Remember that fairness cream commercial which used to propagate how using a ‘fairness cream’ can get you your dream job? Yea, that’s ‘Fair & Lovely’ for you!
Recently, the team at ‘Fair & Lovely’ decided to change their product’s name after 45 years.
And we’re here to tell you more about it!
The ongoing Black Lives Matter movement in the West has brought to light the deep-rooted racial prejudices in different parts of the world.
And as you can guess, Indian society’s obsession with fairness and the idea that fair skin makes one beautiful/successful has been brought to the forefront.
As a result of this, a number of major brands in the cosmetic industry are being called out for normalising and even promoting this idea in their marketing strategies and campaigns.
One of these brands is Hindustan Unilever Limited.
‘Fair & Lovely’, one of their most famous products, has skin whitening as its sole selling point and has ingrained these same ideas and beauty standards since its launch in 1975.
HUL released a statement that they would stop using words like “fairness”, “whitening”, and “brightening” in all their products to be more inclusive. They also said they’d be removing ‘Fair’ from ‘Fair & Lovely’ and renaming the product.
This is seemingly a minor step in the right direction. Only…it’s not.
Because what did HUL rename the product to?
Glow & Lovely!
An evidently tokenistic move to try and appeal to the masses with the BLM movement in full swing, this statement made an already raging internet even angrier.
Not only were they still keeping this product on the market, but they also just got very, very lazy.
The statement that HUL released became a huge talking point on the internet and of course, it also generated a whole wave of memes.
The men’s fairness cream, “Fair & Handsome”, was also renamed to “Glow & Handsome”.
Again, this change had angered the internet but it also turned into a meme for more than one reason.
Firstly, this meme started trending because of the irony in the statement released by HUL.
The brand claimed that the reason for renaming the product was because they were “committed to a skin care portfolio that’s inclusive of all skin tones, celebrating the diversity of beauty.”
But the product is still a skin lightening (read: fairness) cream.
Also, the internet can make a meme out of pretty much anything.
What’s more, such memes capture the youth’s attention!
So naturally, when the brand put in zero effort into renaming the product, the internet saw it as a golden opportunity to start making memes!
Because the internet has now developed this tendency to pinpoint issues as well as make memes out of pretty much everything, brands now need to be very careful with the way they campaign their brand image.
An effective way to appeal to the youth without coming across as salesy is meme marketing!
Make memes, not ads and you’ll be…well glowing! (everything’s fair in puns, oops did it again!)
Want to know more about meme marketing?
Get in touch with Youngun India.
Article written by Yusra Ahmed