The rebranding strategy that turned heads and attracted massive global media attention was the bold move made by Unilever when it renamed its flagship skincare brand Fair and lovely to ‘Glow and lovely’, back in July 2020.
The international outcry over the killing of George Floyd led to the #BlackLivesMatter movement that had major repercussions, including brands rethinking their communication. This also brought to spotlight how brands have been discriminating and reaping off of people’s insecurities, such as the obsession with white skin or ‘gora complex’, which is prevalent in South Aisa.
‘Fair & Lovely’, is one such brand where Unilever faced massive criticism for openly promoting an unrealistic beauty standard stemming from colorism and racism. Following this backlash, the consumer brand decided to drop the word ‘fair’ from the brand name; also, the skin cream for men is now called ‘Glow & Handsome’. However, people aren’t totally satisfied!
Skin lightening products contribute multi-billion dollars to the fast-moving consumer goods industry. The brands have given in to the global protest and have agreed to show support; this action shows that brands are now accepting that ‘dark skin tone is beautiful too’ by designing ‘inclusive’ brand and communication campaigns. For instance- Fair & Lovely will still be sold, however it has removed, “before-and-after impressions and shade guides that could indicate a transformation,” says Unilever.
The change took some time to reach Pakistan where most of us are now witnessing promotional vans and billboards with the slogan ‘Fair & Lovely is now Glow & Lovely’, at almost every busy street and road.
The name change triggered many long festered emotions and reactions from social media; many appreciated the move while questioned the authenticity of the move, and whether a mere name change alter the age- old mentality that is obsessed with ‘fair skin’.
Here is how netizens reacted to the change:
Fair & Lovely is now Glow & Lovely reminds me a lot of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi becoming Ahle Sunna Wal Jamaa.
Wohi chooran bech rahay hain par packing farq hai.
— Ahmer Naqvi (@karachikhatmal) October 3, 2020
"Fair&Lovely" is now "Glow&Lovely"
Consumer is just a joker, right? pic.twitter.com/1n0e6ZgUUg
— Basith Haroon (@basithharoon) September 7, 2020
'Fair & lovely' is now 'Glow & lovely' so did Yami Gautam just applied Radium on her face ?
— Aayu (@zayushh) July 3, 2020
Twitter was also flooded with many trolls mocking the company’s move, highlighting the brand’s intention to consider selling such products.
Many called out the brand endorsing misogyny through selling such fairness creams:
So Ugly this is and Epitome of #Misogyny took you decades to realise how you destroyed the confidence of Dusky, Gorgeous women in the country by selling trash called #FairandLovely and now you call it #GlowandLovely
— Vani Tripathi Tikoo (@vanityparty) July 2, 2020
So Fair and Lovely will now be called Glow and Lovely? C’mon Hindustan Lever. For years you’ve been profiting by destroying our nation’s young girl’s self worth by making rude comments about dark skin.
Now prove your ‘intentions’ by having a dark skinned girl on your packaging.
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) July 2, 2020
"Glow & Lovely"
1st pic : Fair & Lovely
2nd pic : Glow & Lovely pic.twitter.com/iCJryrPCFm
— Veesh Key 🎏 (@VeeshKey) July 2, 2020
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