I grabbed an old November Issue of a Vogue Mag and deconstructed a double page spread, advertising anti ageing products; BB- creams, CC- creams, and the one that interested me the most is the Anti- Ageing Shampoo. This is what I noticed..
– The use of Words: Many of these “Claims” are always written in subjective view i.e. “skin feels softer”,”hair appears to be shinier” but almost close to never has there been a definite suggestion of change- IS Softer, IS shinier, WILL get rid of wrinkles.
-The word play: Many of us have a basic knowledge of science, so when these big brands start using sophisticated terminology we are convinced and believe this product is amazing and will work wonders on us.
-The Imagery: A lot of thought goes into the graphical output of these products. I often find double helix floating around somewhere on the screen or page, often referring to DNA or “Sciency things”. That means this products will give me an instant face lift right?
– Statistics- “89% of women saw a change in skin texture.” (just a made up fact) The sample size could have ranged from 20-50, the trial lasting for about one week, but we wouldn’t know what went on. Even if they had a larger trial size and longer period to test it, how was it tested? What were they comparing it to? What were the variables? How did they come to that conclusion.. Opinions may have been based on subjective views. Basically, not enough information is given to us for us to really base our judgement on the statistics given, but they throw it out there anyway because we’ll believe it’s worked for 89%, therefore this product must work on us too.
Here is an example:
“Hair that looks up to 10 years younger”
– This New product is represented by Courtney Cox (aka Monica from FRIENDS!) When I saw the campaign the first thought that popped into my head was “Will it get rid of grey hairs!?” followed by “Maybe it will reduce hair fall??” If the only thing it does is give shine and moisture then what makes it so different from any other Shampoo and conditioner?
It seems the System consists of Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair treatment and Hair mask just like any other Hair care range, but a lot of thought went into the description of the individual products to make them seem different from others.
…And one more
I hope I don’t sound too cynical, after all I am a regular cosmetics consumer myself and I repeatedly fall under the traps of these claims but looking deeper into it has got me a bit more aware of what purchases I make and how I can justify the purchase.