It’s no secret that the beauty industry uses all kinds of tricks to persuade us to buy their products. Advertising works by trying to persuade us of the desirability of the products. Some of the methods employed are more obvious than others, so here are some of the tactics to watch out for.
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It amazes me that companies still use celebrities to promote their products. Do they really think that we believe for one minute that they use whatever they’re advertising, and that their hefty fee has nothing to do with it? Though since the practice continues, maybe some consumers are influenced without realising it.
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It goes without saying that the model will be made to look unrealistically good. Lighting is one way of achieving this – clever lighting can make anyone appear stunning (in addition to the other tricks listed below).
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If you look at an advert in a glossy magazine, you may see the words ‘styled using extensions’ or ‘styled using false eyelashes’. That is, you may see them if you read the tiny print using a microscope. The model’s bouncing curls or inch-long eyelashes may not be entirely her own …
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Now, you can understand why a certain degree of photographic trickery is used – even top models can have spotty days. It seems to be used to excess now, however, and how many products come close to achieving what the adverts claim?
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This is really stupid. If you’re trying to sell an anti-aging product to women in their fifties, why use a much younger model to advertise it? It’s so irritating seeing a young woman barely in her twenties advertising wrinkle creams. As if we’re going to believ we’ll look like that!
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Many adverts make claims that sound impressive. For example, they will say that ‘67% of women reported reduced wrinkles over 4 weeks’, but since the sample only involved 18 women, it means that only 12 women think it helped. Did it? Or did they just imagine it? And how meaningful is such a small study?
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Adverts often make some really daft claims; they rely on consumers not reading into the words. ‘Makes you look younger’ – says who? ‘Hair looks shinier’ – can this be measured on a shininess scale for hair?
The manufacturer wants you to believe that owning this product will make you feel more desirable, hence the many adverts featuring beautiful couples. Yes, you too will have male models falling at your feet! They also promote a sense that the product itself is desirable, with luxurious packaging and an expensive aura.
How do you feel about these tactics – do you think that they are a waste of time and you will never fall for them? Have you ever been disappointed by a product failing to live up to your expectations?
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