That REN Skincare video that has me wondering just how clean is clean?

by Paris B on · 59 comments

in Musings

ren clean That REN Skincare video that has me wondering just how clean is clean?

REN Skincare is 10 this year and apparently, kids reach maturity earlier these days, if the promotional video is anything to go by. If you have not yet seen this quite controversial REN Skincare video, I have it after the jump. There is a reason for this. It is rated 18+ and not safe for work (s-e-x – need I say more?). Do not say I did not warn you!

If you do watch it or have watched it, I’d love to know your thoughts and naturally, I’ll share my thoughts too. It does make me look at my few REN Skincare products well… a little differently icon wink That REN Skincare video that has me wondering just how clean is clean?

Here is the video – again, this is RATED 18+ and NOT SAFE FOR WORK PLACES (excuse the shouting. I had to be heard above the shocked gasps and scrabbling for the mouse to click the X button before the Boss walks in)

http://youtu.be/bjSDmtfl638

Now that you’ve viewed it, what do you think?

I actually was highly amused at the image REN was trying to portray although I’m not quite sure if this was the best way to go about reminding people of your brand existence. REN means “Clean” in Swedish although REN is an English brand and I guess I didn’t expect to see something like this from them because the packaging, products and philosophy of the brand is anything but sexy. From a marketing and brand awareness point of view, I think they hit it out of the park. Everyone will remember the ad and the brand now!

I know some people were not amused and some were even disgusted after watching. Which were you?  The only thing is, I have tried a few REN Skincare products now, and well, none of them make me feel like I just had rumpy pumpy in the middle of a Scandinavian lake with a blond Viking. NONE. Am I being shortchanged here? icon razz That REN Skincare video that has me wondering just how clean is clean?

Paris B

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[ 59 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Lily
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 9:12 am

Lol! I saw this a whlie ago and just couldn’t connect the relevance to skincare. Was it unnecessary excessive nudity? Bah… Whatever. I enjoyed the freedom of artistic expression nonetheless. Yeah right. Hahaha!
Lily recently blogged…Whitening & Hydrating: Chanel Le Blanc SerumMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I think this ad seems to have offended many people who don’t get the relevance with the brand or with skincare. Well, me neither although I’m not offended ;)

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Lily
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm

People nowadays get offended a little too easily. It’s an ad. Good or bad, it’s just publicity ;-)
Lily recently blogged…Whitening & Hydrating: Chanel Le Blanc SerumMy Profile

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xin
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 9:22 am

having had tried a couple of REN products too, i can’t see what’s the relationship between clean and the video. LOL. maybe because they just resurfaced from water? hence clean? i wonder if the ad is making appear on the tv.
xin recently blogged…Nail Art Tutorial: Color-Blocking with a-england Order of Garter and Bridal VeilMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Erm our tv? You kidding? :P I think its the whole surfacing from the lake feeling clean thing but erm, message got lost I guess :P

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sesame February 21, 2012 at 9:25 am

One of my readers mentioned the couple went through fake tan to shoot the ad so the ad is not that pure and clean and innocent.

Using sex and nudity is the easiest way to get attention. So sorry, no creativity points there. But having said that, I still like their products and even though I don’t think much of the ad, I’ll probably still use their products if I want to.
sesame recently blogged…Can you use a diaper rash cream for your acne?My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Haha I don’t think this ad is pure, clean and innocent at all but it sure is attention grabbing! ;) I’m not swayed to make a purchase based on this ad or any ad for that matter, but it does make me look at my body oil and wonder “How is it I don’t feel the same way?” haha…

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rinnah
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 9:29 am

Erm, I don’t equate my skincare with a naked romp in a lake…didn’t make me want to buy the brand but it certainly left an impression (not sure how long it’ll stay though, as I tend not to remember all advertising campaigns. Heh.). I was reminded very much of a certain ‘moist’ campaign though.
rinnah recently blogged…Bubble tea taste-off : All the contendersMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Funny isn’t it? The skincare did not make a single appearance throughout the film. Not even sunscreen LOL!

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syeang February 21, 2012 at 9:29 am

i would have to say….wt* …lol ,gosh i guess sex sells? still no connectivity to the product. it feels dirty instead of clean now. gasp*

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

hehe… I think its a way to grab the attention of everyone. Gotta admit they succeeded ;)

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Isabel February 21, 2012 at 9:54 am

I’ve watched it earlier and as many pointed out, there is absolutely no relevance between the err … “activity” in the ad and the philosophy of being “clean” claimed to be the basis of the brand. I’m no prude and I get that nudity and sex are treated much more casually in Scandinavia and in the western world (relatively to us). The part that irks me is the attempt to try and cover the bottom line which is that “sex sells” with something that is “pure” and “clean” and “innocent”. C’mon … whose eyes are they trying to pull wool over? It’s the hypocrisy that gets to me and I’d really have much more respect if they had just came out and said “Yes, it about sex. And we resort to it because it works.”

