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DEI+ Campaign Spotlight: Vaseline Tackles Systematic Racism & Healthcare Inequalities

DEI+ Campaign Spotlight: Vaseline Tackles Systematic Racism & Healthcare Inequalities
Honoka Miyata

Welcome to the DEI+ Campaign Spotlight, where we highlight various campaigns that embed DEI strategies into their marketing plans. By sharing these ideas and sparking a conversation around DEI, our society can continue to both learn and unlearn our ever-changing consumer trends.  

In our previous DEI+ Campaign Spotlight, we took a look at Gymshark’s Deload campaign and how its efforts to destigmatize men’s mental health through relationship building and fostering a “non-judgemental safe space” for consumers led to a successful brand building strategy for the company.

This Week's Campaign Highlight: Vaseline’s See My Skin Campaign

This week we’re moving our spotlight over to Vaseline’s See My Skin Campaign. A 2023 Gold Lion award-winning campaign, See My Skin aimed to tackle issues of systemic racism and deep-rooted healthcare inequalities in the United States by creating the world’s first database designed to search for conditions on skins of color. This achievement was made a reality thanks in part to Vaseline’s long-standing partnership with HUED, a digital health equity company that creates equitable and inclusive healthcare experiences for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. The two companies also joined forces with the platform VisualDx, which was created by dermatologists to help medical professionals diagnose patients of color. Together, the three of them joined the movement to advocate for those with melanin-rich skin.

Research published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reveals that less than 6% of image-based search results showcase conditions on skin of color. In order to ensure that all content is accurate and relevant, the See My Skin platform is independently evaluated by Vaseline’s Dermatology Review Board. A team of esteemed dermatologists such as Dr. Mona Gohara, Dr. Uchenna Okereke, and Dr. Caroline Robinson all work together to ensure that only the highest standards of information exist within the platform. 

“Here, melanin-rich skin is the default, not an afterthought. With See My Skin, you can search, learn, and find a provider who can offer you the superior care your skin deserves. We want to be a resource for education and connections with skin care providers who specifically understand your cultural, physical and mental needs. ” - See My Skin, Vaseline & HUED

The Key to Vaseline's Successful Campaign – Channeling Advocacy through the Collaboration

What was the key to Vaseline's campaign’s success? Aside from embedding the values we’ve discussed in our previous campaign spotlights (such as people over product, fostering a community, and listening to the community), Vaseline made a point of collaborating with organizations that have expertise in the realm of healthcare inequalities, specifically those concerning skin. Thanks to these connections, Vaseline was able to create a useful resource and community for folks all across the country.

“Brands have realized that politics, race and sustainability are now all top-of-mind issues for consumers and that’s why our 10-year journey at Cannes has yielded a Gold Lion, four Silvers and three Bronzes this year. Programs like Vaseline’s “See My Skin” break through because they answer a societal need and generate tangible results in sales and trust. We are taking purpose to a new place for the industry, beyond belief into action. These honors validate our approach that Trust drives growth and action earns Trust.” - Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman 

As Edelman shared, this campaign went beyond simply building a brand: it provided tangible solutions to the societal need for healthcare equity, thereby earning them the trust of various communities.

And trust was certainly earned. According to Edelman’s campaign report, See My Skin organically earned visibility for over 50 unique keywords and generated more than 6,000 visits within its first two weeks. The platform helped people in the moment they needed it the most, with 59% of organic views coming from users who were searching for a specific skin image or dermatological concern. To date, Vaseline’s efforts have created 3.1 million equitable skincare experiences for patients and dermatologists alike.

Vaseline’s mission to tackle healthcare equity for melanin-rich folks doesn’t end there either – the brand aims to create 15 million more equitable skincare experiences by 2025. They plan to achieve this feat by focusing on three key areas: providing resources for communities, granting access to care, and offering education for skincare professionals.

Valeria Piaggio, Global Head DEI, Kantar Sustainable Transformation Practice, states that closing inclusion gaps within our community and in advertising representation requires bravery, commitment, resilience, and long-term vision. Underserved populations continue to play a crucial role in the marketplace, and inclusive marketing will forever remain imperative if a brand wishes to grow and obtain cultural relevance.

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