We’re told that to be happy and healthy we have to look a certain way, move a certain way and eat a certain way.
Frustrated with these toxic misconceptions and their own personal experiences, Laura Henshaw and Steph Claire Smith founded Keep It Cleaner in 2015 with a vision of challenging the health and wellness status quo. Today that culminates in full force with a new name and brand campaign intent on raising awareness about the damaging impacts of toxic diet culture perpetuated by the fitness industry, the media and society itself.
Inspired by the brand’s long-standing mission and the shared attitude of its powerful community, the move sees the brand shift from its Keep It Cleaner roots to embrace what it has affectionately been known as for years – Kic.
“We see moving away from ‘Keep it Cleaner’ (which had stigma around the word ‘clean’) as a unique opportunity for us to really embed our mission within our brand” says Laura Henshaw, CEO. “Involving our supportive community in the direction of Kic highlighted that our name wasn’t aligned to our vision, and that needed to change. It was always our intention to create a platform that doesn’t conform to outdated rules or expectations about health and fitness, and everything – including our name – needs to align to that vision. Kic has a clear path moving forward and that is to challenge the wellness world and enact change for the better.”
Fuelled by this enduring ethos, Kic launched its new brand over the weekend with a campaign designed to tackle diet culture head on. “KIC THE RULES” takes all too familiar wellness rules and Kic’s them to the curb in favour a healthier way of thinking.
Created in partnership with independent creative business, Bullfrog, the activation series empowers people to reject harmful mentalities around weight stigma, restrictive eating and excessive exercise and embrace a more balanced and holistic approach to health and fitness. The campaign collected the real-life stories of community members who have been negatively impacted by toxic diet culture, transforming them into motivating prompts to question the rules we’re told, and to challenge the way we think.
A gigantic mirror on Bondi Beach emblazoned with the words “EVERY BODY IS A BEACH BODY” drew a literal line in the sand, smashing rules like ‘Summer bodies are made in winter’ and ‘The only body for the beach is a bikini body’.
A live custom print stand enabled visitors to print empowering messages in reverse on free merch. These words printed backwards provide a direct reminder to make their own rules every time they look in the mirror, which can often be an intimate and negative moment for many people who feel forced to focus on the physical outcomes of their wellness journey.
Kic’s head of marketing, Rechelle Coombes said: “We believe that brands in the fitness space have a responsibility to promote healthier and more realistic messages about wellness, led by experts in the field. By highlighting the negative impacts of toxic diet culture and promoting a more balanced approach to health and fitness, we can empower people to make positive changes in their lives and achieve more sustainable health outcomes. As a brand with huge influence in this space we are committed to using our platform to drive meaningful change and promote a healthier, more positive version of wellness for all.”
The campaign will be promoted across multiple channels and is supported by a new ambassador initiative and ongoing influencer partnerships. The activity cements a shared vision between the brand and its community, while helping lead the charge for healthier attitudes towards health as Kic continues to grow beyond its two famed founders into a globally embraced platform.
Tim Shelley, executive creative director at Bullfrog added: “This team has a positive and meaningful impact on so many, us included. It’s inspiring to work closely with them and evolve the Kic brand into one that is fitting for their beliefs, energy and commitment. This campaign is an exciting moment in that journey and openly sets the foundations for everything to come.”
Alongside the campaign Kic have announced a partnership with the Butterfly Foundation, raising awareness and funds to help people (and their families and friends) who suffer from eating disorders and body image issues. Kic will match up to $10k in donations received via their website and are launching a merchandise store with 100% of profits to be donated to the Butterfly foundation.
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