAX FACTOR GLOBAL VICE PRESIDENT SHEILA CHAIBAN
I’ll be covering more of the campaign in upcoming weeks and I truly hope it’s the start of something tangible, that resonates with all of us on a positive scale. Good job Max Factor.
#beautywithdepth #YouXMaxFactor @maxfactor
*The You X Max Factor Spotlight study was conducted by delineate, a strategic insights firm and their sister company opinion.life, an international market research company. opinion.life uses a combination of opinion polling and behaviour science to accurately understand and predict the opinions, behaviours, and attitudes that shape the world.
The study was conducted in late 2017 and in total surveyed 26,000 women aged 25 to 55 in nine countries: Australia, China, Argentina, Poland, Russia, Saudi, Spain, UK and US.