Sunday, 15 November 2009

Provoke me!

Marketing and fashion are like politics and influence peddling, they usually go together whether we like it or not. And marketing, it has one undeniable use, “to sell”, the more, to the higher price and to the lower cost, the better.

People use marketing every day, to sell and idea, a product, a project, a lie, themselves. Think of any job interview for example, and how, you prepare yourself to make you look different from the rest of those candidates.

Let’s take that example to fashion:
Benetton, the Italian retailer, founded by Luciano Benetton around 1965, is famous because of the “out of the ordinary” publicity campaigns they do. They play with the really thin line, between the easy controversy and the sharp criticism, with more or less success.

They want to provoke a reaction in the potential clients, look at the pictures; can you tell me, if you didn’t already know the brand, if you would had been able to actually tell, that is a clothing company doing this publicity campaign? I don’t think so.

Well, Dove, the brand owned by Unilever that sells mainly, personal hygiene products, is also playing this “card”. And after a few campaigns with women of middle age and some extra kilos showing how happy they are with themselves, they created the “Dove self-esteem fund”. Well, I want you to please watch the video I attached below to check on of their TV campaigns, and let me know if this, is not a damn well marketing job!.
I mean, I don’t know if I would buy a Dove product right away after watching the video, but, maybe, I will start to think of Dove as a company that “cares”, and then, we are going to, in a short period of time, transfer that “good image” we have now, right to their products.
Well, it may get also the opposite reaction, and then we could ask ourselves "who the hell is Dove to tell me how to raise my daughter?", in case you did not watch the video yet (or you don't understand italian) I said this, because the video, ends with the phrase "Parla a tua figlia prima che l’industria della belleza lo faccia". that it means "talk to your daugther befote the beauty industry does". Result: you tell me.

Everything, I repeat, everything can be promoted by this useful and powerful tool called marketing. And companies, big and small ones, know this, and are trying to use it as a diversion, as a way to hide the real purpose for what they are really looking for. Is not that I find this immoral or wicked, because, after all, there is of course, a lot of people eating everyday thanks to this, but, I think is important, we see the real truth of things, and we question all happening around us. I think we shouldn’t “bite” this as easy as they want us to bite it. At least, we should try to look behind the picture and think, if we are looking at deep concern about a real problem in our society or just to simple deep profit. think about it.

United Colors of Benetton press campaign.

Dove's self-esteem fund video campaign.


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