Miruna Codeanu

The cosmetic industry and anti-vertising

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

I’ve probably told you before about a Seth Godin quote I really appreciate and it stands on one of the walls in my office: “If you wait until there is another case study in your industry, you will be too late”. I clearly most definitely agree. I also believe in something else: perspectives. Your coordinates will give a certain perspective. Perspectives completely change things. We may be looking at the same thing from different perspectives and believe it to be two different things. Perspectives can improve things. Therefore, one might take your pioneering idea and make it 10 times better by adding perspective. Remember Byzantine art? It looks ridiculous and naive to the modern eye. We needed Renaissance to re-gain perspective in art.

Remember the Dove commercial? 

I previously wrote about Dove’s marketing strategy here and here. I’ll sum it up: they have a good strategy, adapted to their audience. However, you might be fooled by their strategy and start blaming other cosmetic companies. Dove, as a brand is not really a cosmetic care company. They sell personal hygiene products for the “low maintenance” woman profile. Do they sell colored cosmetics? Nope. Do they sell skin care? Basic skin care, nothing very targeted. Do they sell targeted products for specific problems? Nope. That’s why they are doing it, because they aren’t selling anything from that area. I’ve said it, their strategy is good, however, hypocritical. I’ve said, I’ll say it again: I, as a consumer, am not their target. However, as a marketer in the cosmetic industry I disagree and it is offensive to the other people in this industry.We are not daredevils trying to trade your soul four flawless beauty. We didn’t create the flawless model. Any historical age has an ideal model. Ours happened, due to many historical causes to be skinny and flawless. Hey, guys, we didn’t not event Photoshop. Photo editing existed long before Photoshop, with other techniques but still photo editing so that the model reached the requirements of that age. Your ads still have a target and an objective. The cosmetic industry is not: Dove, the angel who loves you just the way you are versus the other bad guys, the daredevils who want your soul. Let me remind you something: Dove still targets their products according to products: “dry skin”, “greasy hair”, “treatment for…”, which means they acknowledge your problems, but still call them problems. According to their strategy they should be calling them, “imperfections that make you beautiful”. Yes guys, here’s my free idea.

When more people do the same thing or resembling things we call it a trend. Today, I found a commercial from Pantene Philippines against gender labels. So it could be a trend. Anti-vertising: the advertising world is starting to reject the patterns it created, pattern, labels, marketing strategies. Now, it is not falling apart. It is just another trend in advertising. The reason for which it is doing that? In order to sell. Hey guys, you know, it is still about marketing techniques. Here’s the Pantene ad:

If the Dove commercial made sense in their strategy and to the brand they built, their target audience and it was innovatory, the Pantene commercial seems somewhat nonsense. All I have in my mind when I say Pantene are the commercials with models with gorgeous silky hair and celebrities endorsements. This new commercial and Pantene as a brand just don’t add up.  It’ll probably become viral, you’ll probably get an award. However, I’m curios about the return for Dove’s campaign. At the end of the day, what makes you buy more: the flawless model or a common person just like you? At the end of the end, it might just be you want to look like a celebrity with flawless skin and it might be, that, us the bad guys are continuing to have products that solve your “problems”.  Besides the advertising awards, do you monetize? At the end of the end, are you helpful for your consumers?

And now I’m gonna give an example for something I consider truly, madly, deeply awesome advertising.

In Romania, we have something like The Onion, a news satire platform, it is called Times New Roman and this guys kept publishing mock news about Mega Image, a Romanian supermarket chain and their fast expansion rate. So, Mega Image embraced their mock news and organized a prank (in the trend of prankvertising) opening a Mega Image store in their own headquarters. These guys made it, and made it quite nicely, to an audience that wasn’t really friendly to them. Well done guys!

  1. […] but in a one-to-one talk it’s about skincare and skin problems. We also Dove’s “Real Beauty” strategy.  However, I believe Dove’s strategy is part of a new trend in advertising I […]

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