Results of research by University of Toronto demonstrate that people see images worse if they are in a bad mood. The blog post discusses what possible implications this research might have on ads and our perceptions of messages they carry.
I was reading a copy of Harper's Bazaar on the way back from London, where I studied customer-focused marketing at LBS, and an ad of a product called Prevage Body by Elizabeth Arden caught my attention. Before I start giving you an exact description, here is a photo of this ad:
You might not see it clearly on this image, but there's a headless body of a plastic doll. On the right side of the plastic body, you see descriptions of various problems attributed to different parts of the body. As I was reading one after another, I was getting slightly shocked:
Decolletage: "Maximum exposure means dreaded age spots, fine lines and crepiness. Freckles are definitely not cute any more."
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 to 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."
Amazingly negative, right? The parts of text in bold have been highlighted by me as particularly sad. I could have probably highlighted the whole thing.
My first question to myself as I was reading this was, "Do women REALLY have such a HORRIBLE self-image?" And, if, sadly, they do, is this kind of positioning going to do any good for this, presumably effective product?
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