Summer officially kicks off on June 21st. We are all excited to spend more time outdoors enjoying the good weather. More time in the sun means increased risk of long term skin damage. If you’re a pale Caucasian (like myself), summer is a pain because of the endless slapping on of sun cream.
Ahead of summer, Dream Random have our eyes on how big brands are preparing their marketing campaigns to sell the seasons number one commodity – sun cream.
Over the years, sun cream has been sold to us as consumers in a number of ways. The most common but forgettable and honestly boring way has been through images of good looking people rolling around on a beach in the Caribbean.
Boots have gone the other way.
Boots Soltan have teamed up with the creative agency monolith, Oglivy UK, to reveal their summer campaign. Like all great advertising campaigns, this one’s a shocker!
The images released which are currently plastered on billboards across the UK show children playing in the sunshine supposedly unaware of the tattoos across their chest and face. The tattoo reads ‘sun damage for life’. The inspiration for this campaign came after research carried out by the company. The research found that 51% of parents choose a sun cream based solely on the SPF rating, without taking into account the star rating which indicates the level of protection against long term, permanent skin damage caused by overexposure to UVA. The campaign is clearly aimed at parents and warns that by not taking into account the UVA protection rating, you could be causing permanent damage to your child. Scary stuff.
The brilliance of this campaign is in its shock value. The image of the child playing in the sunshine stirs up positive feelings inside of you. This is contrasted with the horrifying realisation that the same child has a very visible tattoo inked onto their skin. The two aspects of the image contrast powerfully. I find myself looking at it everytime I pass it at the train station.
What’s that saying? All PR is good PR
The other stroke of genius is the ability to cause discussions. While some people might take offence to the suggestion that having a tattoo is permanent ‘damage’ to your body and not a form of self expression or body art. In the UK, 20% of the population have tattoos. A large number of people to potentially aggravate. Whether you like it or not, whether it scares you or enrages you, Boots have managed to cause a stir. The very thing companies selling a product love – get tongues wagging and more bottles of sun cream selling.
Boots summer campaign might be uncomfortable to look at but you have to admire their commitment to provide a hard hitting message while raising awareness and providing education about health.