Media—including marketing and advertising initiatives—has the power to shape how we see ourselves and the world around us. As a result, ads can uplift audiences and make them feel empowered by the particular message a brand or product hopes to convey. Julep Beauty is hoping to do exactly that in its new ad campaign, “Throw Anything at Me,” which it created in partnership with Joan Creative.
“Every day, women are bombarded with so much pressure,” explains the ad’s description on YouTube. “‘Throw Anything at Me’ is a celebration, a rallying cry, championing every woman’s innate power and the role that make-up plays in giving us that extra dose of confidence to tackle all the things life throws our way.”
The ad begins with a young woman confidently applying her makeup like war paint. She starts walking down the street of a quiet neighborhood until she is suddenly bombarded by a hailstorm of objects that showcase the pressures that women feel today: magazine covers that present a stereotypical picture of beauty, text messages laden with innuendo, a washing machine, and more. The heroine reacts to these barrages by punching and kicking them until they shatter, literally fighting back against these symbols of oppression.
Beyond the ad itself, the broader campaign also includes a companion video game on Julep’s website where players can assume the role of the ad’s protagonist and kickbox their way through pixelated bras, drunken suitors, and more.
“Female empowerment ads have become kind of a cliché. I mean, when was the last time someone made you feel strong AND made you laugh? We wanted this to be fun for a change–and between the film and the video game, it’s loaded with in-jokes,” Joan Creative’s co-founder and CCO, Jaime Robinson, told Adweek. “This was one of the most fun, collaborative pieces I’ve ever worked on. We had a team of people willing to say things we’ve never said to anybody. All in service of being honest and making something that resonates with our audience.”
The campaign does an effective job showcasing the strengths of media in the digital age. The ad paints an empowering portrait of Julep’s customers by illustrating how the product can help them to overcome the myriad challenges they face every day. It seeks to engage consumers outside of the ad by providing them a fun experience in the form of a video game. Ultimately, it throws a lot at the audience, but this campaign—Julep’s first—leaves us hoping that they’ll throw more at us, and soon.