The Journey from ‘Fair and Lovely’ to ‘Glow and Lovely’ – A Chronicle
Hindustan Unilever’s popular and best-selling skin lightening cream, ‘Fair and Lovely’ has recently dropped the word ‘fair’ from its name and has been rebranded as ‘Glow and Lovely’, after the recent protests in the west against racial stereotypes. The men’s range for the same is also renamed as ‘Glow and Handsome’.
Launch of the product
Addressing the notion of fairness and whitish skin, Hindustan Unilever patented the brand ‘Fair and Lovely’ along with the melanin suppressor chemical named niacinamide in the year 1971. In 1973, a scientist from the same firm discovered the skin lightening properties of Vitamin B3 and the brand came up with the fairness cream that attracted a lot of Asian women.
Being the first of its kind product to be launched in India, the brand became popular in no time. Specially designed marketing campaigns targeting women from rural areas and associating the notion of success with fairness, it became a huge success.
Fair and Lovely’s marketing strategy over the years
Promoting the brand to interior suburbs and reaching rural areas has helped it to reach the masses. Initial advertisements felt somewhat biased towards women with darker complexion and invited a lot of controversies for the brand. The brand later altered its marketing strategy and came up with the theme of ‘fulfilling the dreams’ and transforming women.
They also started giving scholarships to youth and women for making them independent and promoting their welfare which marked the establishment of the ‘Fair and Lovely foundation’, which offers career guidance, online courses, tests, scholarships and more to the women who register themselves to be independent. There are also success stories and First Salary selfies to make women inspired for choosing career options.
On 25 June 2020, HUL announced that it will be dropping the word fair from its brand as a step towards promoting a more holistic approach towards beauty. “The brand is committed to celebrating all skin tones”, they added.
As a part of rebranding, a new name for the fair and lovely foundation is also expected to be heard soon.
All this was triggered by the anti-racism protests being held across the United States since the death of George Floyd, an African-American in police custody.