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LUX is a global brand developed by Unilever. The range of products includes beauty soaps, shower gels, bath additives, hair shampoos and conditioners. Lux started as "Sunlight Flakes" laundry soap in 1899.
In 1925, it became the first mass-market toilet soap in the world. It is noted as a brand that pioneered female celebrity endorsements.
As of 2009, Lux revenue was estimated at €1 billion, with market shares spread out to more than 100 countries around the globe.
Developed by Unilever, Lux (soap) is now headquartered in Singapore.
Origins and historyEdit
Lux toilet soap was launched in the United States in 1925 and in the United Kingdom in 1928. Subsequently, Lux soap has been marketed in several forms, including handwash, shower gel and cream bath soap.
Lux's early advertising campaigns aimed to educate users about its credentials as a laundry product and appeared in magazines such as Ladies Home Journal. By the early 1920s, it was a hugely successful brand and in 1924, the Lever Brothers conducted a contest that led them to a very interesting finding: women were using Lux as toilet soap.
Building Beauty Soap CredentialsEdit
Introduced in the United States in 1924, Lux became the world's first mass market toilet soap with the tagline, Made as fine as French Soap. In the first two years of its launch, Lux concentrated on building its beauty soap credentials. Advertisements offered consumers "a beauty soap made in the French method" at an affordable price, with the promise of smooth skin.
Made with fine-texture, rich in fragrance, and manufactured using a method created in France, the first Lux toilet soap was sold for 10 cents a bar.
1928–1940: 9 out of 10 starsEdit
This era saw key launches of LUX in the UK, India, Argentina, and Thailand. The brand concentrated on building its association with the increasingly popular world of film, highlighting movie stars and their use of the product. In 1929, advertising featured 26 of the biggest female stars of the day, creating a huge impact among the movie-loving target audience. This was followed by Hollywood directors talking about the importance of smooth and youthful skin. This pioneered the trend of celebrity product endorsements.
In 1931, Lux launched a I am over 31 campaign, which focused on older stars. The series of print ads had stars talking about preserving youthful skin. During this era, Lux also launched campaigns featuring interviews and close-ups with stars, bringing to life the '9 out of 10' idea.
1940s and 1950s: Romancing the ConsumerEdit
Using movie stars as role models, Lux's strategy was to build relevance by looking at beauty through the consumer's eyes. While still retaining the star element, the focus shifted to the consumer and the role of the brand in her life.
1960s: Romancing the BrandEdit
In the 1960s, advertising was shifted to product stories and the romanticising of brand through its "sensorial & emotional" dimensions. This was the era of the film star feeling and the Golden Lux, featuring stars such as, Sandra Dee, Diana Rigg, Samantha Eggar, Audrey Hepburn, Cyd Charisse, Debbie Reynolds, Kim Novak, Doris Day, and Barbara Rush.
The bathing ritual, the fantasy element that now represents the image of Lux, was created in this era. The brand also moved forward with launching LUX in the Middle East, entering a more conservative market.
1970s: Expanding the Notion of BeautyEdit
Reflecting the shift in beauty trends in the 1970s, Lux stars stepped down from their pedestals and were portrayed as multi-faceted women with natural beauty that the ordinary woman could relate with and aspire to. The executions were more of a day in the life of the stars, which focused on their natural beauty. Stars included: Brigitte Bardot and Natalie Wood.
1980s: Owning the Category SpaceEdit
Promoting itself as the beauty soap of stars and beautiful women, in the 1980s the brand emphasized the importance of skin care – the first step to beauty. Lux was launched in China at this time. Sophia Loren, Raquel Welch, and Cheryl Ladd were some celebrities used during this era.
In India, Bollywood actresses, such as Sharmila Tagore, Hema Malini, Parveen Babi, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Rani Mukerji, Aishwarya Rai, Katrina Kaif, Amisha Patel, Kareena Kapoor, Asin, Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt have endorsed Lux soap.
1990s – early 2000s: Advanced Skin BenefitsEdit
In the 1990s, Lux moved from generic beauty benefits to focusing on specific benefits and transformation, emphasizing functionality for different skin types. It is during this era that the brand began to focus on ingredients. The communication was far more region-specific, using stars such as, Brazil's Malu Mader and Debora Bloch.
This period launched product brand extensions with shower creams and gels, and Lux Super Rich Shampoo in Japan and China.
Lux Style AwardsEdit
2000s: Beyond Movie StarsEdit
In early 2000, the focus shifted from specific skin benefits to a stronger emotional space. The brand provided the link between the aspirational role models and real life with the campaign, Lux brings out the star in you. The benefit was now more than just beauty itself; it expanded to be about the confidence that comes from beautiful skin.
In 2005, Lux encouraged women to celebrate and indulge their femininity with the Play with Beauty philosophy, with stars like Aishwarya Rai. The brand also encouraged consumers to take a more active stance on beauty.
Since 2008, building off the brand's root strengths, focus has shifted away from femininity to more emphasis on beauty as it relates to consumers' fantasies and aspirations. Lux espouses that beauty is a female instinct that shouldn't be denied, and showcases the pleasure that every woman enjoys from using her beauty. This modern philosophy is encapsulated in a simple phrase: Declare your beauty.
Today, Lux products are manufactured at 71 locations with more than 2000 suppliers and associates providing the raw materials. It has key markets in countries like Brazil, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, and South Africa, and is a market leader for soap bars in India, Pakistan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Vietnam.