Friday, 03.11.

#OwnYourCrown: Dark and Lovely’s “Queendom” campaign talks hair

Publicis Machine’s recently-released Queendom campaign, for African haircare expert Dark and Lovely, is a celebration of the uniqueness of African women and their hair. By calling for their audience to #OwnYourCrown, Dark and Lovely embraces and seamlessly crosses the boundaries of the hair and beauty sector. Launched in mid-September, the campaign went live with social media teasers, followed by the release of an exclusive music video featuring Blue Mbombo, Minky Mothabela, Lindi Ngubeni and Wendy Ntinezo - four incredibly different, but equally remarkable, South African women. Each of the women wears their individual style, and equally individual hairstyles, with pride.

Publicis Machine’s business unit director for Dark and Lovely Audrey N’gadi explains: “The African haircare category has traditionally been divided between those who prefer a sleeker, relaxed style, and those who opt for keeping their hair natural. With two primary product lines catering to each separate target audience, the Dark and Lovely brand had an inherent, internal disconnect.

”By encouraging black women to #OwnYourCrown, no matter their style preference, we have unified the two ostensibly disparate target audiences; and thus the brand, creating a unique space for the brand that resonates with its entire audience.” the music video forms the core of the campaign, social media has been used to its full effect through the four brand ambassadors and their individual social media accounts. These local style icons count millions of followers between them, not only across South Africa, but also beyond its borders.

To ensure full 360 degree brand communication, Publicis Machine redesigned the Dark and Lovely website, as well as a Facebook page and Instagram account, specifically aimed at encouraging women to #OwnYourCrown. The team also created “How to” videos, hosted on the brand website, Facebook and YouTube, which explain how to get the best out of the Dark and Lovely products. And the new platform is supported by two television commercial – 1 for natural hair and the 2nd one for sleek hair, and full print campaign.

Just one month post-launch, the campaign has already created ripples in the beauty category with over 1.4 million views recorded on Facebook since the campaign went live. Consumer engagement stats show that the audience is engaging deeply with the creative elements of the campaign, and that this is effecting a change in the way they think about Dark and Lovely. This is most pronounced among the 18-24 year-old audience. “We are incredibly proud of the Queendom campaign, not only because it showcases the sense of purpose of the Dark and Lovely brand, but also because it makes a very important social statement about the self-expression, self-confidence and versatility of African beauty,” says Tresor Mpasa-Engwanda, brand director of L’Oreal African Beauty Brands. The last word belongs to Nneka Keshi, digital director at L’Oreal African Beauty Brands:

“This campaign is just the beginning for Dark and Lovely, as we continue to grow the brand online, bringing our consumers more than the right products but also the knowledge of how to best care for their crowns, whether your sleek or natural! We are all Dark and Lovely!

Credits: MD: Wimpie LeRoux

Account Management: Audrey N’gadi

Agency: Publicis Machine Agency

Art Director: Lethu Zimu, Lauren Mostert, Mpumi Guliwe, Tiffany Morris, Prince Zwane

Brand Representative: Tresor Mpasa-Engwanda, Nneka Keshi

Group Executive Creative Director: Gareth McPherson

Creative Director: Sunet Willemse

Production Team: Hazel Van Jaarsveld, Janine Frauenknecht, Annelize du Plessis

Production Company: The VideoCartel – Travis Owen Lampost – Ross Garett – Bianca Theron

Strategist: Moagi Bodibe, Candice McLeRoth

Social Media Manager: Aimee Olsen

Digital Analyst: Makgale Tema

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