I came across some images for a new Lancome L’Absolu Rouge lipstick that perked me up. I don’t use much from Lancome these days, but they’re a major brand and player in the market and with Lisa Eldridge at their creative helm in recent times, it’s interested me to keep abreast of what’s going on, even if I don’t actually use any of them.
But interest in new lipstick aside, I found the promo images a little disturbing. Here’s one of them and you can find them online if you look. I found it interesting however, that the promo images aren’t as heavily promoted as they usually are. With the faces they are using, I’m surprised. Or perhaps not.
That is Penelope Cruz, gorgeous lady and a beautiful face for the brand. The lipstick she’s wearing is similarly gorgeous… as is her coat. But hello, why is she naked?!
I’m afraid that’s all I could see when I saw the images – why were the models naked … in an ad for lipstick?!
Now, I’m no prude. I get that sex sells, and while I’m not for women being objectified, I understand how it works in advertising and in appealing to the human psyche.
But if it’s an ad for a lipstick, primarily targeted at women, I don’t quite see the co-relation between the semi-nudity of the female model and the product or target audience. What exactly are they getting at? That you’d be so comfortable with just the lipstick on you will eschew wearing clothes? It might work, except you’d get arrested for indecent behaviour… unless you live in a nudist colony.
I’m not sure either how the ad portrays the ultra-feminine appearance the product purports to target. If you can see how it does, please let me know, because I don’t get it. The image I’m getting is that of a post-coital smoke, complete with tousled hair and general state of undress.
I’m not even going to go near the physical impossibility of Penelope Cruz’s pose, or the impossible length of her limbs that can only be achieved by way of Photoshop. Or Lily Collins’ strange left hand sneaking out of her left breast like The Hand in Addam’s Family.
I love the look of the lipsticks. I love that gorgeous pink on Lily Collins and that sensual red on Penelope Cruz. I love how their makeup looks simple yet amazingly chic. On its own, I’d have LOVED to check out these new lipsticks.
I don’t like very much from Lancome these days, but I did enjoy using the L’Absolu Rouge lipsticks – they’re creamy and pigmented and all sorts of wonderful. I have no doubt that the expertise of Lisa Eldridge would only make the colours brighter, more vibrant and more attractive. I’d love to check them out.
I just hate how they’ve chosen to sell it because the ad turns me right off the product AND the brand. So much for empowering women, what this ad shows me is that for a brand like Lancome who could have done so much more, they’ve chosen to objectify women to other women.
Perhaps I’m just not getting it. I’d probably be exiled in their black books forever for discussing this, but really, I can’t see how I, as a woman, am compelled to buy a lipstick modelled by a beautiful, practically naked woman.
UPDATE: I wrote this about a month ago and left it to rot in my draft folder, unsure if I would publish it. However, I was walking around a local department store here in Malaysia just a few days ago, when I saw the Lancome counter and I did a double take to snap this picture and knew I’d hit the publish button.
Either Lancome shot 2 different ads – one where they are clothed and another where they aren’t, or there’s some crazy photoshop going on. There is, in any event, some awful photoshop. That arm angle is an impossibility, and the Photoshoppers should note that a LEFT hand in that position has its thumb facing AWAY from the face. DUH! :P
This hatchet job told me that Lancome recognises the impropriety of their ad campaign, and this is their way of mitigating it. There was no way the original ad would have been allowed to run in a conservative country like Malaysia is, and for that I’m glad.
I feel the whole ad campaign to be quite dumb, if you ask me. Penelope Cruz could have been shot in a much more beautiful dress, instead of having a red sweater top superimposed on. Seriously, Lancome. Seriously?!
Do you get it? Does the original ad image draw you to the lipstick?
Answers on a postcard… or better yet, in the comment box below LOL! :D