Hat tip to Dustin Rowles over at Pajiba for posting this video today. I was five minutes from writing that I couldn't get another post done before rehearsal today. Health and beauty ads are designed to convince you that a tube/bottle/gel/spray/serum/brush/pill can fix everything that's wrong with you, even stuff you didn't know was a problem. From freezing tonics to invigorating scrubs, the health and beauty industry wants you to feel inadequate over the tiniest of foibles so you spend tons of cash to feel better about yourself. Naturally, the perfectly coiffed celebrity spokesperson is painted, tucked, and taped within an inch of her life to look that good.
Do you really think a bottle of mascara will do this?
It's like Jessica Alba magically grew thicker, longer eyelashes without even touching them with the brush. Wait. That actually happened in the ad. You can see it clearly happen, yet the suggestion that women need longer, thicker eyelashes means that some viewers would remember to pick up this amazing new proprietary brush system to get those same results.
The use of smoke and mirrors shouldn't be news to anyone at this point. Ads are designed to give us a glossy and idealistic take on the world. If the people in the commercials really looked like us, we wouldn't want what they're selling. But if they put a pillow on a model's butt and then take it off to suggest eating cereal will solve all your weight problems, people will respond.
Filmmaker Jesse Rosten is not the first person to launch an anti-health and beauty ad campaign. He is, however, one of the only ones to really skewer the form in motion. Magazines like Adbusters do this all the time, but they're print only. Rosten is hoping to make this video go viral in a spot on parody of form, context, and presentation.
This commercial isn't real, neither are society's standards of beauty.
From the vaguely foreign sounding product name to the marketing buzzwords presented as scientific fact, the Fotoshop by Adobé mock commercial gets down to the core of the typical health and beauty commercial. It even comments on the seemingly mandatory diversity quotient, where a darker base and a curling iron is all that's needed to demonstrate the product's non-existent benefits on seemingly any woman.
Sometimes, it's possible to become numb to the kind of ad being thrown at you on a daily basis. Jesse Rosten's mock commercial doesn't provide any shocking new information. It just presents it in a stylish way that might make you think twice before accepting the results of health and beauty ads on good faith.
Thoughts? Love to hear them.