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Unilever Drops The Word “Normal” From All Products To Promote Beauty Positivity

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March 13, 2021

According to a study conducted by the company, seven in ten people think using the word “normal” in advertising and product packaging negatively connotates. Previously, Unilever rebranded a skin-lightening cream across Asia because it brewed racial discrimination.

The London-based consumer brand has adapted to the new normal by erasing the word “normal” from its beauty and personal care products. The announcement came in light of its recent campaign to support beauty positivity and become more inclusive. 

With more than 400 popular labels under its name, Unilever has come a long way in realizing consumer power and voice in devising marketing campaigns. The company’s current policy will apply to renowned brands, including Dove, Axe, Vaseline, Suave, Sunsilk, and Lifebuoy. 

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A Move Towards Inclusivity 

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The consumer giant has finally decided to erase the word “normal” from its product lineup to become more inclusive and represent all communities. This will result in a packaging change for more than 200 skin and hair-care products. The brand messaging will also be altered. 

Unilever has also agreed to undertake responsible marketing efforts to feature underrepresented groups in their advertising campaigns. Furthermore, the company will refrain from digitally changing a person’s body shape, size, proportion, or skin color in advertisements. 

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“We know that removing ‘normal’ from our products and packaging will not fix the problem alone, but it is an important step forward. It’s just one of a number of actions we are taking as part of our Positive Beauty vision, which aims not only to do less harm, but more good for both people and the planet.” 

said Sunny Jain, President Beauty and Personal Care.

The word “normal” was found on hair-care products, including shampoos and conditioners as “normal to oily hair,” and on face products as “for normal skin.” Unilever will focus on picking words to describe the product’s specific attributes. For instance, a shampoo for “normal to dry” hair will be changed to “dry and damaged” hair. 

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Survey Conducted By Unilever 

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Unilever recently carried out an extensive study involving around 10,000 people from nine countries, including the U.S., U.K., South Africa, India, and Saudia Arabia. The results revealed that more than 56% of people felt that the beauty and personal care industry could make them feel excluded. 

Moreover, seven in ten people disapproved of the word “normal” on product labels and advertisements and regarded it as negative. And 74% said that they wanted to see the beauty and personal-care products centered around making people feel better rather than looking better. 

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“With one billion people using our beauty and personal care products every day, and even more seeing our advertising, our brands have the power to make a real difference to people’s lives. As part of this, we are committed to tackling harmful norms and stereotypes and shaping a broader, far more inclusive definition of beauty.” 

shared Jain. 

Advertising Backlash 

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As Jain pointed out, consumers have become more conscious about the products they use and value socially and environmentally responsible brands. In 2017, the London-based company faced backlash for a Dove body wash ad that showed a Black woman removing her shirt to reveal a White woman underneath. 

However, the consumer giant quickly issued a public apology, and the ad was removed. The firm also rebranded a skin-lightening cream in Asia from “Fair and Lovely” to “Glow and Lovely,” clarifying that the product was not a skin bleaching agent. 

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