Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sell the Children

Sorry, how old....?

A group of people came together one week day morning. They work for an advertising company and they need to land a client so they need a-one-in-a-million pitch. They have to sell a perfume product for a company called "Love Cosmetics". Now, whatever the design team, the copy team and the casting team were ultimately thinking is that to win this pitch they needed to make the campaign for this product something the consumers (who have been targeted using focus groups and market research) will 'buy into'.
That morning they came up with this. Image and text approved. By who?

Please excuse me if you know all this but I'm thinking out loud trying to process what I see every time I look at this advert for a 'women's' fragrance.
What result were they aiming for -  did they actually have solid aims and a strategy when they thought this up - when they juxtaposed innocence and sexiness to sell a scent to 'advertise' a contemporary woman's life style. And what did they EXPECT us to 'think' when they did?
Vogue 2011
Teddy bears, mascara and lipstick... and whatever that look is in this little girls eye, the copy translates it into coy seduction. The strategy behind the construction of this whole ad  is a paradox of negligent genius.

The above ad campaign is dated around 1974. It seems the hyper-sexualization of  girls was not a dialogue engaged with much at that time. But it also make me wonder how far the culture of sexualizing young girls has come when we see media and advertising companies pushing campaigns that promote clothes and underwear for children which are mere mini versions of those for grown women. It make we wonder whether the fashion and media industries feel they have some kind of immunity, suffer from a self-instigated obliviousness or a gamblers wrecklessness to continue with this form of selling of children practice while the debates around this disturbing issue rages.

This video analyzes the disturbing  hypersexualization of young girls as young as 5 years old. Watch and make up your own mind...

"Sophie Bissonnette's documentary, 'Sexy Inc. - Our Children Under the Influence',  analyzes the hypersexualization of our environment and its noxious effects on young people. Psychologists, teachers and school nurses criticize the unhealthy culture surrounding our children, where marketing and advertising are targeting younger and younger audiences and bombarding them with sexual and sexist images. Sexy Inc. suggests various ways of countering hypersexualization and the eroticization of childhood and invites us to rally against this worrying phenomenon."

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