Dame Helen Mirren Talks Tattoos, Ageism & Diversity At Cannes Lions

Dame Helen Mirren Talks Tattoos, Ageism & Diversity At Cannes Lions

Helen Mirren, who at 69 became an ambassador for L’Oreal and forged a campaign with the cosmetics giant to embrace all ages, colours and body shapes, featured as part of the Diversity stream last week at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity with her trademark wit and intellect.

Nancy Hromin
Posted by Nancy Hromin

Mirren was joined by Adrien Koskas, general manager for L’Oreal in Paris, the UK and Ireland, who explained why Mirren’s relationship with the brand has been so successful and well-received.

Koskas said it was not enough for advertising to have sexy, creative, inventive campaigns.

“We need to look deeply into why we buy that, rather than that,” he said.

Advertisements that do not objectify women and fit the criteria of changing social stigmas and outdated beliefs significantly outperform sexist advertisements, according to Koskas.

Mirren described diversity as a value that brands have to be committed to – “not just [in] your ad campaigns, but your staff, everything you do and say”.

The Oscar-winning actress went on to describe in detail her tattoo – small interlocking Vs – which is about diversity, and “valuing the person who think s the complete opposite to you, no matter what”.

The tattoo is a daily reminder of the importance of tolerance, especially today with Trump voters, Mirren added with a barely tolerant smile.

“Let me add, I was drunk [when I got the tattoo],” she said. “It was many years ago when only bikies and prisoners had tattoos.”

L’Oreal has taken the message of tolerance beyond its advertisements and partnered up with The Princes Trust to launch the ‘All Worth It’ initiative – a three-year project which will offer up to 10,000 young adults confidence training all over the UK, and a bold example of taking sustainable and committed action to change the ratio.

3% Conference banner