Skin care brand Versed is launching its newest product, Backup Plan Acne Control Mist, featuring three female athletes—two Olympic gold medalists. The campaign, which goes live today, supports a product that’s been formulated for blemishes from the neck down with a superfine mist that dispenses a 360-degree continuous spray to target hard-to-reach spots. Formulas use a combination of 2 percent salicylic acid, tea tree oil and witch hazel. Here, Melanie Bender, General Manager of Versed, talks with CEW Beauty News about the campaign, which was shot via Zoom.

CEW Beauty News: How did you identify these particular athletes for your campaign? 
Melanie Bender: The aim of our new acne collection [which also includes Game Over, an acne drying treatment, and Keep the Peace, an acne calming cream cleanser] is to provide clean, results-driven formulas while normalizing adult acne. Acne can happen at any age and anywhere on your body. A recent study has even linked acne to a higher risk for depression and anxiety, and we hear from our community that body acne can be particularly stigmatized because it has been largely unaddressed by the skin care community. We were inspired to bring to light these conversations around body acne by partnering with Chiney Ogwumike, WNBA Player for the LA Sparks, Nastia Liukin, five-time Olympic Medalist in Gymnastics, and Natasha Hastings, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Track and Field Sprinter, three individuals who achieve incredible feats with their bodies, and have also dealt with body acne throughout their lives and careers.

CEW Beauty News: Why are these women a fit? Were they fans of the brand?
MB: Chiney, Natasha and Nastia were all fans of the brand prior to partnering on this campaign. In addition to being committed to clean and sustainable products – like our community – they also represent the millions of women in their 20s, 30s and beyond who are affected by acne and who are not going to let it distract from the life goals they’re focused on achieving. Each woman also has her unique personal journey as it relates to self-care, like Natasha who is a new mom and came to us for regimen recommendations that are safe yet effective while breastfeeding. We managed this campaign in-house, as we have with all brand marketing to date.

CEW Beauty News: Talk about how Zoom was used to shoot the campaign, and the challenges involved.
MB: This pandemic has presented incredible challenges for every business and worker, which we continue to navigate day by day. Shooting photography is one activity that has gotten much more complex. Our Art Director, Cate White, has been leading our creative since inception, directing each campaign and being very hands-on throughout the process. We’ve leaned on Zoom to stay connected as a team, and it also presented a new medium to stay connected on set. Cate worked with each athlete to concept their shoot by exchanging inspiration imagery and providing live feedback all via Zoom. We’re incredibly proud of the output, and loved being able to amplify each athlete’s remarkable achievements and story.