The creative decisions behind Tesco’s important skin tone plasters campaign

“About bloody time” was photographed by Emily Stein for BBH’s campaign that is purposefully “hard to ignore.”

26 February 2020

This week Tesco became the first UK supermarket to introduce a range of plasters in diverse skin tones to better represent the population.

The campaign accompanying its release was created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), and focuses on the slogan “About bloody time.”

“The UK’s biggest retailer has just moved the dial on something that needed to change,” says Uche Ezugwu, creative director of BBH. “We created a campaign that is bold and visually impactful, hopefully making it hard to ignore.”

The release includes three new tones of plaster, the idea for which was inspired by an emotional Tweet on the subject that was found by a Tesco employee. The campaign imagery includes photos of skin with “About bloody time” obscured by a plaster that blends in with the skin in the background.

Emily Stein, who photographed the campaign, explains the creative process behind it: “I went in and met the creatives from BBH and they were all very excited about this project and launching a product that is actually really bloomin' needed,” she says. “They wanted to create a really beautiful image that allows the viewer to celebrate their beautiful skin tones and with an item which blends... at last!”

For a campaign like this, there are obviously certain aspects that need to be approached with tact, one of which was choosing models for the shoot. “We spent a lot of time getting the casting right, we wanted to feature someone who not only had a beautiful and rich tone to their skin, but that would also allow the plaster to stand out as an element in its own right too. We didn't want the image to rely on retouching, but to feel real and charismatic," she tell It's Nice That.

The images themselves do not show the body in full either, which was an idea borne out of a relaxed and friendly approach on set. “We played around with the body in a very sculptural way, following lines and curves of the body along with its natural shadows, highlights and bone structure.”

The campaign will be visible across both print and digital, featuring heavily in the Evening Standard and Metro newspapers in the coming weeks.


About bloody time, photographed by Emily Stein for BBH

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About bloody time photographed by Emily Stein for BBH

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Charlie Filmer-Court

Charlie joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in December 2019. He has previously worked at Monocle 24, and The Times following an MA in International Journalism at City University. If you have any ideas for stories and work to be featured then get in touch.

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