Encouraging viewers to nurture a positive relationship with themselves is a tall order at the best of times – not least when they’re glued to the screen watching the impossibly polished individuals on Love Island – but the Body Shop has managed to turn this to its advantage.
Launching on Monday, the brand’s “Self Love Street” ad campaign will air three creative 30-second spots running in and around the ITV hit series.
Created by Wax/On and produced by Partizan, the campaign is an extension to the Body Shop’s global "Self love" campaign, which has been running since March.
Global research conducted by the brand and Ipsos Mori identified what it terms a “self-love crisis”, with one in two people saying that they feel more self-doubt than self-love. The Body Shop's "Self love uprising" has focused on giving women and people in the LGBTQ+ community, in particular, the support and tools to help them achieve self-acceptance and self-love in the face of increasing pressure from all on and offline media platforms alongside social pressures.
Despite being a form of entertainment and joy for many, reality shows can fuel self-doubt with unrealistic representations of beauty, love and lifestyle. Hence the Body Shop's mission to inject some self-love into Love Island, and remind viewers to love themselves.
“Self Love Street” depicts three housemates using alternative ways to love themselves by focusing on three key issues: rejection in love, the need for external validation and body image.
Fran, Olivia and Leila all struggle with these challenges. But in a moment of defiance, each chooses to act against self-doubt, and we see them transition to powerful expressions of self-love.
One takes to painting a self portrait to achieve her ultimate authentic selfie; another picks up her guitar to play to herself rather than others; and one lights a candle as we see her begin to indulge in the act of masturbation.
Ben Hooper, creative partner and co-founder of Wax/On told Campaign: “The Body Shop is the original activist brand so this was an amazing opportunity to show that to a new audience, one that is comfortable talking about self-love, in all of its forms.
“Ordinarily much of its advertising is predominantly around product and this is this is a pure brand ad, something they very rarely do if at all."
Planning agency Craft Media deduced that the most strategic way to get the most attention around the topic was to air it during Love Island, but all the while keeping it real.
Hooper said: “Because Love Island was picked as the space to play in, we decided to create our own version of what a reality show might be, while acknowledging the triggers for self-doubt that come from watching those kinds of programmes.
“A big part of the Body Shop is that it wants to appeal to as many different people as possible. We couldn't replicate what was going on in Love Island, so we had to create something which was much more believable much more real.
“The most important thing we wanted to do was set up self-doubt in a way that people could understand So, social media is obviously one of the biggest triggers in terms of negative messaging and trolling. And the rejection you get on dating apps, which is everyday and people really understand it.
“And then we wanted our expressions of self-love to be fun and interesting and different. We have to remember as well that we were communicating with the younger audiences, this is specifically designed to talk to Gen Z.
Hooper admits it was a bold move for the Body Shop to embrace the topic of self-love, adding: “That was quite an interesting process because obviously the stuff that may be quite sort of bold and brave for some audiences is completely normal for others.
“So we talked about self-love and what does that mean and how do we show people, and educate people about what it is. And we wanted people to feel that it’s a movement. We wanted people to feel that this was like an uprising, it was something for people to get behind.”
Directed by Ali Kurr, the ad will be linear and BVOD on ITV, with a teaser trailer launching the campaign on digital and social.
Fran’s, Leila’s and Olivia’s individual stories will all be told in greater depth on digital and social.
Rhiannon Scarlett, UK marketing director of the Body Shop, said: “Our 'Self love uprising' has been working hard to help people find an authentic relationship with themselves and understanding that this is their strength and a superpower. Unrealistic and unhealthy aspirations which take you out of your true self can be detrimental to your wellbeing and self-esteem.
“Reality TV shows and social media can trigger destructive and negative feelings affecting our mood, wellbeing, and our self-esteem at a time when we need healthy boundaries more than ever. So, this summer, we’re encouraging viewers to rise up with self-love and to step into our Self Love Street.”