By Shreya Jois, Partnerships Intern

Health and Beauty campaigns have almost always targeted women, but the recent tide of authenticity is a clear signal that these companies are targeting a newer audience and generation of women. This rise of authenticity in beauty campaigns is a clear signal that newer audiences expect realism rather than idealism, and it seems to be here to stay.

The newest CVS Beauty campaign for their own line of beauty products is free of airbrushing and Photoshop. The most recent addition to transparency in beauty products is definitely not the first, with a host of companies that have come before them (Dove, Aerie, CoverGirl), but it mainly signals that it will surely not be the last. The almost cultural shift towards inclusivity has been reflected not just in marketing campaigns but also in our daily life, from movies and TV to social media.

Of course, CVS would not take this approach if there was not clear evidence that it works in garnering sales. In Aerie’s example, the American Eagle brand targeting largely young women in their late teens and early 20s, ended the use of Photoshop in their ads and on their website in 2015. With their campaign of #AerieReal, their sales rose almost 20% in their 2015 fiscal year and 32% in the first quarter of their 2016 fiscal year.

Clearly these challenges are here to stay for years to come, but only time will tell if this rise in authenticity will move to other industries or stay exclusive to Health and Beauty.

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