Campaign of the Week

12 March 2024

Vaseline restores faded murals to promote skin healthcare for people with darker skin tones 

Skincare brand restores community murals to promote its online image database of skin conditions on people of colour

In 2022, Vaseline launched the See My Skin platform: an online image database that allows people of colour to view what skin conditions look like on their own skin tone.

To develop the platform and continue its efforts to make skin healthcare more accessible for people of colour, the brand created an initiative that uses art restoration to shed light on the importance of caring for darker skin.

Mended Murals underscores the need for increased access to skin health resources for underrepresented communities by showcasing how, without proper resources, murals that were once vibrant reflections of the culture and people in their communities can fade over time.

The brand commissioned mural restorations from artists based in Baltimore, Brooklyn and Hartford. Select murals feature a QR code directing community members to SeeMySkin.com, where they can access skin health care resources.

Vaseline has also committed to donating a total of $250,000 across charitable health clinics in each US city where murals are restored.

Furthermore, the brand is inviting people to submit a mural that is important to their community for a chance to have it restored by its creator. For every mural restored, funds will be provided to support a health clinic in their city.

The campaign was developed with agency VML, New York, and launched February 2024.

Contagious Insight 

Say it with emotion / Mended Murals demonstrates Vaseline’s longstanding commitment to accessible skin health resources with emotional storytelling and visual panache. In an interview about the See My Skin campaign, Kate Endeley, former VP and strategy director at Edelman, told us, ‘In the purpose space, action is the differentiator – what are you actually doing for the cause? A lot of the backlash that other brands have got has been because people can’t associate any action behind what they are doing.’

This campaign brings Vaseline ‘action’ (the See My Skin platform) to life, using storytelling and the power of art to visualise the brand’s commitment to inclusive skin health care. The brand also went beyond just provide people with resources, it put money on the line, giving $250,000 across charitable health clinics, driving home its commitment to inclusive skin health.

Creator community / In our Inclusivity for Impact trend, we discuss how brands should get close to their consumers and to these specific groups of under-served people to understand what their problems are. Then, work collaboratively with them, and bring the community along with you during the design and development process so that you can ensure you answer their needs.

The key element to this campaign is that Vaseline didn’t go ahead and restore the artworks by itself – it reached out to the artists who created the murals and collaborated with them to spruce it up. It’s a small but vital detail that ensures Vaseline can’t be accused of commercialising street art. And by getting people to interact with the campaign and suggest murals in need of retouching, the brand opens up an ongoing dialogue with communities to keep the campaign alive for longer.

The murals are not obviously branded, and while that makes it harder to connect the campaign to Vaseline, the artfully added QR codes serve as a neat way to engage people with the brand and its mission.

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