Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Beauty for blokes

I'm a huge fan of the language used by the male cosmetics industry. I love the way it tries to reassure us blokes that there's nothing remotely soft or wussy about wanting to take care of our rough horny skin, and generally look our best.

I came across a Logistics range the other day, which has a nice truck-driver-ish ring to it. And words like system and strategy crop up a lot, to emphasise that personal grooming is very much a science rather than an art. My all-time favourite, though, was a bar of soap my wife gave me from a male cosmetics range called Activist - which, for me, conjures up pictures of unkempt protest marchers, or even grimy tree-dwelling eco-warriors, rather than smooth-skinned metrosexuals.

Anyway, I'm still waiting for someone to have the courage to come right out with it and launch a male beauty brand called Absolutely-Definitely-Not-Gay.


At 10:46 am, Blogger Andrew said...

That gay-skincare angle reminds me of a set of ads I saw in the gay mags a year or so ago.

The original campaign was a pretty nasty one - two shots of a model's face with different lines like "You think you look the business" and "She thinks you look overworked"... perfectly aimed to make men dislike their appearances. Nice.

But the interesting thing was that in the gay mags they replaced the "She" with "He" in the normal type. A month or two later they were running the same series of ads, but with the "She" there but crossed out and "He" hand-written above it.

I love that they felt the original version was too subtle, they really wanted to scream out "Hey, we want to sell to you gays." I felt both pandered to and insulted in the one moment.

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Thanks for this, Andrew. A fantastic example of how to insult your reader, by under-estimating his intelligence.

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