L’Oreal Shm’Oreal… The Uniformity of Beauty Ads

Every since I was old enough to be influenced by make-up ads, I have been intrigued by the  products advertised, but rarely did I purchase them. I believe that the cosmetic make-up industry, specifically those brands you can buy in drugstores,  have been sticking with a creative strategy for years that just isn’t very effective.  The problem is L’Oreal, Cover Girl and Maybelline (just to name a few) all seem to have adopted the same promotional strategy, which makes it tiresome to shut out all of the advertising noise in order to distinguish, remember and finally purchase a specific advertised product.

Let’s take a look at a couple average make-up ads, shall we? Try to remember the specific names of each make-up product advertised.

Okay, that may have been easy. But, think about that in the context of your home while your cooking, texting, playing with your dog or talking to your sister on the phone during the commercial break of your favorite program. Considering, you didn’t fast forward through the commercials.

So, if they played these 3 TV spots back to back or even within the same program, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell one from the other. They are just way too similar. They all use a celebrity, have several shots, get a tight shot on the area engorged by the make up and feature some random music that is supposed to make me feel like I’m having an intimate moment where my best friend is recommending a new nail polish, instead of Eva Mendes.

Above all the names kill me! How am I ever supposed to remember L’Oreal Colorish Lip Plumping Magic 24-Hour Smudge-Free Lip Stain with Vitamin E. Now that’s made up, but some of them are that ridiculously long. There is no way I would remember that! And forget trying to get the same color you saw in the commercial. Even if they tell you what color Gwen Stefani is wearing, good luck remembering Rubilicious Rum Rebellion when you’re in the CVS cosmetics aisle a weeks later.

Now, the print ads are a bit better, because at least you get to look at the image longer and they most usually tell you what the model or celebrity is wearing. And you can stare at the 6-word name and try to ignite your dormant photographic memory for when you finally make it to Target next week.

There have been a couple times when I did want the product so badly that I wrote it down… somewhere. But of course that post-it note didn’t stick to the back of my iPhone like I meant it to, but drowned somewhere in the labyrinth of my purse or was cemented together with an old piece of Bubblicious.

The advertisers make the simple mistake of making this too hard. It’s just too hard! The commercial, the product, the model, it’s indistinguishable from all of the other cosmetics noise I’m getting. The only way to remember and purchase the correct item is to write it down. And most women aren’t going to go to the trouble of writing it down and then remembering to bring the note with them to purchase a $5 lipstick.

We’ll talk about point of sale or as I refer to it the cosmetic aisle jungle and the headaches they ensue another time.

But what do you think? Am I just extremely forgetful and suffering from early-onset dementia, or is it simple to remember the name L’Oreal Infallible Le Rouge Lipstick?  Are these cosmetic ads useful in helping you find and purchase that great beauty product?

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