A Women's Shaving Ad with Actual Body Hair: An Advertising First
MIKE O'DONNELL / EDITOR
Omission can be just as much of a lie, and it is one of advertising's preferred methods for misleading consumers. Omission can be a natural result of competitiveness, but frequently turns much more insidious when it comes to establishing unrealistic body image norms, especially for women.
Some of the great offenders of this deceptive art of omission are women's shaving brands. At first they seem perfectly commonplace. There's a shower, a woman's leg, a lather of shaving cream, and a razor. That just about covers it. But if you turn on your brain, you realize something's missing. How did you know it was a women's shaving brand, even before the pink razor glided into view? And then it hits. That unnaturally hairless leg. The one that is supposed to have hair on it to prove that the product works. The same kind of hair that's on full display on every guy's face, neck, back, and chest in ads for men's shaving brands. It's an omission, and a glaring one since it defies "Demonstrating Product Value 101," as well as body positivity and gender parity.
Enter women's shaving brand Billie, who now own the honor of delivering an advertising first: a women's shaving ad with actual body hair. They're calling it "Project Body Hair." Bravery has never been so easy to achieve, but they rightfully deserve all the credit.
So does WNW Member Noemie Le Coz, who handled the branding, illustration, art direction and website for the subscription-based razor and body care brand. "As an inclusive, body-positive brand that supports female empowerment, the identity takes a stand with bold character, inspired by the spirit and confidence of 90's feminism." Noemie served as sole designer across every touchpoint, building a cohesive and compelling visual brand story from scratch. The reliance on straight thin lines reflect the blades of a razor, while the color palette is striking yet soothing. Shout-out to WNW Member Luca Venter as well for providing photography, electing for a soft, dreamlike aesthetic that perfectly captures the intimate essence of Billie: beauty because of body hair and not despite it.
Billie backs their message with two sets of products, giving consumers a choice. Do you shave? If so, try a Billie razor and some shaving cream. If not, skip the razor and try their matte finish lotion and sudsy body wash. Whichever route you go, they keeps prices low and shave both the clichés and the pink tax.