- SheaMoisture launched a new brand campaign called "It Comes Naturally" that showcases the work of six Black female artists to bring the "stories, legacy, and heritage" of Black women to life, the company announced in a press release.
- The Unilever brand has also pledged to commit proceeds from every product sold to investments in businesses owned by Black women through its preexisting Community Commerce program. The campaign was created by a team of Black and multicultural creatives from SheaMoisture, agency BBDO and polycultural marketing firm JOY Collective.
- "It Comes Naturally" debuts amid the global movement for racial and gender equality, and includes a financial commitment that could protect the brand against claims that it is "woke-washing," running purpose-driven campaigns that fail to take real action.
Against the backdrop of the ad world's current reckoning with its history of systemic racism, SheaMoisture's "It Comes Naturally" tapped Black female creatives — from the commissioned artists to the marketing team — to celebrate Black female identity and a message of empowerment. Purpose-driven marketing is often viewed as a way for brand messaging to resonate with millennial and Generation Z consumers. Brands with a high sense of purpose had more than double the growth rate of those with a low sense of purpose, according to Kantar Consulting's "Purpose 2020" report.
The campaign is part of parent company Unilever's commitment to purpose-driven marketing. Unilever CEO Alan Jope earlier this year said the company would dedicate more of its marketing spending on purpose-based messaging. In a call with analysts in January, Jope said the company found purpose-based marketing supports both short- and long-term growth. Jope said last year that "woke-washing" threatened to "infect" the advertising industry, a concern the brand is combatting with its Community Commerce initiative.
For the campaign, the brand commissioned artists Monica Ahanonu, Rachelle Baker, Bisa Butler, Alexis Eke, Linda Mawala, and Reyna Noriega to create pieces that celebrate generations of Black women. A campaign video features striking colors and different interpretations of the Black female experience, such as the jazz era of the 1920s, Southern churches and the Civil Rights movement. Along with the artists, the "hybrid agency team" included Black and multicultural writers, artists, editors and composers from SheaMoisture, BBDO and JOY Collective, putting Black women in front of and behind the camera.
"SheaMoisture was founded as a response to needs in our community, not only for premium products celebrating our natural hair, but also institutional and cultural needs," CEO Cara Sabin said in the press release. "Since day one, SheaMoisture's mission has been to invest in, support and empower Black women. Today, we're proud to introduce this campaign, a true labor of love and an uncompromised collaboration with other Black voices and storytellers, as we continue our mission of supporting our community through impact."
The SheaMoisture campaign follows similar efforts both within and outside of the beauty and haircare industry. Barefoot Wine last month launched "We Stan for Her," a four-part web series highlighting the beauty experience of Black women in the U.S. Ford in January launched a campaign that focused on the behind-the-scenes efforts of women of color.