Pick of the Week: Lux’s championing of Caster Semenya shows true solidarity

The campaign encourages people to sign a petition challenging Semenya’s ban from athletics.

Lux: Caster Semenya animated for the spot
Lux: Caster Semenya animated for the spot

Lux, the Unilever-owned personal care brand, is standing with 800m Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya to have her athletics ban lifted.

Its campaign encourages people to sign a petition challenging World Athletics' decision to ban Semenya from the upcoming competition. 

Semenya has hyperandrogenism, a condition that causes high levels of testosterone. Due to her testosterone levels, Semenya's right to compete has been challenged and her identity as a woman questioned.

The animated film points out that "athletes are the superheroes of our time" and asks "why ban Caster Semenya" if like other athletes, she was "born with special gifts".

It challenges the idea that an organisation or entity should be able to take more ownership of Semenya's womanhood than she is of her own identity. We then see the athlete drowning in the drugs she would be expected to take to suppress her hormone output, before breaking free from her struggles. 

By sharing the message that "no woman should be judged for how they look" or "ever be stripped of being a woman", Lux is also taking a stance on behalf of other women, who make up its primary target market. It also helps challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes that have long been perpetuated by advertising.  

The company has also pledged to inspire 50 million women by 2025 to rise above everyday sexism and embrace their inner beauty and femininity.

Overall this is a special spot, with a meaningful purpose at its heart and a powerful use of narration that helped the message hit home.

Brand Lux
Agency Wunderman Thompson
Creatives Ricardo Tronquini, Ai-Lin Tan
Director Ralph Karam
Production company Final Frontier