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Just playing devil’s advocate Isabel – they didn’t actually feature any product in the video, and they didn’t say “oh this product makes me feel like getting all randy in the lake” so technically, they weren’t quite selling anything per se ;) But yeah I do wonder why REN went down this route. Its bold and different but potentially also may alienate future customers.

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Isabel February 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Excellent point! And one that quite eluded me :P I suppose that was partly because I automatically read that ad as selling something more abstract which is the philosophy behind the brand and not a literal demonstration per se of what its products can err…achieve LOL! There are so many ways of portraying purity and the feeling of being cleansed which is the idea behind the range of REN skin care. So why a raw sex scene?

I do get that the ad was probably partly based on the idea of going back to nature and being liberated from the confines daily life (and I do subscribe to the idea that nudity IS a form of liberation but that is another topic altogether!). But such an in-your-face sex scene overshadows all that and the reason for using is sex is because …well, it garners a great deal of attention as demonstrated by how we are discussing the topic!

Always nice to have someone play devil’s advocate and highlight points that we might not have noticed :) Oh and just for the record, the ad isn’t going to alienate me as a potential customer. I’ve been intrigued by the reviews of their products for some time now and would love to test them out (strawberrynet, here I come!). In fact, I think that artistically the film was very well shot. It’s just that the relevance factor is missing!

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 11:50 am

Playing Devil’s Advocate is fun ;) In general, the products aren’t too bad. I’ve tried some and they are for the most part, quite gentle on the skin. I quite like that body oil I showed in the picture. I’m due to write a review which I better do soon – strike while the iron is hot and all that ;)

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Lindsey February 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

I’m not disgusted, but I’m offended at how awful a commercial that was. It seemed more like a pro-sex/body-proud sort of PSA, not a commercial for skincare. Who would guess it had anything to do with that? Because she had nice skin? She’s having crazy sex all over the place, probably, and regular sex is said to be good for the skin lol she doesn’t need REN.

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Haha! I like your last line Lindsey :D

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electronicfly
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

Ren could be starting a new line of condoms maybe? Or sunblock? They’ve had gotta be sunburnt after all that time in direct sunlight.

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm

You know what I was thinking? “Gosh! The water must be freezing!” LOL!!

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Monstro February 21, 2012 at 11:20 am

HAhahhahahha! Loved it, so creative and original for a beauty product. I am sure it got the brand loads of attention. Will get people talking and even trying it out. Does the product deliver though?

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

The products are alright – but nothing that makes you want to … ahem!… get down and dirty… or clean, if you know what I mean ;)

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Monstro February 21, 2012 at 11:26 am

Just for the record, it’s not so much about relevance, as it is about standing apart from other brands, creating an identity for the brand (bold, daring to be different, sexy) and of course the message is “really cleans you inside out” (nobody got that reference…? hehe)

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

And I was waiting for your comment to see it from your point of view! :D I wanted to see if a creative person would see it differently or maybe even get the message that the rest of us miss because we’re too busy going “OMG! How could they?!” and I’m glad you delivered! :D

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Jyoan February 21, 2012 at 11:37 am

I’ve thought that REN skincare is a Malaysian brand! Lol. It still sounds more like a Chinese Pin Yin to me, than a Swedish word.

I think it’s excessive nudity too… … The marketing group probably didn’t research on the geographical differences of values. It makes me want to conclude “dirty” after everything, and (because I don’t know REN means “clean”) I was a bit surprised at their final tagline.

Apart from the soothing music, that scene definitely fits into an M18 movie here. Thanks for your warnings, I didn’t gasp! hahahaha.

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm

LOL Nope, REN is English and the word itself is Swedish. I personally used to pronounce it “ren” like in mandarin for person but its actually pronounced “ran”. If REN wanted the attention, boy have they got it ;)

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Iza February 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Hmmmm do you need to resort to sex all the time really?

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Interesting question! Guess the brands think so :)

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Juan
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm

what the fish??? *shocked in disbelief*

it either looks like a condom ad, or a promo for people who hadn’t had sex in 3 months. yessiree.

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm

What the fish? LOLOL!!! Hopefully no fish were nibbling the tender bits in the lake ;) Actually I don’t think it even looks like an ad. The first time I watched it, I was wondering if one of them was going to fish a bottle of cleanser or something out of the water – I mean, its an ad right? :P

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lizzy February 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm

all that comes to mind is : random!

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 11:42 am

Indeed! What a campaign eh? :)

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Kathia February 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Loved the ad. Absolutely got what they were going for. It’s just a more graphic version of rolling in the grass in a park. It’s an emotion they are trying to cultivate.
Truth be told I almost always look at natural skincare products with similar image cues (except for the nude folks), grass, water, sunlight and people, just taking it all in. They could’ve just had two people running on a grassy patch smiling, but nothing says like really taking in nature like having a romp in the hay, in this case almost literally.

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 11:45 am

I enjoyed reading your thoughts Kathia :) You could be right – it evokes the image of rawness and nature, just more graphically depicted

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Jamilla February 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Personally, I prefer just the scientific facts, m’am. Not interested in porno adverts for skin care – this is not a flavoured lubricant, after all!

