Dermablend shifts from zombies to human stories

'Camo Confessions' puts personal stories front and centre

‘Camo Confessions’ puts personal stories front and centre

Cosmetics brand Dermablend Professional has launched a follow-up to its hugely successful 2011 digital campaign “Go Beyond the Cover,” which featured a heavily tattooed man named Rico “Zombie Boy” Genest whose appearance was completely transformed by its products.

Created by Montreal agency Tuxedo, the new “Camo Confessions” campaign features people sharing emotional stories about having to camouflage skin irregularities such as acne and a skin pigment disorder.

Dominic Tremblay, president and co-founder of Tuxedo, said that the startling success of the original video (see below) – 1.1 million shares on Facebook, 24 million combined online views for the original and a making-of videos, and significant coverage by trade and mainstream media – posed a significant challenge for the agency.

“It was an extremely successful campaign, and the question was ‘how do we top it?” he said. “We needed to continue with the same tone and technique that made [the original] interesting, but try to make it a bit more about Dermablend’s users.”

Tuxedo had discovered that “Go Beyond the Cover” touched on traits not typically found in cosmetics advertising such as self-confidence and self-expression, Tremblay said. The company also decided “there’s a huge opportunity in the market to have a conversation about coverage and camouflage, because the reality is that make-up and foundation is used to cover-up all kinds of skin conditions,” said Tremblay.

Housed on Dermablend’s YouTube channel, each video starts with the subject sitting before a camera, introducing themselves and saying “This is my camo confession,” before wiping away the Dermablend product covering their face.

One video features actor, model and make-up “vlogger” Cassandra Bankson, whose face is heavily scarred by acne that began in Grade 3. Bankson tells of being taunted about her appearance, before revealing that makeup and cosmetics – and an internal passion – gave her purpose.

“I used to use makeup to cover up and hide who I was,” she says. “Now I use it to express myself and show the world who I truly am.”

A second video depicts a college athletic trainer named Cheri Lindsay who suffers from vitiligo, a disorder found in less than 1% of the global population that causes de-pigmentation of the skin. “Can I still live with this and be successful?” she asks. “Hell yes.”

While the first campaign relied on surprise to promote sharing, Tremblay said this campaign is more about creating an emotional connection with consumers. “We wanted it to be more relevant to actual users of the product,” he said. “We wanted to tell a story behind the reason why somebody would cover their skin imperfections.”

Tremblay said that while most beauty brands rely heavily on impossibly beautiful supermodels to promote their product, there is little attention paid to the emotional aspect of applying makeup.

The campaign is also inviting consumers to record their own “Camo Confession” and post it on the channel, with Dermablend Professional donating $1 for every “confession” to the U.S. foundation “Look Good, Feel Better,” which is committed to helping improve the self-esteem and quality of life for women suffering from the side effects of cancer treatment.

2011’s “Go Beyond The Cover”

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