Unilever will no longer use the word ‘normal’ to describe different product varieties, such as ‘shampoo for normal hair’ or ‘care for normal skin’.
With the removal of the word ‘normal’, the consumer goods giant wants to demonstrate that it will fight against the traditional beauty standards and promote a more inclusive vision of beauty. At the same time, the decision is part of the British-Dutch group’s fight against discrimination. “We know that removing the word ‘normal’ from our products and packaging will not solve the issue, but it is an important step in the right direction,” says Unilever.
According to Belgian newspaper De Standaard, the company will also make its future advertisements more diverse by featuring people from under-represented groups. Also, the company promises to no longer digitally touch up the physical features of people portrayed in its advertisements, such as their shape or skin colour.
Unilever’s move does not surprise marketing and communication expert Fons Van Dyck. Other large concerns, such as Nike and Procter & Gamble, are also increasingly focusing on inclusion in their communications, he says. In addition, Van Dyck believes that the threat of private labels also plays a role. “Competition from, for example, private labels is so strong that branded products must do all they can to remain relevant for the consumer. They have to give meaning to their brand.”