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Banjara’s is fair to their loved ones, are you?

In its latest campaign, conceptualised by India/2, the skin care maker goes against the wave of fairness creams and beautifully spreads the message #proudofmycolour

Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | May 25, 2016

Banjara Click on the image to watch the TVC.

Skin care products have been advertised on television for a long time now. Most of them are fairness creams that give false hopes to people of making them fair. To counter skin colour discrimination, Chennai-based Kavitha Emmanuel, founder at Women of Worth, ideated the ‘Dark is Beautiful’ campaign a few years back. The campaign received a huge response with actors like Nandita Das supporting it.

Apart from this, there was another popular campaign that trended on Twitter earlier this year, #unfairandlovely initiated by black photographer ‘Pax Jones.’ Inspired from the concept of skin colour discrimination, Banjara’s latest campaign tells us to ‘Be Fair to your loved ones, stop asking them to become Fair.’

It is amazing to see a skin care brand to come up with such a campaign. Ramesh Vishwanathan, Managing Director, Banjara’s, said, “It was important for us to have a cream in this 60 per cent cream and lotion category in the skin care market. Of course, of that 75 per cent are fairness creams and we wanted to be distinctive with skin positive.”

Vishwanathan tells us that there is a lot of negative emotion involved when fairness creams are promoted. There is lack of credibility on fairness creams and a lot of women are standing up and saying one doesn’t necessarily have to be fair. Being colour-biased puts psychological pressure on a person, especially women, because of societal pressure. “We wanted women to be proud of their colour,” he adds.

The digital film shows the story of young basketball girl (who is dark skinned). She wins the trophy at a basketball match and takes home glory. Her father greets her and congratulates her but her mother advises her to be away from the sun as a boy will soon come to see her for marriage. The girl refuses to listen to her mom and throws the fairness cream in the dustbin. Soon, the boy and the girl are taking a walk in the park. At the end of their conversation, the boy asks the girl if she has anything else to ask him. The girl subtly asks him, “Would you have preferred a fair girl?” To which the boy points to the girl and says, “I like this gorgeous one.”

It then tells us the message, ‘Be Fair, to your loved ones, stop asking them to be fair.’ The film concludes by showing Banjara’s skin positive beauty cream, as a voice over says ‘gorgeous skin, in any colour.’

As a part of supporting the movement, Banjara’s has stopped producing all fairness products and will only focus on skin care products going forward. Banjara’s ‘skin positive’ is all about pride and it is truly shown in the campaign.

Vishwanathan says that while their previous campaigns have shown fair models, there was no intention of being colour biased in choosing our brand ambassador.

He admits that they were inspired from previous campaigns as the society’s thinking is changing. On the marketing front, the brand has not taken any effort apart from some on ground activations, store level promotions, cinema and releasing this campaign on their digital platform. Vishwanathan believes that the film cannot be depicted in a 30-second format to show on television; hence they haven’t tapped that medium.

When asked about doing the same campaign for men, as fairness creams are emerging for men too, Vishwanathan says the context for women has a lot of emotion in it which makes a difference. Men’s fairness creams are at a very nascent stage and the emotional quotient for men is lesser when it comes to fairness, compared to women.

Sharing his views on the creative thought process, Krishna Mohan, India/2, said, “We learnt a lot from the movement against colour bias that we launched #proudofmycolour. We built a community of almost two lakh in a period of just four months. And the support we got from our “mavens of colour”, be it the girl next door (in their hundreds) or celebrities like Padma Lakshmi, Radhika Nair, Nidhi Sunil has been astonishing”. Many of the insights from the #proudofmycolour campaign went into making of the film for Banjara's Skin +ive. Perhaps this explains why the ad has resonated with audience across the country and has recorded more than 3 million hits within a week.

The music composed by Divakar Subramaniam revolves around the theme; you can’t judge beauty by colour, especially created to enhance the desired message. The film has been shot by India/2 Productions and will play on prominent online mediums and cinemas as part of its outreach plans. The strategic promotion of the film on the internet has been crafted by Manish Sinha and Arvind Jha of ParikshaLabs.

The TVC:



Client: Banjara’s

Team: Ramesh Vishwanathan, Aparna Lakshmi, Arvind Jha, Manish Sinha, Prabahakar S, Krishna Mohan R

Agency: India/2

Creative, Account Management, Planning, Production: India/2

Director: Prabhakar S

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