The world of celebrity endorsements is chock full of half-hearted, questionably-authentic advertisements and promotions. Nary a day goes by where some company doesn’t announce some sort of “collaboration” with an A-List star, crafted to get US Weekly readers into stores around the globe.
But Kiehl’s is doing things a little differently in their just-announced collaboration with Brad Pitt. We like it when companies shirk tradition and do things differently.
If you’re not familiar with Kiehl’s, it’s a beauty and cosmetics maker (owned by L’Oréal) that’s known for its old-school, natural formulations and minimalistic packaging. Through its collaboration with Brad Pitt, the company will launch a new product, Kiehl’s Aloe Vera Biodegradable Liquid Body Cleanser ($16.50). The product is packaged in a 100% recyclable container, and is free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and dyes, making it completely biodegradable.
100% of the profits from the sale of the product will go to JPF Eco Systems (JPF presumably stands for Jolie-Pitt Foundation), a green charity that Pitt created with Kiehl’s. It’s estimated that that more than $1 million will go to support various environmentally-focused projects, beginning with Make It Right, the post-Katrina charity that helps build eco-friendly homes in New Orleans.
Apart from having hand-written the product’s label, Brad Pitt will have nothing to do with the sale of the product itself. He won’t be promoting it, won’t appear in any advertisements for Kiehl’s, and won’t be profiting from the product’s sale in any way.
What’s so great about this collaboration is that it’s geniune. Kiehl’s is known for using natural ingredients and formulations whenever possible, and readily accepts used packaging for recycling or refilling in its stores around the world. Pitt is a major force in the world of charity and the environment, and is already attached to numerous eco-focused causes and foundations. The partnership creates a new entity through which profits can be turned into progress. JPF Eco Systems could turn into a Product (RED)-type organization that redirects corporate products to environmentally-focused initiatives beyond just the one product.
This looks like it could be the beginning of something great. Let’s wait and see.