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Why a beauty brand shot its campaign with barely any product

WORDS BY RACHAEL AKHIDENOR

Dose & Co is challenging beauty industry norms and has cracked the market wide open in the process.

For beauty brands, with the market as saturated as it is currently, it can be challenging to find your niche. Perhaps luckily for Dose & Co, the brand has been doing things differently since day dot. The New Zealand beauty brand was founded after Libby Mathews was prescribed collagen for her postpartum hair loss. 

“It was just falling out in clumps,” she says. “Eventually, I was recommended to take collagen powder. It was the only supplement that worked.”

Contrary to popular belief, collagen is not just for good skin but treats a broad range of health issues. People with gut issues, eczema, acne, post-partum hair loss, arthritis and psoriasis all reap the benefits of collagen.

Yet Libby found almost all collagen powders on the market were either full of artificial colours and flavours, or prohibitively expensive. As a certified naturopath and nutritionist herself, she knew that collagen didn’t have to come with such a hefty price tag. It is a protein, after all.

Having spotted a gap in the market and with firsthand knowledge of collagen powder’s efficacy, she convinced her brother they should make their own. “I knew I could make a product that not only tasted great but actually worked,” she explains.

And work it does. With over 1800 five-star reviews, Dose & Co supports a diverse set of customers – from young women with acne and mothers with stretch marks, to elderly women who take its supplements as a reprieve for their arthritis.

Libby attributes much of the brands success to its defiance against simply following the status quo. Dose & Co contradicts the idea that collagen is an expensive supplement, only accessible to those willing to spend hundreds of dollars every month.

When asked why competitors are pricing their products at such high rates, Libby’s answer is short: “Because they can.”

Instead, Libby has chosen to give women greater access to a product they need and the tangible health benefits that follow. As a result, she’s cracked the market wide open.

Its only fitting then that Dose & Cos latest campaign is equally as pioneering. Beautiful imagery of a diverse group of women, including New Zealand transgender model Mana Mackay, is entirely unretouched. It is the women who are front and centre; the product takes a secondary position. In fact, in most of the campaign’s photos, there is not one eco-friendly packaged Dose & Co supplement in sight.

The intention of the campaign is clear. If the products support a womans natural beauty, why not champion the beauty of the women in the campaign?

Elaborating on the idea, Libby says the focus on the woman was wholly intentional. “We really wanted this campaign to be about the women because theyre the ones who buy it. Theyre the ones who benefit from taking collagen powder.”

The campaign also signals the efficacy of Dose & Co’s products. Libby explains that each of the models was sent collagen to try before the shoot. Instead of airbrushing the images in post-production (which is standard practice for beauty campaigns), Libby wanted the images to demonstrate how Dose & Co collagen could be the natural retoucher. “We wanted to showcase natural beauty, natural skin, natural hair, and [show] how collagen can help with that,” she says.

Another striking difference from typical beauty campaigns is the diversity among the models. While many brands are currently engaging in diversity rather performatively, for Dose & Co, inclusion has been prioritised since the beginning. “Ever since we started Dose & Co, weve always wanted to make sure that the people we work with are very diverse,” says Libby. 

Its no wonder Dose & Co has found such success in the beauty industry; challenging norms is part and parcel with what they do. Yet the brand’s mission remains simple: “We’re making premium products that women will get results from and that are affordable.”

You can check out its full range here

Dose & Co is available at Coles and online at doseandco.com

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