Who do you identify with the most?
L'Oréal Paris has pretty much always been known for their celebrity spokespersons. Top models, like Claudia Schiffer and actresses like Cybill Shepherd have praised the qualities of the French giant's products for a while now. Does it make us identify with the brand? In all honesty, I don't think so. Still they are careful in their choices and have a famous face for every market. Case and point, Inès de La Fressange for the French market and Julianna Margulies for the UK and North American markets.
Noticeable differences between the two television commercials...
In her spot for the French market, de La Fressange looks almost perfect. Quite a feat for the 55 years old ex muse of Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld. Almost all her flaws have been erased, except for a few wrinkles at the corners of her eyes. She looks perfect! Too perfect in fact. A sign that the product really works? I think not. Will the commercial encourage French women to purchase the cream? Possible, especially since so many would like to identify with her. She is after all a perfect "Parisienne"!
Inès de La Fressange for L'Oréal
In the commercial starring Julianna Margulies, aimed at the English speaking market, we see the actress in a more natural light. We see some flaws. Is that what they are? No. We see a beautiful 46 years old woman who, we would be inclined to think, took good care of her skin. There may have been some touch ups here and there but still, the star of The Good Wife looks much more natural.
Julianna Margulies for L'Oréal
Why the differences? Is it that French women put more belief in "the power" of creams than the rest of us? Are we facing more unrealistic claims? L'Oréal has been known for this. It was not so long ago that one of their ads for Lancôme featuring a Julia Roberts supposedly enjoying the effects of Teint Miracle, was banned due to outrageous airbrushing done by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Gotham based in New York.
They want stars but apparently even they are not good enough. They want us to believe that we can look 30 even if we are 45 by simply using a cream or a foundation. What is so wrong with Julia Robert's face that they have to erase everything that contributes to her beauty and personality? To make her appear more appealing? She became famous because she was/is so expressive so why no laugh lines?
Was this ban the reason for the turnaround and the more natural looking Margulies? Could be but if it is, why a perfect looking de La Fressange?
A few wrinkles? Well guess what, sooner or later we will all have them. Why not show us more images reflecting reality?
"Allons-nous vers un peu plus de réalisme peu à peu ? Zéro défaut n’existe pas ! Même pour les plus belles d’entre nous – personne n’est épargné par l’apparition des rides ou l’existence de quelques imperfections … On peut les réduire, les dissimuler, mais pas les supprimer à moins de passer par des soins « esthétiques ». Aussi, en laisser visibles quelqu’unes rend plus humaines les égéries, actrices, supermodels et plus attachantes, plus proches de nous – Le rêve n’est pas effacé ; il demeure bel et bien – et nous déculpabilise. C’est un point essentiel." OeDansLo
Are we going towards more realism? Zero flaws doesn't exist! Even among the most beautiful - no one escapes the apparition of wrinkles or the existence of a few imperfections ... We can reduce, hide but not eliminate them unless we for more intrusive measures. Also, leaving a few imperfections makes these beauty ambassadors more human, more endearing and closer to us - The dream is not erased; it remains and makes us stop feeling guilty. It's an essential point.
To read OeDansLo's complete article, click here.