Shreyas Kulkarni

Is Olay India's new ad aimed at a younger audience?

'Tackle the 7 signs of ageing with Olay', who hasn't heard this line before? When Bollywood actress Kajol uttered this line all those years ago, it did make people believe they could actually fight the wrinkles and lines, and look young once again. That was, and still is, Olay for you.

Now, as part of its new campaign #GlowUpNoMatterWhat, Olay India has released an ad in the spirit of India's young, modern and independent women.

Aimed at International Women's Day (March 8), the ad is about a young working woman Meena, whose parents are meeting the chief warden of the working women's hostel. During the 59-second ad, we see the warden praise Meena for her good qualities like discipline, not going for too many late nights, staying fit, and eating healthy. The ad also reveals another side of Meena that's outgoing and vibrant, which her parents and the warden seem oblivious to.

Is Olay India's new ad aimed at a younger audience?

The warden then comments on Meena's glowing skin. And, it's the twinkle in Meena's eyes that tells us there's more to her secret of glowing skin than just her good qualities – it's Olay Power Duo.

The ad caught our eye because it was a change from Olay India's previous ad where the protagonists were older and spoke about fighting natural ageing. However, in this ad, it's about a young woman using an Olay India product for glowing skin.

The campaign does signal a change in Olay India's target audience.

Speaking of glowing skin, and young and old female protagonists, a CNBC report from February 19, 2020, said Olay would stop retouching skin in its advertising by 2021. The report also mentioned, "As part of the commitment, which Olay announced at an event in New York, the company will kick off a new print campaign called “My Olay” featuring unretouched images of Busy Philipps, Denise Bidot and Lilly Singh." Olay works with ad agency Badger & Winters, which made its recent Super Bowl ad.

Olay’s “Skin Promise” mark will appear in ads in the US and Canada to show that the skin of the women featured has not been retouched, the company said. The “Skin Promise” will expand to all of the brand’s ads on print, digital, out-of-home and with influencer partners by 2021.

This move from Olay and its parent company Procter & Gamble comes at an interesting time because companies are consciously taking steps to better themselves.

One of the most popular body positivity campaigns ever belongs to Unilever when it, in 2004, launched the 'Dove Campaign for Real Beauty'. It aimed to celebrate women's natural (physical) shapes, and encourage them to be confident and comfortable with themselves. Billboard advertisements were put up in Germany and the UK featuring photographs of real women, instead of professional models. The campaign went on to become a stellar hit and expanded to several mediums like ads, events, workshops, and so on.

Speaking of being confident in who you are, Olay India did run a 'Face Anything' campaign in 2019 that encouraged women to be fearless, and featured personalities such as Kubbra Sait, Masaba Gupta, Priyanka Kochhar, Payal Soni and Lilly Singh.