I try to be a thrifty shopper, but beauty products are my weakness. Toss me in a Sephora and my willpower is gone. But as much as I love experimenting with makeup, I haven’t always been impressed by ads for cosmetics. I feel that some of them are counterproductive.
For example, today I was flipping through a magazine and I saw an ad for a dark spot corrector with copy that read “See a lifetime of flaws disappear in 10 days.” An ad that implies I have always been flawed and the only remedy is using that product doesn’t make me feel good about myself. And when I don’t feel good about myself, I don’t feel like taking the time to look my best. I’m flawed, so what’s the point of even trying? The ad that was supposed to persuade me to buy a beauty product had the opposite effect.
A brand that I feel has really caught on to this idea that preying on insecurities is counterproductive is Dove. Their Campaign for Real Beauty is about making women feel good about themselves. Yesterday I came across the latest installment of the campaign, The Ad Makeover. It’s a Facebook application that lets people create positive ads to replace the ads that make women feel bad about themselves. The introduction to the app says that only 4% of women feel beautiful, and aside from being a sad statistic I think it’s also a terrible statistic for beauty brands. To me, the idea that women will only buy beauty products if they don’t feel beautiful is incredibly flawed. Instead, I think women are more likely to buy beauty products if they feel good about themselves and want to accentuate the beauty that they feel. This is exactly what I think Dove is trying to do.
As Dove would ask, do I look messy or just perfectly happy with life? Make me feel pretty when I’m bare-faced, and I’ll feel like putting on a little moisturizer… and eyeliner… and lipgloss… and whatever else you’re selling!