British body, skincare and wellness brand Sanctuary Spa this week unveils its largest brand marketing campaign to date – This Counts – with an empowering film that seeks to take the guilt out of the way we approach self-care and, as identified in a recent survey, addresses a national self-care gap, which still seems to exist for many women.
Strategic and creative communications agency Southpaw, which created Sanctuary’s #LetGo campaign in 2015, was reappointed to produce This Counts, to build brand equity and to develop a warm, engaging and impactful campaign targeted to Sanctuary’s female customer and her busy lifestyle, encouraging positive behavior change.
A poignant and playful look at what self-care really is and what counts, the new campaign highlights how self-care doesn’t have to be about unachievable yoga poses or forever out-of-reach, long weekend health retreats; it’s about attainable moments of joy that anyone can experience throughout their day.
A 30-second primetime advert will launch the campaign across major TV networks including ITV, ITV Digital, Channel 4 and Sky. Directed by renowned commercial director AJ Colomb and produced by independent film studio Caviar London, the film is narrated by a self-assured, 40-something woman and features four spirited, relatable women representing different life stages.
A workaholic in her 20s, a mid-30s mother and a woman in her 50s playfully show their own version of ‘self-care’ by cheekily asking, ‘Does this count?’, while taking time out to dance around the kitchen, eat chocolate spread from the jar and spend time in the garden.
Glenn Smith, creative director at Southpaw, said: “In such a crowded category, getting noticed was one of our biggest challenges, so we used humor as our number one weapon.
“From our casting to our writing to our visual style, we always went for the unobvious, deliberately rubbing against the standard beauty and skin care category codes. And, in AJ Colomb and photographer Kate Peters, we found creative women who knew exactly how to push the campaign to reach its furthest creative potential.”
Building on the brand’s heritage of understanding women, their lives and their challenges, the new campaign is born from a new national survey, conducted by OnePoll and Sanctuary Spa, that revealed that, while a staggering 94% of UK women have felt the benefits of taking time out for themselves, 61% on average are only managing to achieve 17 minutes and seven seconds per day of self-care.
Of those surveyed, 84% predict this won’t change in the next six months and 15% believe this amount of time will actually decrease. When asked how much time they would ideally like, the average came back as 51 minutes and nine seconds a day.
Analyzing the survey, Sanctuary Spa’s new proposition is a realistic recommendation of ’25-a-Day’; 25 minutes of self-care across the day, that is. This is an empowering goal for women to bridge that gap with an achievable and transformative new daily habit that will help them feel great and banish any guilt about doing so.
Jacqueline Burchell, global marketing and product development director for Sanctuary Spa, said: “We at Sanctuary wanted to make self-care more achievable. It is the simplest thing you can do to look after yourself and we wanted to show that you can fill that self-care gap without putting more pressure on yourself with unattainable goals.
“We know that you can’t always bridge the gap straight away, but setting a realistic goal of 25 minutes, spread out in small heavenly chunks of self-care throughout the day, will go some way. Self-care is about you and doing it your way! Go on – embrace your 25 a day!”
Sanctuary’s biggest marketing campaign to date will break on TV networks from September 6 and will be further supported by OOH, display, digital video and social media advertising running through until the end of the year and beyond. Social media forms the backbone of the campaign and will be used to share with women ways to achieve their ’25-a-Day’.
Niki Macartney, strategy director at Southpaw, said: “We want to encourage behavior change and thereby establish a new self-care normal. To do this, we are looking to reframe the way women look at self-care. Instead of them thinking of it as a ‘guilty pleasure’, we are encouraging them to think of it as a ‘pleasurable necessity’.
“We are also bringing in several behavioral interventions, the most prominent being ’25-a-day’. By piggybacking the ubiquitous ‘5-a-day’ program, we are helping women chunk down what can seem like an unachievable task into simple and realistic goals that will subsequently form new habits.”
Supporting the campaign is clinical psychologist and social content creator Dr Julie, who specializes in making psychology accessible by sharing bite-sized mental health and motivational videos on her social media platforms. She will produce simple and fun expert tips on how women can implement their 25 minutes of self-care a day, guilt-free.
She added: “Small self-care habits mean you can avoid being overwhelmed. With all the noise about therapy and understanding the complexities of mental health, let’s give a shout out to the simple things that can transform the day.
“Exercise, see friends, set time to rest, meditation, relaxation. They don’t take away your problems or make the world a different place, but something as simple as being surrounded in nature or listening to powerful music can take us from inexplicable sadness to feelings of awe and calm. My personal go-to moments of self-care including going for a short run in the countryside, which never fails to lift my mood and energize me. If it’s rest that I need, then reading a book in a hot bath helps me settle down for a better night’s sleep.”