Over the past couple of years cosmetics companies have been making a bid to be seen as purveyors of 'true beauty' as a way of manufacturing a point of difference for their brands.
This campaign for the specialist make-up brand Dermablend makes no apology for concealing the model's flaws.
The ads are classic demonstrations of the product in use. By wiping away the cover the people in the ads communicate how effectively the product allows them to engage in everyday life without enduring the problems associated with being different - make-up as camouflage.
Where the subtle shift takes is in how the brand leverages the meme that cosmetics can somehow make you 'better' and the equal and opposite meme - you are perfect the way you are. In this case both are paradoxically true and false.
Can you be better by becoming someone else? If you have a flaw that you feel you need to conceal, are you inherently rejecting the true you?
Most of us want to 'fit in'. There's no real difference between using cosmetics or prosthetic teeth - or wearing a suit to work at the bank when you're a rock star in the making at the weekend. In our culture we have the choice if we can afford it.
Dermablend encourage people who use their product to submit their own 'camo confession' as part of their push to find a place in the cosmetics conversation that is something other than 'vanity'.
The model in the commercial (above) is Cassandra Bankson, whose beauty tutorials are an internet sensation in their own right
Slightly Tangenital - but related.
This ad for a feminine hygiene product (Indonesian) offers the promise of hygiene on the go - presumably on a night out (though I might be projecting an interpretation from my own psyche onto some thing completely innocent).
There seems no end of douche-bag products designed to make women feel bad about themselves and their bodies.
I have a feeling this ad was probably never placed in Indonesian media - it was featured on the Ads of the World website.
What do you think?:
Are women's insecurities targeted more by marketers?
What other examples do yo know of?