3 Marketing Insights from Billie's New Ad
We see legs. And hair. Lots of hair.
Armpits, bellies and feet. All close-ups. All full of hair.
That’s the way it is. That’s the way bodies look like. That’s how female bodies look like.
Yet, not in ads.
Ads used to show women’s skin without any hair. Smooth like the sea on a windless Sunday afternoon. Hair used to be a male attribute. A sign of growing up, sophistication and power.
Billie, a female-first shave and body brand, breaks this rule. Its new commercial celebrates female body hair in all its beauty and diversity. It’s a call for gender equality, emancipation and freedom.
The ad has been a huge success on social media. It’s a great artwork and a marketing masterpiece. It teaches us three insights that every marketer can deploy to create work that matters.
1. Political Activism
Successful 21st century brands don’t promise material wealth but higher order values. Consumers engage in sustainable citizenship. They demand businesses to take an ideological stance on the world instead of only selling functional goods.
Billie doesn’t accept that women pay 10–15% more for razors than men. It fights what they call the “pink tax”. It builds razors for womankind at a fair price and fights male hegemony.
The New York-based body brand also challenges stereotypical beauty and gender clichés. It paves the way for women’s freedom to choose. To choose who they are, what they want to do and how they want to look like.
By doing so, Billie adheres gender equality, feminism and female self-realisation. It establishes a new female identity and its ads become a socio-cultural call for action. The brand enacts like a political activist and fights for ethical values. For its customers, Billie functions as an identity maker. They use the brand to show the world their beliefs, attitudes and ideologies.
2. Neotribalism and Communities
NikePlus provides athletes a platform to connect. Harley Davidson doesn’t sell motorbikes but access to a network of freedom lovers. A circle of hardcore fans builds MINI’s brand identity in unofficial and exclusive membership meetings.
Nowadays, consumers buy products because of their social link to like-minded peers. The universal need of belonging to a tribe with shared values drives humans. And smart marketers are aware of this phenomenon.
Some of them seem to work for Billie.
Besides its commercials, Billie also has also launched an online platform where customers can connect to each other: #projectbodyhair. This social movement encourages women to make the internet a little fuzzier. It invites every women to submit her own body hair photo and be proud of the way they are.
3. Direct-to-Consumer Brand
The Dollar Shave Club has blunt Gillette’s success. Casper has disrupted the mattress market. And Warby Parker has revolutinzed how we buy our sunglasses.
Humans love the David vs. Goliath story. The small ones beat the big ones. The underdogs tear down the business places once dominated by the Unilevers and P&Gs of our world.
These so-called direct-to-consumer brands (DTCs) are the new normal. They avoid traditional retailers and sell their products through their own online store. DTCs foster a one-to-one relationship with their customers. They rely on social media marketing and get rid of intermediares like TV channels or newspapers.
So, is Billie. The rising star promotes its service on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube only. It offers freeshipping. Their fans can get an individual product besides the overpriced mainstream offerings.
All in all, Billie practices an ideologically driven branding and marketing philosophy. Its new ad enacts as a form of political activism with the purpose of establishing a new female identity. Billie provides its target group a platform to connect and fight for shared values. As a micro brand, Billie markets its products directly to its fans. Without any expensive intermediaries but with authenticity and transparency.
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