By Danielle Long, Acting APAC Editor

April 3, 2023 | 3 min read

Did oily skin help create the world's first air kiss? A brilliant creative campaign by Pond's Men Indonesia to promote a new face wash suggests it did.

'The Oily Warrior’ ad opens on an ancient Indonesian tribe where victorious warriors are being honoured with a kiss on each cheek by their king. One by one, we watch the warriors step up to receive the great honour.

However, when an extremely oily-faced warrior steps forward, the king hesitates and simply cannot put his lips on the warrior's oily cheek. Instead, he simply kisses the air inventing the world's very first air kiss.

The campaign, which was created by Ogilvy Singapore and directed by award-winning director Ayappa, was born out of a simple universal insight, according to Putri Paramita, Pond’s Indonesia Beauty & Wellbeing Lead.

“I think everyone, no matter where they’re from, can relate to the dread of having to kiss an oily face. It’s a universal insight. So, of course, it was no surprise that our Indonesian audience loved it when we tested the initial concept with them.

“While Pond’s is a global brand, we tailored our communications for this new Pond's Men format for the Indonesian market, connecting a local insight with our product benefit of long-lasting oil control. Switching things up with an Indonesian historical setting was another strategy we used to stand out against our competitors," says Paramita.

In order to connect with Indonesian audiences, the ad includes traditional Indonesian gamelan instruments while the costumes and headgear were inspired by designs by Indonesia's indigenous Dayak peoples.

Pond's global brand director Jopa Malantic, said, "Over the past five years, Pond's Men has firmly positioned itself as the oil control face wash that saves Indonesian men from awkward moments. It is great to see how Ogilvy has evolved this with a new insight, giving it a fresh spin while keeping the same tongue- in-cheek humour that Indonesians love about the brand."

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