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The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that there seems to be a new trend in advertising – pitching products as helping women to be more beautiful.

The irony is that these campaigns aren’t for cosmetics or clothes. Rather they are for financial services companies (Citigroup saying that a better retirement plan “can prevent worry lines”), rental car companies (Hertz saying that its cars “reduce those unsightly lines” as well as face cream), and headache remedies (Tylenol PM “provides a natural glow that won’t smudge or smear”), among others.

The WSJ writes that advertisers are “hoping to tap into popular culture's obsession with glamour and fashion,” not to mention “women's growing economic clout.”

Some women like it, and some don’t.

Those that like it say that the ads really are talking about reducing stress, which is incredibly important to them. But those that dislike the ads say that they are catering to a perceived female preoccupation with superficial concerns.
KC's View:
It is interesting that this story pops up just weeks after all the debate about the new Dove and Nike ads that seemed to say that beauty comes in a lot of shapes and sizes and is anything buy skin deep.

And, the story comes a week after we had a piece about how marketing to women has to be different because they are more caring and (don’t shoot us for using the word) maternal than men. And nobody really argued with that premise.

Being male, and therefore knowing less than women about most things anyway, our opinion on this subject is irrelevant.

Like most ads, they’re probably going to get a mixed reaction, depending on the viewer’s mindset and context.

But for the record, we aren’t looking for our headache medications or our rental cars to make us look better. Just for them to relieve our headaches and get us where we want to go.

Though come to think of it, a little glow at our age wouldn’t be a bad thing…