MMS and LUX Arabia put women in the spotlight with new campaign that aims to redefine femininity
Posted on 2022 Dec,09

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What drives the way society looks at strong and successful women compared to men? How can it be changed, and what role is there for brands in driving change? 

LUX Arabia, Unilever Studio, PHD, and MBC Media Solutions (MMS) partnered to launch ‘Under the Spotlight with LUX’, a campaign aiming to alter preconceived ideas about women in the region and their labeling.

We’ve all witnessed it. At work, one may describe a male colleague as ‘assertive’ while their female counterpart is derided as ‘bossy’. In relationships, a man is labeled ‘passionate’, whereas a woman is characterized as ‘emotional’. In wider society we hear many more derogatory phrases that degrade and negatively refer to women such as ‘women only belong in thekitchen,’ and ‘oh! she is strong, she must be better than 100 menput together’.

In Arabic typography, the ‘kasra’ (/) is usually used to indicate the feminine gender. Without it, people assume that the word is addressed to the male audience by default. 

Since the word ‘kasra’ directly translates as ‘broken’, LUX, the global brand owned by Unilever, feels it is time to revolutionize Arabic usage by refraining from using the ‘kasra’, as the brand believes all women should embrace their feminine qualities and still receive the respect they deserve. 

Launched August 24th, ‘Under the Spotlight with LUX’ sought to change the negative labeling often attributed to women in the workplace, home, and social settings. LUX wanted to shift the narrative and ‘redefine femininity’ by forcing us to consider the words we use for men and women. 

This campaign tackles perceptions and inspires women to defy judgement and unapologetically express their femininity across all aspects of their life. 

To accomplish this, the two-week campaign put women under the spotlight by taking over Shahid's interface, including Shahid VIP.

As part of the first-of-its-kind campaign, audiences on Shahid AVOD and SVOD platform were targeted with a series of messages that play on words and Arabic typography, with an X on the kasra.

Additionally, movie and show posters that centered male stars were redesigned to feature the women stars in the center, along with messages such as 'You are strong with LUX', 'You are successful with LUX', 'You are courageous with LUX', and 'You are unbreakable.’

Influencers were engaged to discuss societal perceptions and the aim of the campaign is to shift the narrative of how women are perceived/labelled in the region, promoting the campaign under the hashtag #intothespotlight. 

A spokesperson from LUX Arabia was also featured on Sabah Al Kheir Ya Arab to discuss changing the narrative. 

Previous to this campaign, in 2020, LUX Arabia had shifted focus onto the professional success of many Saudi women in an unprecedented way. It had discovered that in Google searches for various professions, men tended to be all the top results and women were not appearing in the search. LUX encouraged Saudi Arabian female professionals to step #IntoTheSpotlight through a Google Search Words activation that makes accomplished Saudi Arabian women the top search result on Google.

As part of the same campaign, the brand also launched a series of videos showcasing inspiring stories and interviews with these women, who have successfully established themselves in predominantly male-dominated industries. 

Following the overall global strategy to launch its new brand purpose, LUX will continue to inspire women to defy judgements and to dare to express their femininity unapologetically. 

Marwan Yassin, Personal Care Arabia Marketing Director explained: “Women everyday face judgments and are being underestimated for their abilities based on their looks and the effort they put into looking beautiful, which needs to stop. That’s why we have made it our mission at LUX to be a driver of this change and to inspire women to rise above judgements and express their beauty and femininity unapologetically. We have done so over the years through partnerships with strong platforms like Shahid’s to shed the light on powerful and inspiring stories and will continue to support women to step into the spotlight and show the world that beauty goes beyond what you can see.”

Nawal Nasreddine, Executive Business Director - PHD Arabia noted: "Many of us are guilty of unconsciously using words, phrases or expressions that bring down what femininity stands for, and while it can mean different things to different people, it should always be considered to be a position of strength and positivity. For us to redefine femininity, we worked with LUX brand and MMS, to reshape the layout of the Shahid platform and get the audience to do a double take to see how things taken for granted can have an impact when positioned differently. We changed the layout of the show posters to hero the women, we put the women in the spotlight, and we communicated Strength, Success, Courage, through native placement on the platform. Through the creative execution and Shahid’s reach we are able to create more visibility around this topic and drive conversations.”

Rayan Hajjar, Client Partnership Director at MMS commented: “We are proud to have contributed to the LUX initiative, which redefines the narrative pertaining to women in the region. With a first of its kind execution, Shahid modified its user interface to natively embed the inspiring messages of the Lux campaign across the platform, extending to the SVOD tier that echoed the same message in unique formats. MMS will continue to drive positive impact and support brands that contribute to women’s progress in line with the evolution happening in the region.” 

The campaign was visualized and implemented by MMS in partnership with LUX Arabia, Unilever Studio and PHD.