A new campaign from Sephora, created by BETC Etoile Rouge, looks at the changing approach to beauty.

No longer confined to the catwalks or magazines but there in our friends’ selfies, or the latest uploads from influencers, the brand suggests that our smartphone screens have become our bathroom mirrors. The meaning of beauty is also evolving in culture, entertainment and social media, with people challenging the status quo and giving their own interpretation of what it means to be beautiful. 

We wanted to affirm the role of beauty in our lives and in doing so reaffirming the role and benefit of the whole industry.

With this in mind Sephora has stated its own idea of what beauty is in this new campaign, called The Unlimited Power of Beauty. You can read more about the concept behind the film here but below, Florence Bellisson, Creative Director at BETC Etoile Rouge, discusses the work that went into the campaign and 

Sephora – The Unlimited Power Of Beauty

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What was the brief from the client for this campaign?

There was no brief but a common understanding that we needed to redefine our brand platform to restate our point of view and reclaim our role as leader. The expected effect: “if you think you know Sephora, think again”.

Did you immediately know how you wanted to approach it, and what the central idea would be?

We wanted to affirm the role of beauty in our lives and in doing so reaffirming the role and benefit of the whole industry. Showing that beauty is a tool of power and confidence. The power to experiment and find our own definition.

What research went into what the thoughts and feelings of the girl/woman in the film would be through the course of the spot?

We had a substantive collaboration with the director who took care to describe the psychological profiles of each age, and find and write their relationships with beauty.

Above: Florence Bellisson, Creative Director at BETC Etoile Rouge.

The script is very powerful and emotive; how long did it take to lock that down and did it alter much as you progressed?

It was a long process before shooting. We adapted the different scenarios of each age according to the casting choices. The cast brought a lot of their personality to the shoot because they were not seasoned in shooting commercials. This allowed us to create and build an emotional chain step by step.

Why was Jonas Lindstroem the right choice as director for this and what did he bring to the project?

He was very attracted to this project because he wanted to explore emotion in his work. His background is as a photographer, image maker and director. The cinematographic and genuine intention we wanted to deliver motivated him to exceed our expectations, even in the voiceover that he rewrote with us.

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Can you tell us a bit about the casting and the process of finding the different actresses?

We cast in many different cities to find girls and women from an African background. It was challenging as we had to find people who looked like the same person at different ages. We found our cast and then used some techniques for small details like hair, eye colour and the freckles.

What made the track that you chose to accompany the images stand out? 

The cover by Kelsey Lu of the iconic track I'm not In Love was chosen for its emotional power that resonated in everyone, but also for its femininity. The final chords give a sense of fulfilment.