Marketing Honesty

There’s a dearth of honesty in marketing and, hence, the idea of marketing honesty itself is beyond the pale, too shocking to be considered by advertising firms or the corporations that hire them. That was until now…

Revlon's “You Are What You Are” campaignThis Is You…Weak, Scared, Alone, Always

Revlon (REV), one of the oldest and largest cosmetics firms in America, has chosen to change things up and try marketing honesty…brutal honesty.

The company’s “You Are What You Are” campaign, which debuted with dark and haunting multi-page spreads in several major fashion magazines, cautions consumers that, at best, makeup is a sad disguise people hide behind in a futile attempt to avoid uncomfortable facts about their true nature.

With our new ad campaign, we want to emphasize that you can buy all the lotions, powders, and fragrances you want, but you can’t escape who you really are: a fragile, flawed, and ultimately insignificant being who is tormented by fear and insecurity. It’s fine to use our products if they make you feel a little more attractive, but just remember it’s only a temporary distraction from the terrifying reality of your barren, unfulfilling life.

Your existence is a dismal and feeble one, and no amount of mascara is ever going to change that.

— Vivian Falk
Vice President of Marketing

Revlon’s new “You Are What You Are” campaign is a high-dollar gamble. It’s a bold and daring move that’s sure to shake up a lot people. It’ll be successful as well because, the more they tell the women who buy their products that they’re worthless, the more those women will flock to Revlon to buy cosmetics to hide behind.

BTW – If you didn’t already know and you couldn’t guess, this is a joke, albeit a cruel one. This is an excerpt with commentary of a recent “article” in The Onion.

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4 Responses to “Marketing Honesty”

  1. AthenaC Says:

    I was gonna say ….

    I do love the Onion but sometimes it’s eerily accurate.

  2. jonolan Says:

    Yep, and that’s both why it’s funny and why various politicians across the globe regularly embarrass themselves by reacting to its articles as if they were real.

  3. Buffet Says:

    Reminds me of the idea Terri Garr pitches to Martin Mull about a refreshing way of marketing tuna fish, I believe it was, in the movie “Mr. Mom”.

    Doesn’t it just speak volumes about the current moral state of our society, particularly the corporate world, that the very LAST approach to marketing they would ever consider using … honesty?

  4. jonolan Says:

    Yes, it says a lot and none of it good. I wouldn’t, however, place any special emphasis on the corporate world in this context. They market their goods the way they do because that’s what the sheeple respond to.

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