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Deezer ‘Dare to discover: Harnaam Kaur, the bearded dame’ / Attention Seekers

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The past week saw a series of campaigns celebrating the wonderful assortment of humans in the world and revelling in diversity in all its forms. We saw several advertisers hailing the population’s array of sexualities as they marked 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK including Absolut, which ran its colourful ‘Kiss with Pride’ work on the covers of national newspapers, and The BBC, which rolled out an advert for its ‘Gay Britannia’ season that turned the tables and imagined a world where heterosexuals were arrested for embracing in public.


Elsewhere, campaigns raised awareness of gender stereotypes with Saatchi & Saatchi releasing Jake Dypka’s incredible confrontational film for its New Directors Showcase, ‘Open your Eyes’. An apt move considering the topic of gender equality has been heating up in recent news and the ASA itself announcing that new guidelines will soon arrive banning a series of gender stereotypes appearing in commercials.


With a torrent of worthy work rolling out it was hard to know what to illuminate under our campaign spotlight this week. However, we turned to music streaming service Deezer’s latest effort which saw the brand kick off a whole series of films that celebrate difference.


Deezer teamed up with Harnaam Kaur for the first part of a new campaign series which sees creatives and trendsetters sharing their musical inspirations. Created by agency Attention Seekers, the first 5-minute film sees Londoner Harnaam, also known as the ‘Bearded Dame’, open up about the music that resonates with her.


At 26, Harnaam Kaur is the youngest woman to have a full beard. She has grown up living with polycystic ovary syndrome which led her to grow facial hair that she now sports unashamedly. The film sees her catching up with musicians Jayana, Vic Santoro, Darius Vernon and Shadez The Misfit, all of whom have inspired her journey in some way. They too reveal the experiences they have gone through and how music became a channel for them to become better people. Intercut to this is Snapchat Story-style clips showing Harnaam out and about with her musical friends.



The film touches on the bullying and depression that Harnaam experienced from a young age but, appropriately, focuses more on how she overcame this with the help of music. She reveals her preference for rap and grime music which allows the soundtrack of the film to blend nicely with gritty shots of London. The editing also complements the genre with freestyle hand drawn scribbles placed on top of real footage, bringing to mind both the ‘draw’ feature on Snapchat and the street art which is synonymous with the rap and grime scene.


Although if you blinked you’d miss it, the work promotes Deezer Flow, a stream of music which uses algorithms and human curation to create a transmission full of music the listener will like. This idea of a personal soundtrack is brought to life through Harnaam’s exploration of the music that has guided her through her experiences.


Running under the strapline ‘#DaretoDiscover’, the campaign encourages people to delve into the unknown where they might, in fact, find something new that they really like, applying this recommendation to both music and culture. It also implores people to take inspiration from the kind of bold characters such as Harnaam and to embrace being ‘different’.


By riding on the coattails of Harnaam’s brave, carefree attitude and cool persona, plus referencing social media, art and creativity in its work, Deezer has positioned itself as the quirky alternative music streaming service for the young, trendy person who dares to be different. This will in turn help Deezer itself stand out from the crowd, setting it somewhat apart from its better known competitors including Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music Unlimited.


Julia Herd, Deezer’s global vice president of comms and campaign, said of its latest efforts: “People want music that resonates with their lives, no matter where they are, or what they are doing. We want Deezer to be the soundtrack to our listeners’ lives and we believe this to be a very real and meaningful way of bringing that ambition to life.”


Kaur is the first contributor in the multi-part series but Deezer promises there is much more to come…