What makes a woman beautiful?

“What do you call a woman who believes in her ability to make anything possible? Beautiful.” This line is part of Neutrogena’s new See What’s Possible campaign.

This is similar to the Dove Real Beauty campaign we studied this week. The commercial above does not focus on a product or an unattainable image of beauty to sell a product. Instead, Neutrogena says it is their job to help women put their best face forward. The commercial features women of different ages, ethnicities, and interests. All the adjectives used to describe these women during the commercial have nothing to do with their appearance. To complete the phrase “What makes a woman beautiful?” words like courage and passion. “Beauty is the ability to look in the mirror and see that anything is possible.”

The broad nature of the See What’s Possible campaign makes it capable of maintaining a consistent message even when adapted across multiple platforms. Incorporating it into a hashtag, #seewhatspossible, allows for easy tracking and consistency across all social media. It also keeps the campaign recognizable on multiple platforms.

Whoever was in charge of creating the See What’s Possible likely studied the Dove Real Beauty campaign and Always #likeagirl. These two campaigns saw success when they ran and focused on evoking emotion rather than promoting a product. Neutrogena was able to duplicate this thought process and market a similar campaign of their own.

Neutrogena’s See What’s Possible campaign speaks to women’s emotions. It makes an effort to connect with them and champion the idea that beauty is about more than looks. The diversity in the commercial backs this up. The focus instead is on qualities of inner beauty. Beauty is passion. Beauty is courage. Beauty is following your dreams. This is something to which all women can relate.

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5 Responses to What makes a woman beautiful?

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for sharing, Christina. Neutrogena is definitely trying to enter the conversation, like Dove and Always. They are attempting to appeal to women’s strengths and inner beauty, however they did not cast a wide variety of body types. Despite bringing together women with diverse ethnicities, the majority of the women are still thin. Neutrogena could have cast a variety of body types to represent all women. It is a step in the right direction, however.

  2. gfaris says:

    While I appreciate Neutrogena providing a platform to connect with women based upon their strengths and inner beauty, I find it to be contradictory in the products that they sell. If this same ad campaign was promoting a specific university, company, beverage or service that helped to provide tools to women of all ages and backgrounds that helped them excel I may find it more fitting. It feels semi-contradictory that a makeup/ skin care company is stating they want women to put their best foot forward when that basis is hinged upon a certain facial wash.

  3. Karen says:

    I really enjoyed the messaging of the commercial. Neutrogena is most definitely on the right track because I think the words of ‘courage’ and ‘passion’ tell a much more compelling story than lets say, ‘smooth perfect skin’. Regardless of what someone looks like or how beautiful or unbeautiful one thinks they are, having courage, confidence, passion, and a drive do so much more to make someone look ‘beautiful’ not just in their looks, but in what they’re capable for doing.

    I don’t think these commercial will drive sales for a particular item in the line, because well, I don’t think that is the intent of these campaigns. But, I can see how it can help drive overall growth (sales, positive reviews, social media impressions) by creating brand loyalty and engagement.

  4. Camille says:

    Thank you for sharing this article, I hadn’t seen this campaign. 🙂

    Similar to the other replies, I thought the commercial was an interesting move for Neutrogena, and I like the direction this campaign and the Dove campaign are shifting women’s hygiene advertising. For so long these product advertisements have had a negative tone. I feel like even starting at the nascence of product promotion, a lot of women’s hygiene/makeup advertising used fear tactics and other strategies to make women feel uncomfortable with themselves unless they used X product. (There are some great ads from the 1920s/ 1950s that illustrate this, for instance the ivory soap or Lysol ads below). Not to mention the ridiculous magazine ads today that simply photoshop the cover model. It’s nice to see the 180 degree change, but I’m curious if is this just a phase, or if this ‘positive marketing’ strategy will actually shift to other products.

    Ivory soap – 1926 – http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/beauty-and-hygiene-ads-1920s
    Lysol ad – 1958 – http://pzrservices.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451ccbc69e2017c318edc08970b-pi

  5. Bridget says:

    Hey Christina, great example of another company besides Dove representing the industry. I use a lot of Neutrogena products myself and I can attest to their dedication to truly thinking of consumer needs and doing what they can to help, not make money. I love the part where they say they will help you “put your best face forward”. This is where I see a huge difference between Dove or other beauty lines and Neutrogena, because Neutrogena doesn’t seem to be hiding behind any masks or say that “you are perfect just they way you are”. They want to help you bring out your beauty, and are not trying to cover anything up, like promising anything they cannot provide for their customer. They also don’t give empty promises for happiness, something that has nothing to do with skincare but is an obvious emotional affect in the branding of the campaign. They just act as an aid, and they show exactly who they are and how they are there to help. They are honest. Great find Christina!