an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Posts Tagged ‘anti-age’

Vintage Friday: Oil of Olay

Posted by Rosepixie on June 18, 2010

This is an ad from 1979 for Oil of Olay facial cream.

Well, at least we know from this commercial that looking young and products that make impossible and fuzzy promises about helping you do so has been around for at least the past several decades.  Which makes me sad.

When the guy shows up in this ad it suddenly reminded me very much of watching a cheesy soap opera.  I’m not sure if it was because of the corny line, the over-the-top poses or the dripping-with-fake-emotion voice.  Still, the comparison made me laugh.


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L’Oreal Colour Riche Anti-Aging Lipstick: My Face Looks Younger!

Posted by Rosepixie on June 16, 2010

This is a commercial for L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Anti-Aging Lipstick.

She really does claim that her whole face looks younger because of a lipstick.  Seriously?  Is this magic lipstick?  Because I’m pretty sure your face looks flawless because you’re a supermodel and have an army of make-up artists and digital touch-up techs to make it look however you or L’Oreal want it to look.

And the explanation for how the lipstick works is pretty weak.  It’s got some special stuff in the middle that’s supposed to plump and firm lips and is lusciously surrounded by color so bright you can’t tell how plump or firm the lips wearing the color really is in the first place.  How that amounts to making your whole face look younger, I’m not sure.

Basically, this whole ad felt like a lot of smoke and mirrors and empty promises for women who have been taught that looking a day over eighteen is tantamount to being dead.  I’m not impressed and found it annoying enough that it might come to mind next time I’m shopping and make me stay away from anything with L’Oreal on it.

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HTY Gold: How Old?

Posted by Rosepixie on June 9, 2010

This is a magazine ad for a product called HTY Gold that promises to reduce the crepe-paper appearance of aged skin.

The text on the left side of the ad reads:

Prevent and conquer dry, wrinkled, crepe-paper skin!

Hide the Years: HTY Gold

The all-natural solution for aging skin… worth it’s weight in gold!

– No Chemicals, Preservatives, Fragrances or Parabens

– Rich in powerful antioxidants, HTY Gold truly reverses time’s aging effects on your skin

– HTY Gold is the only skin cream you need!  …the only product of it’s kind that alleviates shriveled crepe-paper skin on your face and body.

This ad comes with lots of fuzzy, rather unspecific promises.  What I noticed first about it, however, was the pictures.  The pair of images partway down the right-hand column of the ad showing two arms, one labeled “treated” and one labeled “untreated” seem appropriate for this product.  The untreated arm does indeed display the crepe-papery skin commonly seen on older people (I remember my 90 year old great aunt’s arms being very much like that).

The image above that before and after set, however, seems somewhat out of place.  It shows a tight close-up of a smiling model’s face.  Presumably she’s a happy customer, right?  Except that she appears to have perfect, youthful skin and be perhaps in her 30s, which is much too young to be likely to have crepe-paper arms like the ones shown just below her.  Not that we get to see her arms, of course, because the bit of arm in the picture is covered by a very chic sleeve.

So who is this product aiming for and what is it promising?  It sounds like a product for older people promising to help improve their skin and help them look and feel younger, but it shows a woman much younger than that suggesting they are either promising more than they could possibly offer (unless this is magic genie-cream) or that they are hoping to sell their product to younger women who don’t really need it.  Either way, it seems like a bad marketing decision to have chosen this model or image for this ad.

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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.

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