Closeup launches the second phase of its ground-breaking #FreeToLove campaign

Closeup, the toothpaste that offers fresh breath confidence for up to twelve hours, is ramping up its #FreeToLove campaign, which celebrates love in all its diversity. Launched on Human Rights Day in March, the campaign is an expression of the brand’s mission, which is to bring people closer together. It is intended to honour the fact that, in the words of the classic Dean Martin song, everybody loves somebody sometime and that, in South Africa, people are free to love whomever they choose to love.

The second phase of the campaign featured a #FreetoLove exhibition captured by multi-media visual artist, Trevor Stuurman, which was launched at Unilever’s Beauty with Purpose showcase held in Durban last month.

Driven by the fact that people in non-traditional relationships are still frequently subjected to discrimination, ridicule and abuse, Stuurman took to the streets of Johannesburg to capture images that reflect the #FreeToLove ethos. The resulting photographic collection is intended to inspire South Africans to embrace a more open and inclusive attitude to personal relationships.

The need for this could not be more urgent. Studies conducted by institutions such as the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies, the Human Rights Research Council, The Other Foundation and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation between 2016 and 2018 all reveal a high level of intolerance for people in non-traditional relationships, especially those in same-sex or interracial partnerships.

In contrast, a study conducted by Unilever, the manufacturer of Closeup, has shown that young people in particular want to be free to be who they are and to love whomever they choose.

Closeup #FreeToLove  intended to:   

  • Celebrate first movers, barrier-breakers and love of every kind;
  • Support initiatives that help to create an environment in which everybody is free to love in the way they choose to love;
  • Normalise non-traditional relationships by demonstrating the joyful diversity of love; and
  • Advocatefor theright and freedom to love.

“With this campaign and the images in the exhibition, we hope to change perceptions by celebrating couples of all kinds in love,” says Stuurman. “Our country’s national motto is ‘Unity in Diversity’ and we want to show that diversity in all its richness.”

Closeup Senior Communications Manager, Sphelele Miadu concurs.

“At Unilever, we envision a world in which the freedom to get close is imperative, a wonderful part of everyday life for everyone. It is our aim to contribute to creating a society in which love is accepted as something that transcends all barriers, even those of gender, ethnicity, religion, culture and class.”

In the spirit of inclusiveness, the public is invited to pledge its support for the #FreeToLove campaign by sharing their own #FreetoLove stories on all media platforms using the tag @closeup_sa.

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