Let’s make-up: cosmetic advertisement controversy

2 years ago Marlyn Silva Comments Off on Let’s make-up: cosmetic advertisement controversy

In our current society, it has become common for people to support and express a more diverse motto, or societal stance, to believe in. People have become more sensitive of what any person, company, or organization may support, and sometimes rightfully so. Regarding companies specifically, consumers have started to expect their product’s company to support the majority belief that there should be equality between races and ethnicities, genders and sexualities. This then brings up the question should companies change their beliefs to fit today’s society and its standards?

Overall, maybe certain companies should think about changing their values, especially if they try to tackle diversity in their advertisements and products. While it may be tricky to change their overall brand when it’s already well established, products such as singer Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty make-up brand, have proven t that they can be successful and include skin tone colors for various races.

While Fenty Beauty has made a big splash in the media and make-up community, prominent examples that have recently shown what companies will do to fit the current mold of society are the controversy behind the personal care brand, Dove and the news of Covergirl changing their famous slogan. Dove recently found itself under severe backlash in early October after releasing an advertisement showing an African American woman taking off her shirt, only to reveal that under it she appears to be a white American woman. It was not surprising to see that many people and consumers of Dove were outraged and appalled by the advertisement’s message. As reported by the Washington Post, many wondered, “what mark Dove was trying to hit in the first place.” As quickly as the ad went up, it was pulled offline and Dove had released a short tweet apologizing for the ad and said that they, “deeply regret the offense it caused.” After all is said and done, one can only wonder how Dove let this happen and how are they going to learn from it?

Obviously, the ideal solution would be for Dove to somehow rebuild their stance, without being offensive, and prove to the public that their goal is to represent women of color properly. Being that Dove has previously had an issue with diversity ads in the past, all we can do is wait and see if change is truly possible for them.

On the other side of the spectrum, Covergirl recently made changes to their slogan and the standards they represent. While they haven’t had as big of a public relations issue as Dove, Covergirl was recently able to make a smooth transition to being more diverse. To have more inclusivity, Covergirl decided to rebrand with a new ad campaign featuring actresses Issa Rae, Ayesha Curry and singer Katy Perry. They are particularly known for their former slogan, “Easy, breezy, beautiful, Covergirl,” and have recently released the slogan, “I am what I make up.” Aside from being a small play on words, the phrase expresses how each woman, or man, can “make up” who they are or want to be by wearing make-up. It does not matter who they may be, how they may be, or how they look on the outside. Considering that Covergirl’s new campaign was released around the same time as the Dove commercial disaster, Covergirl did a good job of using this opportunity to show that their company and product is inclusive of various ethnicities and/or races. They were able to do exactly what Dove did not do, prevent a public relations nightmare.

In the end, does it really make a difference as to what a company may believe and what societal standards they follow? Unfortunately, Dove can lose customers, but it will be just as easy to buy their packaged soap next time you need it because it is the only brand you trust. Covergirl may have change their motto,but only years after their original slogan had become recognizable for their brand. At the end of the day, one can only hope that these companies and many others can stand up to what they, or in this case society, may think is right.

Marlyn Silva
mhsilva@vwu.edu