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HUL talks identity, overcoming obstacles and being blind to skin tone in new Glow & Lovely campaign

It is not an ad, but a rap video made in collaboration with hip hop and rap star Deepa Unnikrishnan, a.k.a. Dee MC.

Glow & Lovely (previously called Fair & Lovely), the fairness cream from Hindustan Unilever (HUL), has just unveiled a campaign. It’s not an ad, but a rap video made in collaboration with popular hip hop and rap star Deepa Unnikrishnan, a.k.a. Dee MC.

Called ‘Glow Ko Na Roko’, Dee MC, through the 94-second video, takes us through her journey of overcoming obstacles and becoming a female rapper. What is interesting about the video is the fact that ‘glow’ has been equated with identity. Read a few lines of the rap song, written by Dee MC herself, here:

“Mera glow meri pehchaan

Mere rang ka na socho

Pure ho iraade khudse yeh vaadaa

Mere saath me aap ho toh

Saara desh, bolega meri bhasha

Mere glow ko na roko”

Dee MC says, “Being one of the few female rappers in the country (India), I’ve had to work very hard to carve my own identity and achieve my dreams. There have been obstacles at every step of the way, however, overcoming them helped me ‘glow’.”

“I strongly believe in Glow & Lovely’s philosophy of celebrating the inner confidence and ‘glow’ of Indian women. I am honoured to write the lyrics and lend my voice to the ‘Glow Ko Na Roko’ rap and do my part to encourage today’s women to have self-confidence and not shy away from pursuing their dreams.”

There is a story behind the campaign. HUL conducted ‘Identity Survey’ to understand the thoughts and concerns that Indian women have about their identity. It revealed that only 38 per cent actually get to define their identity themselves.

Priya Nair, executive director, beauty and personal care (BPC), HUL, said, “We’ve been driving the evolution of Fair & Lovely for several years to progressively move to a more inclusive vision of beauty. With the introduction of Glow & Lovely, we are very excited about this new chapter in the brand’s journey that celebrates every woman’s ‘glow’.”

“Extensive research showed us that ‘glow’ resonates with our consumers as one of the best articulations of what the product does, while also reflecting the personality and individuality of the woman of today. Glow then became the starting point for the ‘Identity Survey’, which aimed to find out the definition of female identity in India.”

“The narrative #IChooseMyGlow and ‘Glow Ko Na Roko’ campaign upholds the principle and our belief that no correlation should be made between skin tone and a person’s achievement, potential, beauty or worth, and that a woman’s identity should be defined by her. We hope that the true meaning of ‘glow’ and this narrative will resonate strongly with women across the country,” Nair added.

It was on June 25, 2020 that HUL announced its decision to change the name of its Fair & Lovely fairness cream after the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the US placed the brand under immense scrutiny after years of pressure and criticism.

On June 3, the company announced ‘Glow & Lovely’ as the new name. The brand’s first ad featured actress Yami Gautam announcing the brand’s changed (new) name.