an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Prevage: So Much is Wrong with You

Posted by Rosepixie on February 17, 2010

This is an ad for Prevage, an anti-aging product, and it was found in a magazine.

The text reads:

Elizabeth Arden: DermaTechnology Devision

“I want firmer, smoother looking skin with no sign of stretch marks or age spots.”

Decolletage: Maximum exposure means dreaded age spots, fine lines and crepiness.  Freckles are definitely not cute anymore.

Arms: Dryness, sun damage, rough, bumpy skin.  Loss of firmness and elasticity.  To check, do the wave test.

Stomach: Weight gain and loss.  Childbirth.  Need we say more?

Hands: Age spots, dry, thin skin.  Exposure to sun and environmental irritants.  Hands reveal it all.

The Bottom Line: Loss of firmness and tone.  Stretch marks and sagging.  It’s time to take a firm position.

Legs: Roughness and sun damage, dryness and dimpled skin.  Only one other thing makes them look better – beautiful shoes.

Prevage body

total transforming anti-aging moisturizer

New Prevage with Idebenone, clinically proven as the most powerful antioxident, and Tripeptide Complex zeros in your body’s anti-aging skincare needs.

– Over 85% of consumers tested observed a reduction in the look of minor scars, stretch marks and dimpled skin and 67% of consumers also saw a reduction in the appearance of age spots and discolorations.

It’s definitely not just another moisturizer – you’ll see a difference in just six weeks: Skin looks smoother, firmer, totally transformed.  Proof… not promises.

OMG!  I’m being crushed by science-speak!  Ok, so this ad says a lot.  But what does it really say?

First, it tells us all the things that are wrong with us point by point.  Great.  Clearly any sign of having, you know, lived a life is very bad, so it’s a good thing the next thing the ad does is tell us how to erase all evidence of it!  Oh, and notice the seams on the body?  It’s a mannequin.  Because not even Photoshopped models have the perfect body this ad is telling us we should have.

So what exactly does this product promise?  Not actually a whole lot.  Despite coming from the “DermaTechnology Devision” of Elizabeth Arden, which is a make-up company and not in any way on the forefront of heath or technology, the science-speak here is pretty meaningless.

The part about “Idebenone” being “the most powerful antioxident” is only true when it’s compared with a very limited list of other things (“alpha-lipoic acid, kinetin, vitamin C, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10”).  There’s lots of other options out there, so why such a limited list?

The statistics (which, sadly, aren’t even that impressive) came from a sample size of 60 women.  That’s it.  60 women aged 25-65 over six weeks.  I can’t think of any field of study where 60 is really a sample size from which you can draw even slightly meaningful conclusions for a population of millions (the women being advertised to).

This is hardly reassuring as “proof… not promises”.  It sounds like a lot of empty promises to me.  And worse, it sounds like the worst kind of advertising – create a problem and then sell people the solution.  I’m sorry, but this one is really awful.  Try again, Elizabeth Arden, because this ad pretty much just showed me why not to buy your products, which I’m guessing was not the aim.


2 Responses to “Prevage: So Much is Wrong with You”

  1. Kathleen said

    The first thing I thought when I saw the word “Prevage” was “pre-vag.” It sounds like a hormone replacement therapy.

  2. Eva said

    So I’m supposed to what… bathe in this stuff? Maybe I’m too young and naive, but I’m not really seeing an age when I’d be willing to rub something over every part of my body every day for six weeks, with only the vague promise of less age spots and wrinkles. I think some calisthenics or possibly taking up middle eastern dance would be a better use of that part of my day (and would definitely firm up my butt more effectively…).

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