Olay understands the negative effects of upholding an unobtainable standard of beauty, which is why the company has committed to zero retouching of skin in its advertising materials in the US and Canada, including content created by influencer partners of the brand.
The brand is also introducing an “Olay Skin Promise” logomark, which will appear on the ads to signify the skin of the women featured has not been retouched. Olay’s Skin Promise will expand to all advertisements across print, digital, TV and OOH by 2021.
Olay made the announcement at a special event on February 19th in New York City, with Kate DiCarlo, senior communications leader, Olay; Busy Philipps, star of Olay’s My Red Campaign; Andrea Harrison, senior director, Beauty at CVS Health; and Madonna Badger, chief creative officer and founder, Badger and Winters, in attendance.
Women constantly face conflicting expectations about their outward appearance. In fact, in the US, 40% of women surveyed by Mintel said they felt beauty advertisements impart an unrealistic expectation, making it unclear what was actually achievable. Furthermore, only 4% of women globally consider themselves beautiful, according to Olay.
“We recognize that there are many conflicting expectations for women and it has always been our mission to use our platform to encourage the next generation of women to be unapologetically bold and true to themselves,” said Christopher D. Heiert, vice president and general manager, Olay Global Franchise and North America Skin Care. “Olay believes that, for many women, being inspired to face anything starts with seeing women who look like themselves in the ads they are seeing on a daily basis.”
Olay will also roll these guidelines out to all influencer partners of the brand, doing their part to fill social feeds with images of confident and courageous women telling the stories of their strong skin. The brand is even willing to walk away from influencers who want to retouch.
The hope is that by encouraging women to unapologetically be themselves, Olay’s message will catch on beyond the brand and have a positive impact on young girls and women of all ages.
“If a brand as large as Olay can do this, any brand can do this,” Kate DiCarlo told the audience in New York City.
The Olay Skin Promise will debut with the “My Olay” print campaign, in which Busy Phillips, Denise Bidot and Lilly Singh are featured completely unretouched, baring their skin as it really is.
Olay’s recent Superbowl ad, which featured Busy Phillips and Lilly Singh with astronaut Nicole Stott, also did not feature any skin retouching.
Philipps was proud to point out the fact that her pores are visible in the advertisments. "Who ever came up with the idea of 'poreless?' We all have pores, its natural!" she told the audience in NYC.
"For Olay to take this stand and say, 'We're about skincare, we're about having you feel your best and having you feel like your most confident self', it's a really big deal,” said Philipps. “The more huge companies like Olay that can stand up, the better everyone's going to be. You want to see yourself reflected. You don't want to see something that's completely unattainable because that's not real."