Friday, August 4, 2017

Helen Mirren and the truth about advertising via moisturizers....

Moisturizer does f*** all - Hellen Mirren (artwork by Tarek Chemaly)
Helen Mirren, the face of L'Oreal since 2014 - an elderly distinguished actor - finally blurted the truth out regarding advertising. Those up in arm about her statement that "moisturizer probably does f*** all" failed to understand the full statement which here it is: "“I’m an eternal optimist - I know that when I put my moisturizer on it probably does f--- all, but it just makes me feel better. I’ve always said to L’Oreal as well that I will only do what makes me feel better.”
Here's the thing, I have worked briefly with Joe Ayache and he would tell me - "you are not selling a beauty cream, you are selling hope". Lately, I was having lunch with a higher-echelon advertising person and I managed to include the words "ethics" and "advertising" - the man was so good-natured he was incapable of sarcasm but even he said "I am not sure these two words belong in the same sentence". But before judging, and regardless of the actual merits of the products, what is wrong with a bit of "hope" (as per Ayache) or something that "makes me feel better" (as per Mirren).
I for one believe in that - that fundamentally - and away from the "basic" functions of an ad, there is nothing wrong with feeling more-confident while dressed in a shirt from a certain designer, or tricking yourself to believe such a brand makes you more handsome, or rugged, or more successful with the other gender, or wearing such a pair of glasses makes you look more brainy or hisper-ish, or spraying so and so deodorant or cologne increases your sexiness.
I know we all use special shampoos for dry-damaged-sensitive hair, but do you know that these merits only work in labs and under specific washing conditions which our showers never replicate? Still, do use these shampoos. I used anti-dandruff shampoos till I my head turned into a head and shoulders (haha pun!) but eventually what really took the dandruff off was artisanal oil-based soap.
All cars take you from point A to point B, but a Mercedes Benz adds a status symbol to it. All flowers smell nice but a red rose costs a fortune on Valentine (sorry bard but "a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet" is not true - a rose is a brand in itself). Oh and did you know diamonds have beaten the laws of economics? Usually a product is as high as its scarcity yet emeralds are more scarce and less cheap than diamonds. Why? "a diamond is forever" the most famous line in advertising history by De Beers. The marketing and positioning of the diamond brand make it so that it became more expensive than emeralds.
So there, give me a product that makes me feel good even if does - in the immortal words of Helen Mirren - "f*** all".

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