Ubaid Zargar

Nykaa's new campaign plugs social reform amidst Holi festivities

Beauty brand Nykaa has unveiled a new campaign titled #ColourMeFree for International Women's Day and Holi. It delves into the social stigma around skin colour, and takes a stand against racism. Here is an overview.

Beauty brand Nykaa has launched a new campaign titled #ColourMeFree. It is a mix of celebratory ambience of the festival of colours, and a serious take on racism prevalent in Indian society. The campaign's launch comes close to both Women's Day (March 8) and Holi (today).

Featuring rapper Dee MC (of 'Gully Boy' fame), the campaign film sees her make an unequivocal statement on the cause with some high tempo rhymes and poetry.

Portraying a series of female characters, the film has a stringent attitude towards racism and discrimination based on skin colour. As is clear by the campaign title 'Colour Me Free', Nykaa aims to incorporate a social message within the festive vibes of Holi.

Speaking on the campaign, Madhavi Irani, chief officer content, Nykaa says, "The end goal with this campaign was to talk about the unspoken reality of colour disparity, reinforcing a positive attitude towards this negative social stereotyping on the basis of skin colour."

She adds, "Inspired by Holi, the video is a juxtaposition highlighting the darkness of this pressing issue, shining light on the positive alternative situation by showcasing the vibrance of colour, through this festival."

Commenting on rapper Dee MC's feature in the campaign, Irani opines, "Her honest and vivacious voice resonates accurately with our brand and this campaign concept, hence we felt she was the perfect fit for this one. Dee MC has a unique perspective that resonates with thousands of women in our country. The shoot itself was empowering and uplifting seeing the diversity, confidence and beauty of so many young women come together."

Pointing out the target group, Irani adds, "Our target audience is always all Indian women and that remains the case with this campaign too! We are trying, through many of our new campaigns, to truly walk the talk that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. There is so much beauty in our diversity, and that's what this campaign has sought to celebrate."

This is not the first time that the brand has taken up cause-vertising. In the past, we have seen Nykaa's attempt to redefine beauty and how people see it. In a campaign titled 'What Makes You Beautiful', the brand highlighted the growing menace of acid attacks in the country – all the while insinuating that beauty has nothing to do with how you look. The brand also managed to get Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, to share her views on what makes a person beautiful.

What is interesting about the new campaign is how it sleekly fashions the entire communication with a rap song titled 'Rang' to get the message across. The general theme of the campaign focuses more on social reform, with little to no mention of Holi. But how effective is this mode of communication, especially for a brand like Nykaa? We got an expert to review the campaign.

Expert review:

Navin Kansal, chief creative officer, 21N78E Creative Labs

Nykaa's new campaign plugs social reform amidst Holi festivities

The campaign thought of 'Colour Me Free', using Holi as a backdrop to convey racism, is fresh and quite clever. The lyrics carry the heft to convey the sentiment. The rap style execution, though, seems to cater more to a younger/Gen Z audience.

However, given that a significant portion of the lyrics are in pretty much chaste Hindi, the import (of the message) tends to get lost with this sort of format. It's more a case of being experimental, rather than trying to get the point across, tellingly.

Have news to share? Write to us atnewsteam@afaqs.com