Pond’s ‘butch slaps’ male stereotypes in Indonesian ad campaign

Pond’s Men has launched a new TV and social campaign focusing on a video that uses physicality to make a point about male stereotypes.

The video depicts two men, one larger alpha-male and one younger less traditionally ‘male’ character, slapping each other in turn in an apparent competition. The punch line is that the less traditionally male character wins, primarily because he has looked after his skin so well that it can take some harder slaps than you’d expect.

The tone of the video is quirky and intended to be humorous but the message it conveys is serious. Many brands have been taking on the topic of subverting gender stereotypes in ads, while the ASA in the UK has brought about a bad on harmful gender stereotypes.

Nicolas Courant, co-chief creative officer, Ogilvy Singapore said: “In the real world, most Indonesian men don’t aspire to be alpha-males, and we’ve learned from our recent Bodybuilder film that they are hungry for entertaining content that makes fun of such cliches and doesn’t take itself too seriously. When it comes to skincare, guys are way more relaxed than what the category wants to show us. As a challenger brand, we wanted to set ourselves apart from these stereotypes.”

According to Ogilvy, the unusual approach is intentionally challenging as Unilever-owned Pond’s itself is a challenger brand that needs to see off bigger rivals with bigger media budgets.

The ad first aired on TV but has been supported by an online social media campaign.

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