LUX has been celebrating beauty and femininity since 1925. The brand understands that beauty is a woman’s armour, her source of strength and it is hers to express, unapologetically. LUX aims to continue to help women everywhere fight casual sexism at home, in the workplace and in wider society. The brand is committed to impacting 4 million lives by 2025 through content, activations and partnerships. One of South Africa’s best Female Athletes and world championship winner, Caster Semenya, has faced years of discrimination for being born with hyperandrogenism. The IAAF had banned her from defending her title in the 800m race at the World Championship in DOHA and made the ruling that should she want to take part in the Olympics she will need to take medication to suppress her natural hormones. Caster was determined to fight this, and LUX wanted to support her in defending her title.
LUX believes that Caster should not be forced to choose between being an athlete or being a women. Femininity is not a tested qualification, it is an inherent right that women are born with and every women has the right to be the way she was born and express the way she sees fit.
In line with Unilever’s Positive Beauty vision, LUX believes that external judgments that bring women down have no place in the world. The brand wants to inspire women to rise above everyday sexist judgements and express their beauty and femininity unapologetically - and Caster Semenya is the personification of just that. It is because of this, and LUX’s status as a heritage bath and beauty brand, that LUX are lending their voice to support the renowned South African Olympic gold medallist, Caster Semenya, in her ongoing fight against the World Athletics Board (IAAF).
STRATEGY & EXECUTION
In February 2021, Caster launched her final bid against the IAAF to allow her to compete in the 800m race and defend her title in the upcoming Olympics. Given the context of the Olympics coming up, we needed to make sure that this campaign had enough impact to raise awareness and help Caster Semenya’s cause. Edelman used the power of PR and social media to create mass awareness of the brand supporting Caster Semenya through this heart-warming campaign.
The goal of the campaign was to encourage South Africans to pledge their support for Caster using the hashtag #IStandWithCaster and also get as many signatures on the digital petition that was created in support of this initiative. By raising awareness through a trending hashtag and acquiring as many signatures on the petition as possible, we wanted the world and the IAAF to see that Caster is not alone in her fight against this injustice, showing she has a strong community of people supporting her.
This campaign speaks directly to LUX’s purpose which is to inspire woman to continue to rise above judgements and rise to the challenge being the best version of themselves. This was achieved through a two-prong traditional media and influencer approach. 1. We partnered with a number of influential South African faces that are known for their work and support for initiatives that empower women. These individuals also have a genuine love for the LUX brand. 2. We sent out a press release to various top tier media publications in the country along with the link to view the global #IstandWithCaster video and to sign the petition in support.
We went live with the branded teaser animated video on LUX’s owned social media platforms. A traditional press release was sent out to hard news and lifestyle publications explaining our cause and linked to the petition and campaign video so that the public could also get involved in the campaign and support Caster. Our influencer partners were all tasked with filming short video clips posted to their social media platforms whereby they pledged their support for Caster and rallied their followers and fans to do the same and sign the petition. We partnered with the likes of media mogul and former face of LUX Basetsana Kumalo, business women and co-founder of The Kolisi Foundation Rachel Kolisi, actress and Goodwill Ambassador Nomzamo Mbatha as well as former Miss Universe and the current face of LUX Zozibini Tunzi and Aaron Moloisi, TV presenter and close friend of Caster
The campaign was successful and went beyond expectations, as we gained coverage on various platforms which included Time Magazine, an international publication as well as massive local publications such as:
- Front page of The Star.
- Cape Times.
- The Mercury.
- Talk Radio 702 Breakfast Show
Through our influencer partnerships we received 18.32 million impressions and 119 000 engagements on social media.
The highest performing posts were from Nomzamo Mbatha with 255 763 views, Zozibini Tunzi with 208 906 views and Somizi Mhlongo with 182832 views.
Overall, we secured 53 pieces of coverage and we achieved a total reach of over 48 million people.
The petition received a total of 34000 signatures in support of Caster Semenya and her fight against the IAAF.