The ad, by Talented agency, shows the not-so-pretty side of grooming and hair removal.
Hair removal is a messy affair - in more ways than one. Thanks to society’s conditioning, body hair on women is viewed as undesirable. Women often resort to different methods of hair removal. These include waxing, shaving with razors and, in some cases, laser hair removal.
These methods tend to be painful in different ways. This is what Bombae’s latest ad for its Fuzz Off trimmer focuses on. The ad is part of a digital-first campaign, created by the agency, Talented.
Bombae is a women-focussed brand that aids women with body hair removal and personal care overall. It includes the Fuzz Off Sensitive trimmer, the Defender razor, disposable body razors, wax strips, sheet masks, moisturisers, menstrual cups, intimate wash products, and more.
Siddha Jain - CBO, Bombae, mentions that the brief to the agency was simple - to build and increase awareness about trimmers - a convenient and pain-free method of hair removal. This was also the campaign’s primary communication objective - to promote hair removal by trimmers via the Fuzz Off range of trimmers. The insight they chanced upon was that hair removal, especially for facial and sensitive body parts, is the highest incidence use cases for women and also happens to be an acutely painful process.
Aarushi Periwal - creative, Talented, calls the brief a straightforward one - to market a useful product that has a bad reputation.
“Not many brands talk about it to women… yet. We built on exactly that. We spoke to women, who use some form of hair removal product. We got some very interesting and relatable insights about the fear, hesitation, stereotypes, myths, and uncertainty attached to using a women’s trimmer.”
“The treatment then became a mirror to all of it. We addressed the fear, the pain and the doubts, and combated them with the product’s ease, precision, and painlessness,” adds Periwal.
Jain mentions that the brand’s primary TG is 18-40-year-old women. “The campaign is a purely digital one, with focus on reaching maximum audiences for viewership. So, it’s a mix of video-focussed platforms, ranging from YouTube, Instagram, OTT, Snapchat, etc.”
Jain says that for the longest time, women have resorted to archaic and painful hair removal methods, like threading and waxing, for face and sensitive areas, believing that’s the only solution.
“As we spoke to more consumers, we learnt how everybody dreads those salon threads with comments like, ‘I become a red-faced ape after each threading session’, ‘I hate my salon sessions’, and ‘I have a love-hate relationship with my parlour didi’.”
Jain mentions that these findings left the team astounded - by the literally painstaking efforts women, go through for hair removal.
“Our personal experiences made us reflect how we had normalised our own daily struggles. We went back to the drawing board and devised a product that doesn’t make us go to war with our face every time we decide to remove hair - trimmers. Painless, convenient and guaranteed smooth trims. Ultimately, choosing the right hair removal product is really personal: we just want to say ‘fuzz off’ to all the pain and drama.”
Just as how ‘Google’ has become a verb for web searches and ‘Uber’ has become a verb for cab booking, Jain wants ‘Bombae’ to become a verb when it comes to hair removal.
The campaign has been created by an all-women team.
“We wanted to see hair and not airbrushed bodies. We wanted to feel the pain when a thread touches our bushy brows, or when hot wax drips on our skin. We wanted to show what actually happens when we remove hair. We don’t smile, we don’t sit gracefully, and we sure don’t think of hair removal as a norm. So, while working on this campaign, we wanted to be realists and not put women under any burden of potential,” says Periwal.
Devang Singh Thukral, co-founder and filmmaker at Studiofry, mentions that the biggest issue with this category was the feeling of ‘disgust’, which they wanted to target.
“How come a man’s body hair is considered macho, but once we see that on women, it becomes obscene. We decided to go with a visual treatment, which looks surreal, but feels relatable. The DOP, Anuj Samtani, and I had figured out a saturated colour profile and lensing to bring out the pain associated with removing hair,” he explains.
Periwal calls the visual culture of ads in the hair removal category ‘problematic’ and it was challenging to create work that goes against those norms. She points out that all bodies have hair and it’s a natural phenomenon, whether it’s curly, straight, thick, thin, light, or dark.
Thukral adds that the most challenging part of executing the ad was attempting to glamourise the product usage. He adds that the awkward hand-held camera angles and movements were intentional to show how uncomfortable pubic hair removal is.
“The transitions through text/camera movements/ foreground match cuts, are all to glue our audience's eyeballs to the screen and catch their attention with the ever scrolling thumb,” he says.
“It’s only natural to show different bodies choosing to remove their hair. We will never shy away from showing different body types/hair. Our thinking behind this campaign stems from raw, real and relatable moments, and we hope someone watching will be able to relate to this. It’s time we made room for all kinds of bodies and women. And, to truly say ‘fuzz off’ to these norms, we also renamed the trimmers to reflect the intent and the brand’s personality,” Periwal says.
She adds that women don’t need another brand telling them that they can conquer the world if they use this product. “They just don’t want to go through pain when they wish to remove hair. So, this campaign tells them just that. A painless hair removal solution. No ‘BS’. No fluff. Just a smooth trim.”
When casting characters for the ad, he ranks relatability, versatility, inclusivity and expression as the most important considerations. “I wanted characters and not models. I wanted stretch marks, hair, cellulite, uneven skin, etc.”