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Redefining femininity: Lux Arabia aims to change societal perceptions

MMS x LUX Arabia put women in the spotlight with new campaign launched with Unilever Studio and PHD

What drives the way society looks at strong and successful women compared to men? How can it be changed, and what role is there for brands in driving change?

LUX Arabia, Unilever Studio, PHD, and MBC Media Solutions (MMS) partnered to launch ‘Under the Spotlight with LUX’, a campaign aiming to alter preconceived ideas about and labelling of women in the region.

We’ve all witnessed it. At work, one may describe a male colleague as ‘assertive’ while their female counterpart is derided as ‘bossy’. In relationships, a man is labeled ‘passionate’, whereas a woman is characterized as ‘emotional’. In wider society we hear many more derogatory phrases that degrade and negatively refer to women such as ‘women only belong in the kitchen,’ and ‘oh! she is strong, she must be better than 100 men put together’.

In Arabic typography, the ‘kasra’ (/) is usually used to indicate the feminine gender. Without it, people assume that the word is addressed to the male audience by default. Since the word ‘kasra’ directly translates as ‘broken’, LUX feels it is time to revolutionize Arabic usage by refraining from using the ‘kasra’. LUX believes that all women should embrace their feminine qualities and still receive the respect they deserve.

Launched August 24th, ‘Under the Spotlight with LUX’ sought to change the negative labeling often attributed to women in the workplace, home, and social settings. LUX wanted to shift the narrative and ‘redefine femininity’ by forcing us to consider the words we use for men and women. This campaign tackles perceptions and inspires women to defy judgement and unapologetically express their femininity across all aspects of their life.

To accomplish this, the two-week campaign put women under the spotlight by taking over Shahid’s interface, including Shahid VIP. As part of the first-of-its-kind campaign, audiences on Shahid AVOD and SVOD platform were targeted with a series of messages that play on words and Arabic typography, with an X on the kasra. Additionally, movie and show posters that centered male stars were redesigned to feature the women stars in the center, along with messages such as ‘You are strong with LUX’, ‘You are successful with LUX’, ‘You are courageous with LUX’, and ‘You are unbreakable.’

Influencers were engaged to discuss societal perceptions and the aim of the campaign is to shift the narrative of how women are perceived/labelled in the region, promoting the campaign under the hashtag #intothespotlight. A spokesperson from LUX Arabia was also featured on Sabah Al Kheir Ya Arab to discuss changing the narrative.

Previous to this campaign, in 2020, LUX Arabia had shifted focus onto the professional success of many Saudi women in an unprecedented way. LUX had discovered that in Google searches for various professions, men tended to be all the top results and women were not appearing in the search. LUX encouraged Saudi Arabian female professionals to step #IntoTheSpotlight through a Google Search Words activation that makes accomplished Saudi Arabian women the top search result on Google. As part of the same campaign, LUX also launched a series of videos showcasing inspiring stories and interviews with these women, who have successfully established themselves in predominantly male-dominated industries.

Following the overall global strategy to launch its new brand purpose, LUX will continue to inspire women to defy judgements and to dare to express their femininity unapologetically.

The campaign was visualized and implemented by MMS in partnership with LUX Arabia, Unilever Studio and PHD.