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When Agility meets Diversity: Private campaign shoot for Hansaplast and Elastoplast

Jenny Bengelsdorf and Misel Ahom

Embracing the diversity of our consumer communities is increasingly important. Therefore, capturing and celebrating elements of this consumer diversity was central to the Beiersdorf Brands Hansaplast and Elastoplast when planning a new campaign as part of the biggest brand relaunch the Health Care portfolio has ever undertaken. However, this ambition was not easy to realise due to the significant restrictions and conditions caused by COVID-19. Thus, the team had to completely rethink. The result: a photo shoot that could hardly be more special, personal and diverse. Jennie Bengelsdorf, Global Marketing Director Health Care, and Misel Ahom, Global Diversity and Inclusion Director, share the story behind it in this interview.

Jennie, what exactly were the challenges of the campaign shoot for the new Sensitive Plasters that you and your team implemented last year?

Jennie: COVID-19 was putting a severe strain on our budget as well as on our flexibility to bring everyone together. We didn’t even know how to get a diverse cast of people in this situation – which was key for the planned campaign. Due to the tight budget, we couldn’t afford the support of an agency to organize everything. A classic campaign shoot was simply impossible. But the team of our Health Care brands has a true entrepreneurial spirit, following a very hands-on can-do mentality. Thanks to this, those challenges did not stop us.

So, you managed to realise a campaign shoot despite these circumstances?

Jennie: Yes, we did! In a brainstorming session we suddenly realised that the solution was pretty much staring us in the face: working in a global team, we are very diverse ourselves – we represent a great variety of characters, backgrounds, abilities and countries of origin. So why not leverage the diversity of our own team and get it done over the weekend? And this is exactly what we did! We brought together our own children and spouses to a photo shoot in my garden on an otherwise normal Saturday afternoon. We only booked a photographer – that’s it! Everything else was done by us. From finding the right location to selecting the outfits for the kids – simply the entire planning and coordination which is normally done by our agencies. On the day of the shoot, we put all our forces together and managed being producer, timekeeper, caterer, and entertainer all in one. You could say that the biggest expense that afternoon was the pizza bill.

Very impressive! And are you happy with the results?

Jennie: Yes, definitely! It was all worth it! The pictures are so authentic and as such a true representation of the brand. We are happy that we can continue our path of becoming a more representative brand with these photos.

Hansaplast & Elastoplast Sensitive plasters

But the campaign pictures are not the only step to become even more representative. Do you want to share more about the product the campaign is about?

Misel: Sure! As a company we recognize the importance of inclusivity and as a brand we aspire to increase the representation of our diverse consumer base. Not only showing it in our communication, but also in our product propositions. The skin is a key part of our identity and all too often what the world uses to define how we are seen. For many of us, our skin directly shapes the experiences we have in life. At Beiersdorf, we care for everybody’s skin. For us, it is what unites us and we want to be uncompromising in representing skin in all of its beautiful shades and differences. This campaign is the start of this journey for us in Health Care.

That is why we expanded the Sensitive line with additional skin tone colors. The campaign marks the launch of these new tones. They are currently being rolled out in the first markets. The first wave includes the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Australia, France, the Netherlands and Germany. This launch also perfectly underlines the purpose of Health Care: “We’ve got you covered, for a life uninterrupted.” Because this is an inclusive promise. I am very proud of this step. Not at last because it allows us to better reflect not only our consumers, but also ourselves – the diverse team behind our brands.

Sounds great! Looking at the campaign pictures it becomes clear that children are in the focus of the campaign. Is there a reason for it?

Jennie: Yes, because children’s everyday adventures often end in minor scrapes or abrasions. To make sure their exciting life is not interrupted by this, a safe and at the same time gentle plaster is the perfect solution for the sensitive skin of a child. The Sensitive plasters offer strong adhesion while ensuring a painless removal. In addition, they are hypoallergenic and block 99 percent of bacteria* so parents don’t have to worry about the wound getting infected. With this, tears can quickly be turned into smiles, as the campaign pictures show. But above all they stand for something else: the beauty of diversity and togetherness! Although, our key target for our Sensitive line is the group of parents, the plasters are suitable for people of all ages and especially those with sensitive skin.

And what is happening beyond plasters? Does diversity play a special role at Beiersdorf?

Misel: Definitely! As the inventor of modern skincare, we strive to make everyone feel comfortable in their own skin. Creating a culture with Diversity and Inclusion at its heart is the fundamental expression of our Corporate Purpose, CARE BEYOND SKIN. CARE BEYOND SKIN in the context of Diversity & Inclusion means to Care for the uniqueness of our employees and consumers. We want to express this care in embracing their differences within an inclusive company culture where everyone can be their true self. We believe in a culture of belonging together while embracing individuality. Diversity is what enriches us, and how we win in competitive markets worldwide. That is why we proactively drive a company-wide Diversity & Inclusion agenda. 

*Based on internal testing according to an adapted official standard method.

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Carolin Schreyer

About the editor: Carolin Schreyer

Carolin is responsible for our Pharmacy and Selective Brands within the Corporate Communications team. In this way she takes care of international communication projects of brands like Eucerin, Aquaphor, Hansaplast and La Prairie.