Friday, April 13, 2007

Beauty & Age

Dove Pro-Age launched this ad campaign targeted at women in their 40s and beyond, by signing up a bunch of grand-moms to bare it all for the camera. American television banned the adverts (too much skin), but they're up on the website. Some people thought the campaign was in bad taste, some thought it was beautiful; well it did create the stir it was meant to create.

While on the subject of beauty - Its become so fashionable for beauty product or diamond commercials these days to use terms like 'potential within' or 'inner beauty' while sending the simple message to consumers 'use our products to look pretty'. They say they're trying to re-create the image of female beauty here; but arent they just trying to veil it with some pseudo-feminist expressions? I find it very amusing, sometimes annoying. What woman would depend on a face cream to reach her 'potential within'?

16 comments:

Kishor Cariappa said...

The idea is to sell the product by hook or by crook. Forget West, things are getting very bold in India too. The hoarding for the new Kamasutra deo goes this way: “Dad, can I wear your Kamasutra?”!!!!

Prometheus said...

What woman, you ask? Well, those that got P&G, et al laughing all the way to the bank.

PS: Shampoo is said to be rooted in the Hindi 'Champi', as we were talking over at Shaykspeara's.

Prometheus said...

Umm.. that first sounded kinda sexist. Ergo, the errata. The men and women who get P&G, et all...

clickable said...

There's another huge segment (at least in the US) for teen-male deos that exude oomph and sexuality...and it bothers me as much as depicting a woman as an object.

Radha said...

Hi Kishor!
Are you serious? I hate adverts that are uncomfortable to watch in the company of ones parents! And this one does sound over-the-top :{

Prometheus,
Well women (and men) buy beauty products. A lot. But dont think they live in any illusion that it will beautify their souls. We buy face creams to look pretty. Thats about it :)
And thx abt the 'champi' thing...interesting how you find these pieces of info! :)

clickable,
Dont let it bother you so much :) Just dont buy that deo!

Lotus Reads said...

lol,ya, I've seen these advertisements in magazines and they really stand out because we've been so conditioned to seeing only skinny and gorgeous people modelling for bath and skin products. Frankly, I like these ads and Dove ought be commended for a campaign like this. Not sure why they make some people uncomfortable..maybe because we are we in denial? Age is something we all have to face up to at some point and if we can find something to love about it, more power to us, don't you think?

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

ohh champi ey? Thanks for that Prometheus :) And what does champi mean in hindi?

Well the dove campaigns are different to your average beauty campaign. They do raise some interesting questions on norms etc.

Kishor, are you serious about the deo? gees, ain't that something!

Moi said...

They have a deo now called "kama sutra"!!!! I am sure, it raises some snickers back at home when ppl ask for it in shops!! And ur post raises some real points, Radha......he "inner beauty" thing gets my goat too....a year back or on my trip to India...came across this ad in ELLE's Indian edition where Kiran bedi was selling some jewellery (yeah the first woman IPS officer Ms. Bedi)under the same terminology as u mentioned "potential within".......bah!!!

Prometheus said...

Prometheus guesses its easier to sell beauty products to men. Simply depict that women will be drooling over them. Adverting for women, though can't be that simplistic. Given that they are complex beings who don't think with their nether regions, the ad-wizards have to cook up stuff like 'inner beauty', 'potential within', yada yada. Prometheus thinks this also shields buyers from the ego-bruise of having to buy a beauty bar. Like you can't call an extra-small prophylactic exactly that. Men would kill themselves rather than announce they take the 'eentsy weentsy' size.

Shaykhspeara, champi is an oil massage, usually for the head.

diyadear said...

Hi Radha,
I did c the ad in a theatre here in US.Well wat ad is made without a female model?? be the product be a car, after shave lotion or dove..I feel women have been made the object long way back..

Radha said...

Lotus,
Personally I thought the advert was created just for the shock value. It didnt make me uncomfortable, but I didnt think it was great either. But I do agree with you that beauty needn't mean only skinny teenage models. Its much more than that.

SS,
You havent seen the best in life if you dont know a 'champi' !!...Nah, just kidding :) Its a head-massage.

Moi,
That was my reaction as well to the kamasutra deo..lol...what were the brand managers thinking??! Do people really buy stuff because of adverts with loads of shock value?? And the Kiran Bedi commercial sounds like a new low in advertising..hahaha!

Prometheus,
Hi again, I'm going to resist asking you what 'nether regions' means :)). But I guess you're right. Some MBA-type in the advertising agency would have done a lot of research into the female psyche to land with those 'catch phrases'. And its obviously working.

Diya,
hey, how have you been? I agree with you that women have been treated as 'objects' much before the age of mass media.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Well somebody hit me with a champi then!

Personally I just see mushrooms infront of me, because champinjon means mushroom in swedish lol

clickable said...

I kinda take my words back. I saw the ad, and quite liked it. I know it's not the usual sensuous women, but it reminds of the movie "Calendar Girls". They should've probably just stuck with the message that even old(er) women have the right to feel beautiful & sexy instead of the spiel about "inner beauty".

Radha said...

SS,
Thats so interesting because back in Mumbai theres a brand of mushrooms called champinjon :)

Clickable,
As I said, I thought the advert was more for the shock value (and shocking ads ensure more brand recall); so commercially I guess it was a good advert. But I didnt think it was great as a piece of film. I mean I thought it didnt have a point.

Optimistic Guard said...

An interesting post with even more interesting comments. Advertisement needs to get an overhaul in the right direction, but with universities offering courses titled "Hedonism as a selling concept" what do you expect.

Radha said...

Og,
Hey, where have you been?
Its true what you said. All media these days works on the principle of 'sex sells'!