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 11:46 am

Haha!! True true but you gotta admit that this is way more eye catching than straight facts! ;)

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beetrice
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm

rumpy pumpy made me think Black Adder for some reason *random thought* but I think REN is drawing all the wrong sorts of attention for this ad. definitely didn’t feel very ‘clean’ after watching that! :P
beetrice recently blogged…Care for a spot of tea with the Enavose Black Tea Quench Mask? I would…My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 11:46 am

Haha Blackadder! I love the series – I should go and get the box set :D

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Kahani February 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Ahh it’s an ad, which in my line of work means I can watch it. There definitely is a desire to shock but Scandinavia (and swedes in particular) definitely has a freer attitude than most towards sex and nudity. Thoughts that went through my mind were…
1. bloody hell, every lake I’ve encountered in Scandi is FREEZING even in summer.
2. There are definitely more impressive vikings out there.
3. That was short. ;)

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

I did think that the scene in the lake can’t have been very easy to shoot. Scandinavia isn’t well known for their long warm summers after all. That said, whilst the Swedes are definitely freer in attitude towards sex, I did think that this brand, being English, was quite brave. The English aren’t known for being free about anything :P

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Helen Nguyen
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm

After watching that video, I’m speechless.

But now that Im recovered from the speechlesness, I have to agreed with Kahani that the Scandinavians doesnt take nudity and sex that serious. I know that, cause I am living in Scandinavia. But I doubt that they’re allowed to put that ad on TV

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 11:52 am

Maybe after the watershed? :) But wow! How cool is it that you’re living in Scandinavia? :D I love that because I’m nosy and love knowing where readers come from and Scandinavia is, for me, terribly exotic. Been wanting to visit for a while – maybe when I’ve saved up enough cos I hear its expensive :P REN is however an English company, which might explain the desire to shock – if it was Scandinavian, this might have been the intro ad? ;)

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Helen Nguyen
Twitter:
February 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Oh trust me, Scandinavia is anything BUT exotic. But if you like snow, I mean, really really really like snow.. then welcome to Finland to freeze your tail off with us, lol!

I instead adore the sun and wish I get to move to some where warmer!

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Paris B
Twitter:
March 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Haha I like our warmth too so I’m not willing to trade, but I will still like to visit Scandinavia – perhaps some day when I’ve saved up enough ;)

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Connie De Alwis
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I get it! People always associate “sex” with “dirty” and REN’s trying to say that they’re product is sooo good that no matter how “dirty” you are, you can get clean with REN.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it :p

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Lisa February 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Yes I think this way too. No other explanation for the clean concept that linked up with the ad.

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 11:53 am

HAHA I love your interpretation of it :D And it would seem a couple of others agree with you too! :D

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yuki
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Seriously was that even necessary?? It’s like an excuse to watch people having sex FOR work!

This would prolly be more suitable for sex enhancing drugs or even lubes… lol…

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 11:53 am

What better excuse to watch it yes? “I have to watch this ad – its work” ;)

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peach_ February 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

I saw the ad a while ago and I agree with others, it’s quite irrelevant. It doesn’t make me any more interested in the line compared to a more “innocent” or even a boring ad might. It just seems like they were dead set on wanting some form of sex in their ad, but couldn’t find a witty or funny or shocking way to relate it back to their brand image. Try again! :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Maybe they sat around the board table and said “Let’s shock the people! What shall we go for? I know, sex sells. Lets just give them sex” :P

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Lisa February 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Getting back to the product itself, how’s the oil faring for you?

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Hi Lisa, the oil is quite nice and the rose scent is lovely and it isn’t oily on the skin at all. I’m meaning to write a review but as usual, things keep getting in the way. I’ll get to it soon :)

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Jean February 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm

lol.. I saw this video a bit back, and just shook my head in both confusion and amazement. Confused because I too couldn’t connect this with skincare, and amazed that REN had the balls to release something like this. Connie’s explanation makes the most sense, but boy did they take their message to an extreme.
Jean recently blogged…5 Things to Look for When Buying from Online Natural Beauty BusinessesMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
February 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Indeed! I think Connie’s interpretation made a lot of sense too but like you, I wasn’t sure how the video actually relates to the brand at all.

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Saga-Mariah February 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Hello!

Being a Swedish packing designer for organic skin care products I thought I was gonna analyze this baby to bits but it all falls in place when she says that last word… “REN”. Because nowhere in Sweden (apart from maybe some small, hillbilly villages on the Norweigian border where they have very peculiar dialects and no television) do you pronounce the word “clean” in swedish as the woman does in this video. She pronounces it like a british person would, talking about this brand.

(We actually laughed out loud in our office when we watched this the first time, because it sounds so utterly silly, like someone would reply ‘clan’ instead of ‘clean’ in english)

So when he says in perfect swedish “How do you feel?”
She replies “REN” (the skin care brand).

So there you go, mystery solved!
She feels like her cleansers and clay masks home on her bathroom shelf after a lovemaking in the wild with the love of her life.
Tricky you have to be swedish to get it though!

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