For Appearances Sake

Written by Banasree Purkayastha | Updated: Aug 19 2014, 10:12am hrs
Campaign: See the Real Me

Brand: Clean & Clear

Company: Johnson & Johnson India

Agency: DDB Mudra

The Ad

The television commercial depicts several teenaged girls expressing their angst as people judge them for their looks read pimples, oily skin, et al. As they say, people call them names such as halwai, Ms Cheep cheep, sticky piggy and more. And if there is a zit on her face, thats all she isa zit, as one of the girls puts it succinctly. Comes Clean & Clear to the rescue, and the girls heave a sigh of relief, as people can see them for what they aresmart, talented, pretty girls.

Our Take

The See the Real Me campaign is being promoted on a global scale and the new commercial is the first step in disseminating the new message in India. Instead of using trained actors and models, for the first time the agency has street-cast girls for the Indian ad to add what actors cantauthenticity and spontaneity.The global campaign comprises a series of short documentaries that bypass acne, focusing instead on girls who pursue ambitions that seem impossible based on their physical appearances. The campaign has been much appreciated in the US, as it looks at building confidence in young girls. The Indian ad, while it takes off from the global insights, prefers to address the issue of name-calling prevalent among Indian teenagers. While that is a laudable objective, it does not match the sensitivity and depth displayed in the international campaign. Also, the solution itselffinding the courage to show their real talents with a little help from Clean & Clear Face Wash takes away from the ad the original argument it was espousingtrue beauty is not just about appearancesthus making it just another ad that promotes a particular product. As a youth brand, Clean & Clear has always played the role of a trusted friend that enables positive teen confidence. That gave it a platform to inspire teenage girls across the country to believe that they are much more than pretty faces. But sadly, the ad does not utilise that to the maximum. The ad begins on the lines of a Dove Real Beauty campaign but sadly ends up like a Fair & Lovely ad. Hopefully, the others ads/initiatives to follow in the campaign will avoid the overt selling.