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‘Beauty in Real Life’ Campaign Makes Good on CVS Promise to Stop Altering Imagery

Image credit: CVS Health

CVS Health continues to put its money where its purpose is. Following up on the promise it made in January to stop altering imagery for beauty products, the company’s retail division, CVS Pharmacy, has launched an advertising campaign, “Beauty in Real Life.”

Told through the lens of photographer Mei Tao and director Kat Keene, the campaign was created by women, for women and features diverse women in unaltered photos and a video that highlights “real-life” beauty moments, such as a woman riding the bus on the way to work, a mom getting ready for the day with her daughter watching and friends getting ready together for a night out.

Beauty in Real Life is the first campaign to adopt new standards for post-production photo alterations and will unveil the first images to feature the “CVS Beauty Mark,” a watermark designed to highlight imagery that has not been materially altered. CVS Pharmacy has worked closely with key beauty brand partners to create the final guidelines to define “materially altered” for beauty imagery as part of this initiative.




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“There’s been a shift in what consumers want to see when it comes to beauty. They are asking for more transparency and authenticity, and that’s what Beauty in Real Life is all about,” said Norman de Greve, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer at CVS Health. “We wanted to introduce a campaign that uses beauty to make women feel good about themselves by empowering them to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin.”

The company claims that the campaign is the first of its kind for a beauty retailer. It will span digital, print, social media, out-of-home and television media from April through June. The campaign was produced by boutique full-service creative agency Standard Black, which partnered with CVS Pharmacy to launch a nation-wide search to cast real women to represent diverse beauty. The female director was hired through Free The Bid, a non-profit initiative advocating on behalf of women directors for equal opportunities to bid on commercial jobs in the advertising industry.

Beauty in Real Life is the latest initiative in CVS Health’s efforts to encourage healthier lifestyles. Changes in its retail stores include ending the sale of tobacco productsembracing healthier food options and committing to remove certain chemicals of concern from all store brand beauty and personal care items by 2019.


Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]


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