Russell Weaver, global creative director of The Pharm/VMLY&R and Munnawar Chishty, global vice president and category director beauty at Walgreens on No7’s Inclusive Skincare Campaign that features a diverse range of faces
Inclusivity within the skincare industry is a vital part of its representation. However, 56% of non-white women in the UK and 63% in the US do not feel represented. No7 heard this and worked with The Pharm to create the We See You campaign made up of a range of inclusive retinol skincare products which are suited to all skin types.
The campaign includes real women, depicting the day-to-day struggle they face with representation in the media, as well as with the skincare products available to them. Mindful to include No7 consumers as their actors, the ad showcases how the brand wants to actively drive change within the skincare industry.
No7 Beauty Company has always strived to create products that represent our community and to put real women front and centre. But in the last 18 months, we realised that we needed to move quicker.
I have a holistic approach to DEI, and similarly, No7’s approach is end-to-end and fully encompassing. We research and test products with diverse consumer panels; we develop products to meet the needs of the communities we serve; we train beauty advisors to understand the uniqueness of skins. And in our communications, we ensure we are representative and inclusive in our messaging.
For all these stages, we have now taken further commitments – we increased the diversity of our consumer panel by 121%, we educated further our 1,600 Beauty Advisors, with our Pure Retinol range we made a truly inclusive skincare product. Specifically designed with lower, active levels of retinol to deliver a broad range of noticeable benefits across multiple skin types and ethnicities. We connected this with a call to action to the industry with our new creative We See You.
And we are by no means done.
We share a joint ambition to have a point of view on culture. Making No7 part of the conversation on what is happening all around us. We saw this as a real opportunity to create a purpose-driven, actionable campaign and could affect change – not just a beautiful product film.
So we threw away the brief and rewrote it together. We went from a classic product brief to what brings alive our brand platform; Unstoppable Together. Starting here changed our focus to the broader context. Why this product exists and how our work can have a long-lasting impact.
Even though the cosmetics industry has made great strides in representation and diversity, some people still feel excluded. 56% of the UK with non-white skin tones are not feeling represented by the skincare industry - with products designed for them. It needs to change.
No7 is a purpose-driven brand. We exist to give every woman the support, confidence and momentum to live life on their own terms. And we loved the challenge to dig deeper.
First, we knew we didn’t have all the answers. So, in addition to our agency partner, we work with a panel of experts in beauty and DEI to do better.
Then we developed a creative platform, unstoppable together, that recognises that there is more the beauty industry can do in its communications and beyond.
Building on this platform, we launched We See You, a film that shines a light on the lack of representation and marries it with a compelling product story – one that genuinely lives to our inclusivity commitments. Because if we create and promote an inspiring film, we need to make sure we deliver meaningful actions.
We have a fantastic team of creatives and strategists that come from different beauty brands and backgrounds. So we are aware of what’s going on in the industry.
We see brands staying in their comfort zones - with the same poses, models, language and style. We wanted to move away from that, create something truly inclusive and celebrate real aspirational beauty.
I take great pride in our shared commitment to diversity, inclusion, and representation, ensuring we build it into the work we create - from script to casting, production crew and beyond.
Our approach to casting keeps me constantly inspired. We include people you would not usually see in beauty or skincare advertising. We cast real women from the streets, hearing about their relationships with beauty and their skin challenges.
Eight months into our relationship with No7, I am so proud of what we’ve achieved together and excited about our future projects.
Our teams are incredibly proud of this film and the actions we’ve taken, which is fantastic. The wider business is committed to DEI being an ongoing practice core to our business.
And at No7, this work is a benchmark for future projects. As a leading brand, we feel that we play an important role in the industry to either reinforce stereotypes or break them and with this campaign, we are part of creating change and having a broader impact in the beauty industry. And I’d love to see even more beauty companies joining this movement. Real change will come from collective action.
We’re in the early days, but sales for the new retinol range are currently exceeding our expectations. Proving that everything we’ve talked about here is also good for business.
No7 Beauty Company
The Pharm @ WPP
Maisie Willis, Antonio Gizzonio
Black dog Films
Director of Photography:
Trim editing / Hogarth Sea Containers
Laura Cairney-Keize / Michael Owusu
Post production company:
Hogarth Sea Containers
Dolce Music Ltd
Beauty & Health