Beauty Advert Faux Pas
Every single day, no matter what we're doing, our lives are bombarded with advertising. On the Train, watching television, surfing the net, reading a magazine. Everywhere is just advertising. Some adverts are really clever and thought-provoking, whilst others, are just so infuriatingly annoying, that I feel the need to rip my hair out.
I'm not talking about WeBuyAnyCar.com, or Mazuma, or any of those irritating adverts, either, because they're irritating on purpose, and get your attention by being plain annoying. but no, I'm talking about the ones that actually interest us, and pique our curiosity. The ones that are promoting products that we might actually be interested in buying. Yup, you guessed it, I am talking about...Beauty adverts
So, being the nice person that I am (shush you!), I decided that out of the kindness of my heart (I told you to shush!), that I would help beauty companies out, by telling them a few things NOT to do, when trying to promote their latest product through the mystical powers of advertising:
1. Don't treat us like idiots.
If you are going to use the "Interview" method of advertising, which features people talking to the camera, about how much they love your products, at least make it look believable. Despite what you might think, we can actually tell that they are so blatantly reading from a script.
Even if it is going to be scripted, at least try to make it look and sound more natural, and maybe even let the actors improvise a little!
Example of how NOT to do it: Barry M
The most annoying thing about this collection of adverts is the following quote from Barry M's YouTube page:
"The inspiration for the ads was formed from all the great feedback Barry M regularly receive from customers and are based around a group of girls (aged between 18-22) talking about what they love about Barry M. The stars of the adverts reflect a range of girls from the UK, from Sheffield to London, each with a different look and style."
Okay, that's great, so why didn't you let those customers, go on camera and give their honest and unscripted opinions? It would have looked so much more fluid and natural, and much better than an advert that feels like words have been put into the mouths of your customers.
2. Don't treat us like idiots.
If you are advertising a product that you want us to believe is the best thing since sliced bread, we want to honestly believe that you have faith in your product. If you don't have faith in your product, then why should we?
So, if you have faith in your products, why do you feel the need to enhance the model/actress using photo shop or lash inserts? You're not promoting the product, you're promoting your photo-shopping skills. Why? Because we know that it isn't your mascara that is making those eyelashes so big and curvy, nope, we know that it's eyelash inserts and a little bit of photo-shopping.
Example: Oooh, so many possibilities for this one. But, I picked out this one for L'Oreal, featuring PEnelope Cruz. And the fact that she is so obviously wearing false lashes speaks for itself really.
Hand on heart, I don't expect a mascara to work miracles. If I want huge lashes, I'll wear false ones, but you are not trying to sell me false lashes, you are selling me a mascara, and I want to see what it really does.
3. Don't treat us like idiots.
Just because you use an A-List celebrity, does not mean that we believe them when they tell us how much they love your products, because we won't necessarily believe them.
Example: L'Oreal. C'mon L'Oreal, are we really supposed to believe that Cheryl Cole suffers from limp, lifeless hair? She wakes up looking like that, and we all know it. Okay, so I'm not entirely being serious with that one but as someone who has limp and lifeless hair, I know for a fact that none of these products will ever give me the huge hair that Cheryl Cole wears, why? Because with my hair being so thin, it just drops out after ten/twenty minutes.
If that's how NOT to create a great advert, then how do you get it right? Well, I can't speak for everyone, but this is my personal checklist of what makes an advert, especially a beauty-related one, absolutely great:
- It should be realistic. If it uses a script, then it should come across as a scripted piece, not feigned as "that's what these people really said"
- It should be light-hearted and fully of warmth and heart
- I should be able to relate to the situation being played out
- It should feature characters, rather than celebrities playing themselves
- The "characters" should be interesting, and again easy to relate to
- Most importantly, it should be funny. Not necessarily laugh out loud hilarity, but even just a little chuckle would be good.
Example: Boots. I'll let this one talk for itself ;)
So the underlying rules of creating adverts are: Don't treat us like idiots, and make us laugh ;) What other beauty adverts really bug you, and which ones do you really love?