Written by on . Pegasus.

Case study: exploring the ‘new normal’ for eczema

Karl Kasparis explains why Cetraben’s new campaign aims to normalise eczema.

Take your mind back to the classic 1960s Mad Men-style ads, many of which included pin-up women and men, depicting perfect bodies as though this were normal. Over the last decade or so, some brands have been trying to change these perceptions and consumers have been receptive to this.

But dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis are still not widely acknowledged or accepted.

The set-up

When surveyed, the majority of those who suffer with dry skin conditions say they don’t feel normal when they have a flare up. Yet one in five people in the UK have eczema*. To put that into context, that’s just over two players in every 11-aside football team, or six children in every 30 pupil classroom, or even 26 marketers in a 130-strong agency. Now tell me dry skin conditions like eczema aren’t normal.

The campaign

Introducing the Cetraben campaign, This is My Skin, which aims to make dry skin conditions perfectly normal.

Our campaign relies on two promises – that Cetraben will:

  • show eczema or psoriasis in every image moving forward – that’s in every ad campaign, social media image, website and all forms of visual advertising below and above the line
  • not only talk about our product benefits but show compassion and understanding and advise our target audience (in ways that don’t only suggest using our products)

The campaign is founded in real stories of those who suffer with dry skin conditions. Collectively we’ve worked with over 30 people who have eczema or psoriasis to talk to us about their experiences. For some, it was the very first time they had opened up about their condition. Ten models were captured with photography and video footage, you can watch and read about their stories here.

But we knew that part of really striving to make a difference is about how you can influence behaviour long term. That’s why we’ve partnered with online image library, Getty, to host our suite of 100-plus images on the platform royalty-free for anyone to use for years to come. Now Getty won’t just be limited to the clinical photography of eczema but artistically-shot imagery that positions the condition as perfectly normal. Importantly these images have one thing in common, that they focus on the person first – condition second.

The launch

Launched amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve had to be dynamic in our approach to communicating with our audience. Our integrated campaign spans multiple channels including social, digital, press and PR. So far, the reaction has been incredibly positive, with hundreds of organic positive comments across Instagram and we’re seeing coverage in key publications.

Each touchpoint whether it be online or offline, contributes to the consumer journey from discovering Cetraben for the first time, understanding what the brand stands for, to learning about the product benefits for dry skin conditions.

At times, we may still feel like we have to strive for pin-up perfection. But for many, feeling normal is enough – it equates to feeling accepted and should be embraced by everyone.  

is an Account Director at Pegasus with over 7 years' communications & brand experience.