A Kiss To Build A Dream On

February 15, 2011 - 12:34 pm 10 Comments

Mad Men, a TV drama that revolves around the culture of a 1960’s advertising agency, explores the intellectual process of devising an ingenious ad. Last week when I was watching an early episode, one moment caught my eye and inspired today’s post. During a brainstorm for Belle Jolie lipstick, all the secretaries are testing different colors. At one point Peggy Olson gestures to the trashcan full of blotted tissues and calls it “a basket of kisses.” What a romantic notion to think of lipstick as not just a color enhancer, but also a kissing enabler!

With Peggy Olson’s copy in mind, I set about comparing the recent advertising campaigns of three notable lipstick brands – what their products promise you and the avenue they take to deliver that promise.

GIRL, EMPOWERED

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CoverGirl, a brand associated with the likes of Queen Latifah, Drew Barrymore, and America’s Next Top Model, celebrates both inner and outer beauty. Their new Lip Perfection Lipstick, as modeled by Taylor Swift, claims to create smooth and soft lips in just one week. The ad focuses solely on Taylor, her red lips, and her spirited personality. Because she seems both confident and relatable, you get the impression she’s being completely herself. And really, that’s what CoverGirl is all about – wearing a product that makes you feel good and enhances the qualities that make you, well, you.

C’EST CHIC

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The face of Rouge Coco by Chanel is Vanessa Paradis, a siren for the sophisticated. Like CoverGirl’s product, Rouge Coco softens and soothes lips with moisture to give you the ultimate pucker power. Vanessa supplies Rouge Coco with a wistful, romantic feel of 1940’s antique Paris. While gazing at her, you begin to imagine that once applying the lipstick, you’ll emanate a certain je ne sais quoi, an aura of mystery. Chanel creates the illusion of sensual, everlasting elegance, hard to resist if your role models are Leslie Caron and Catherine Deneuve.

LOVE’S TRUE BITE

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Whether you associate Revlon’s lip stain with a passionate lover’s embrace or vampire frenzy, Just Bitten displays a highly physical connection – the kiss, itself. In the ad featuring Jessica Biel, the lip stain provides a moisturizing “kiss of softness” and its luscious hues hint at the flush of anticipation, the appeal of the forbidden. Revlon’s constructed fantasy refuses to disappoint, making you not only desirable, but very kissable.

CoverGirl, Chanel, and Revlon all boast of conditioning lips to that perfect, kissable state. Referring back to Peggy Olson and her “basket of kisses,” however, each product markets the act in a unique way. With girl next door, bright-eyed CoverGirl, the kiss would be serendipitous, an unexpected surprise in the rain. Chanel is more coy than that, suggesting a possibility of a kiss…a dare, even. You know you want to and I might just let you. But Revlon’s kiss is inescapable, a little bit dangerous, and all the more desired for it.

You, the consumer, make your decision based not only on the person you are, but also the person you could be. Such is the beauty of advertising.

10 Responses to “A Kiss To Build A Dream On”

  1. Alex Says:

    Cool post, Rachel! Thought about lipstick recently and what a no-brainer it was for Loreal to hire Gwen Stefani for their Infallible lipstick line. She wears red lipstick everywhere!

  2. Rachel Says:

    Love Gwen’s ad as well! It is so bold yet quirky. Totally her style.

  3. best lifecell reviews Says:

    Thank you for your effort, very glad that you gave this to us. It’s some pretty great and valuable reading.

  4. Dustin Says:

    Bless you for taking the time to explain the terminlogy to the noobs!

  5. Ben Carl Says:

    Great post you got going on here. It would be great to read something else a bit more relating to this subject.

  6. Louvenia Janusz Says:

    I wish more people would write blogs like this that are really fun to read. With all the fluff floating around on the net, it is rare to read a blog like this instead.

  7. Valentin Clendennen Says:

    Great post! I love it very much!

  8. Javier Miralles Says:

    Great read. Do you have a Twitter page?

  9. Rachel Says:

    On Twitter we are @SpadaMedia. Thanks everyone!

  10. Backlinks Says:

    I love the expression. Everyone needs to express there own opinion and feel free to hear others. Keep it up :)

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