‘You are in a beauty contest every day of your life’.
A successful advertising slogan, defined as ‘a short and striking or memorable phrase used in advertising’ can exert a powerful influence over us. The importance of a company’s slogan is apparent in their market value. ‘Brands’, which include a company’s name, logo and slogan, are considered extremely valuable corporate assets, and can make up much of a business’s total value – sometimes the brand is more highly prized than its actual products.
Slogans like ‘Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline’, ‘You are in a beauty contest every day of your life’, or ‘Because you’re worth it’ are not only memorable, but make a clear association between daily product usage and self worth.
But what exactly is ‘it’ that you are supposedly ‘worth’?
‘It’ is a pronoun, that is, ‘a word that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase’.
L’Oreal has used the slogan ‘because you’re worth it’ or its variations ‘because I’m worth it’ and ‘because we’re worth it’ over the years. ‘We’re worth it too’ declare the children in a kids’ version of the advertising.
While clearly a clever marketing ploy, this sentiment is not something I would want to identify with personally.
The pronoun ‘it’ in this slogan is presumably a substitute for L’Oreal’s expensive ‘beauty’ products – which personally, I think all of us are worth a great deal more than.
Your value… per litre
A few years ago, I looked into the costs of some L’Oreal products. Their Youth Serum, for example, cost $42.55 for 30mL. That’s an amazing $1,418.30 per litre.
The human body is around 70% water. For a 70kg person, that’s around 49L of liquid. According to L’Oreal’s pricing equivalency, that makes the average person worth about $69,496. Would you sell your loved ones for that?
Even though L’Oreal’s Youth Serum is cheap in comparison to the value of a human life, it remains expensive for what it is. To put that $1,418 per litre into perspective, that’s twice the price of eye drops at $628 p/L (which actually have proven effects), nearly 5 times as much as Don Perignon Vintage 2003 Champagne (why not rub that on your face instead?) at $284 p/L, nearly 50 times the cost of Absolut vodka at $50 p/L (drink this yourself or give liberally to others until you are the most attractive person around instead!).
It’s also nearly 750 times the price of Dairy Farmers milk at $1.90 p/L (Cleopatra anyone?) and a staggering 665,868 times the price of my favorite cleanser – water.
Is ‘Youth Serum’ more effective than water?
To see whether this Youth Serum really is 665 THOUSAND times better than water, here are some amusing reviews of this product:
- “I got the version that comes in a black bottle with a dropper. The bottle is really pretty when you peel off the label and the dropper works really nicely too. No complaints about that. I wish all skin care products were as nicely packed! The serum, however, did absolutely nothing to my skin. It didn’t do any harm either so I used the whole bottle.”
- “I used this religiously for two months and have noticed no difference whatsoever. My dark spots are not reduced (in fact look worse) and my skin looks absolutely no different. Packaging is great but the actual product was a waste of money for me. Wouldn’t buy again.”
- “I’m not sure if it’s good or not. Im using it for 3 weeks and so far I haven’t notified anything. It looks like a cheaper version of Lancôme. I have oily skin, but at least the product didn’t make my skin worse.”
In case you think I am just cherry picking the bad reviews to make a point, at the time of reading, only 44% of people said they would buy the product again, and the packaging was consistently rated as better than the product itself.
Compare this to water. I’m pretty sure 100% of people would use water again.
You are not a product
Of course it’s not only L’Oreal, and I am not suggesting that anyone who finds this product or similar useful shouldn’t buy it – only that the message that we are ‘worth’ a PRODUCT is actually quite insulting. Especially when it’s one only 44% of people think is actually ‘worth it’.
As one of my favourite books, Your Money or Your Life says, ‘Spending money on myself in ways that might bring superficial happiness but don’t contribute to lasting fulfillment is actually not valuing myself. It’s frittering away my precious, one-way life energy.’
It’s unsurprising that a company that performs much better on its packaging than it does on its product would push a superficial agenda. You are more than just your packaging. Don’t allow someone else – especially not a company – to tell you what you are worth or compare you to a product of limited value.
What advertising slogan do you find most memorable? (Or annoying?) Let me know in the comments below!
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Today’s featured image is the only two products that could loosely be described as ‘beauty-related’ that I own. My ‘nice-to-haves’ (as opposed to ‘must-haves’)? Some moisturiser and some natural lip balm. That’s all I’ve brought with me on my travels (currently in France), and all I plan on leaving with. To me, ‘Duty Free’ not only means I’m not obliged to pay tax, but that I’m not obliged to purchase at all!
Today marks a year since I quit my job and started to live the life I’d only dreamed of. Are you working towards your goals for 2017?