I’ve read mixed reactions on this recent advert by Watsons. What do I think?
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I’ve been so busy these past few weeks and I barely have time nowadays to blog (I’m way behind my lineup of articles, gasp!). Well, work and family come first.
But today, I noticed a lot of mixed reactions regarding this Watsons video advertisement, an ad meant to announce its ‘Hottest Sale’ ever.
It’s a simple, short video featuring a girl, with her boyfriend, shopping for things at Watsons then the girl, who looks pretty wearing makeup, says to the cashier that she doesn’t want to buy cosmetics. After which, her face turns plain, pale, colorless while her boyfriend gets shocked and panics a bit.
The cashier insists that she will get huge discounts and places back the cosmetic items in the girl’s pile of products and the girl turns pretty again. The girl says that she still doesn’t want to buy cosmetics, removes the makeup items and she turns pale again. Her boyfriend panics a bit more. Then the cashier insists that with Watsons VIP card, she gets RM5 points. The girl’s boyfriend then grabs her wallet, takes out the VIP card and says that he wants.
I’ve read some of the comments here and there, and it’s a bit confusing. Take note that I am not here to create any form of war against other people’s opinions. I’m just sharing thoughts and some questions.
Some people are appalled, saying that the advert means that women need makeup to be beautiful. To this I ask, isn’t this something that has already consumed the market? I mean, with all the hype and addiction of women to makeup, with all the selfies posted daily and hourly enhanced with pre-shoot makeup and post-shoot filters, with all the beauty bloggers including me who are blogging about makeup, with all the magazines in the world advertising cosmetics, are we saying that using makeup to be beautiful is a damnable statement and those who promote it should be condemned? I guess there are so many makeup brands that we have to condemn if that’s the case.
How many of us would actually go out, meet friends, go to work, go out on a date or important event, without, take note, withouta dab of makeup? Would anyone of us actually dare to spend a month, a week or even a day of meeting people outside the house without even a pat of face powder, lipstick or lipgloss, eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara or blush? None of any of these? Nothing at all? Just wash your face and out you go? Hmmm, sounds pretty impossible to me.
Some get angry, saying that their boyfriends would never react like that. Well, to this, I’d say that the ad did some exaggeration but it could happen in real life. Come on, let’s be realistic here. Nowadays, you see teens and ladies in the mall trying to look like Korean actresses with all the possible makeup, large or colored contact lens, fake eyelashes and more. Of course, with all the enhancements, some ladies would now look entirely different than how they normally would.
So if a boyfriend has never seen a girl without the extreme add-ons, add-ons that she did to herself, and then suddenly he sees her for the first time without them, can we blame him if he looks at her differently? If he continues to love her or even more, then all is good. But if not, then it simply meant that his love was superficial. However, in the ad, the portrayal was not like this. In fact, the boyfriend in the ad was supportive of the girl. He didn’t scream or ran when he saw her without makeup. But let’s remember something here. If we have trained our boyfriends or partners to see us in our enhanced looks, then we have created that picture in their heads. It is not their fault that they expect you to look like a queen when you’ve always shown them that you look like a queen.
Some find it funny. Personally, this ad reminded me of an episode in Ally McBeal where Ling Woo (played by Lucy Liu) was not wearing makeup and when her boyfriend Richard Fish (played by Greg Germann) saw her for the first time without makeup, he screamed in fear. Or that episode in That 70’s show when Michael (Ashton Kutcher) sees Jackie (Mila Kunis) without makeup. His scream was epic. Check it out in this video. Super funny.
So if I were the brand director, would I approve this ad or conceptualize the ad this way? Yes and no. Yes, it is good to have a funny approach. This is probably one of the funniest sale ads I’ve seen. We normally see sale ads done in the repeated boring ways and this one gets a plus for extra effort. But no, I agree with some who say that there could have been a more tasteful way of announcing the SALE event or highlighting on makeup products.
But overall, do I find it offensive? Should it be a reason for me to jump and condemn the brand?
No. And honestly, I just find the ad hilarious.