Dermablend Moves Beyond Shock And Awe Of Zombie Boy With Emotional New Content Campaign

The brand’s Camo Confessions aims to make an emotional connection by helping consumers tell their own stories.

Two years ago, a video emerged of a nice looking, but very serious young man who sat down in front of the camera and proceeded to clean himself off to reveal a full body skeleton and skull tattoo job. It was an ad for a small L’Oreal brand called Dermablend starring a guy named Zombie Boy and it has more than 14 million YouTube views.


The brand and Montreal-based agency Tuxedo have now launched a new content campaign called “Camo Confessions.” Zombie Boy (also named Rico) is back but the new work moves beyond the shock of seeing a dude rock the full Skeletor to include actress, model and vlogger Cassandra Bankson, who suffers from severe acne, and a college volleyball coach named Cheri Lindsay, who has a rare condition called vitiligo, to tell their stories. The brand is also asking consumer to submit their own stories of why they want or need to cover up parts of their own skin.

“The first campaign a couple of years back was all about awareness because the brand was largely unknown,” says Tremblay. “The next step is to broaden the appeal and be a bit more relevant to consumers and build an emotional connection.”

After seeing the first video get more than 15,000 comments in its first month, the brand and agency saw there was a larger discussion and Tremblay says it became clear that the idea of covering up was not something discussed by the beauty industry in a relatable way. “Traditionally it’s either pretty models or celebrities to promote beauty products,” he says. “So this was a unique opportunity to position the brand away from that and focus on a conversation about the emotional reasons and motivations for covering a minor or severe imperfection.”

By showing more relatable stories of Bankson and Lindsay, the brand is hoping it will give other the confidence to share themselves. “It’s a very personal subject,” says Tremblay. “It’s one thing to use a successful YouTuber like Cassandra who has hundreds of thousands of followers but to have an everyday person share the story of their major or minor skin imperfection with the world is something else. My hope is as more people do share, it will encourage others and that’s why the campaign is set to run to the end of the year, to give it that chance to grow.”

Here’s hoping this guy decides to share.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.