Urban Decay, the brand that encourages users to defy traditional beauty standards, launched an eclectic video spot to introduce its new campaign, “Pretty Different.” The beauty company wants girls, boys, men and women to challenge the status quo and embrace their uniqueness. The sentiment is not only socially admirable but could also help the brand financially, as more people who identify as women and men are wearing makeup

Set in a futuristic dystopia, the 60-second spot features the brand’s five new “Global Citizens,” advocates who challenge the status quo in their respective spheres. They include Ezra Miller, Lizzo, Joey King, Karol G, and CL—dancing to the beat of their own drum, figuratively and literally. The spot, published across Urban Decay’s social channels, opens with a scene of millennial pink-clad girls robotically taking selfies in unison, in front of ring lights. 


Afterward, an influencer-led YouTube makeup tutorial titled, “How To Be Pretty” is projected on the walls of Miller’s ultra-modern bedroom. The same selfie-takers are then shown standing in an assembly line while an automatic airbrush sprays each girl’s face to look the same. Then the chaos of camera flashes and overbearing paparazzi causes Lizzo to storm out of a photoshoot.

In response to the unrealistic, cookie-cutter beauty norms being pushed on them, the trailblazers in the spot have an ‘aha’ moment to break free and revolt by applying makeup in their own individual ways. The camera pans to each ambassador as the words, “pretty untamed, pretty bold, pretty fierce, pretty wild, pretty dangerous,” flash over them. The spot received over 1.5 million views on Instagram in just four days.

“‘Pretty Different’ is our anthem for fellow makeup junkies who don’t subscribe to beauty standards. It’s our tribute to individuality because everyone is pretty different. It’s our approach to reinventing what it means to be a beauty brand,” says Wende Zomnir, Urban Decay’s founding partner.

Urban Decays says the “Pretty Different” global movement will, in addition to digital and social media, extend to out-of-home (OOH) ads to embody the vision that beauty isn’t about standards. The brand also launched GIFs unique to the campaign with Giphy, available for use on Instagram Stories.
Urban Decay boasts a long list of successful social media campaigns intended to challenge beauty norms. In 2014, to launch its Perversion Mascara, the brand encouraged users to tag their posts with the hashtag #BiggerBlackerBadder, resulting in 7,064,652 impressions of the hashtag and a social reach of 2.1 million users across all networks. The following year, the brand saw 3.9 million Twitter impressions of the hashtag #UDSummerNights, which was used to promote its summer collection.