Sex, as the saying goes, sells. What exactly that means seems to be somewhat up to interpretation–we don’t think you’d want to buy a couch after watching a couple…um…”frolicking” on it–but it’s hard to deny that a bit of sexiness goes a long way in boosting sales . Even something as boring as shampoo can seem exciting when you film a young, perky model showering.
Of course, not everyone thinks that this is the best way to hock merchandise. Last year Dove earned a bit of respect from consumers with their “Real Beauty” campaign aimed at bolstering women’s self-images and emphasizing seeing the natural beauty we all have. Though the main commercial hit the shores of Japan last spring, it seems that it’s recently gotten a lot of attention over here. Click below to see what Japanese commenters are saying about the video!
The specific commercial in question features a one-time forensic artist who once worked for the FBI. The artist asked various women to describe themselves, producing illustrations based on their descriptions. After that, the artist then talked with strangers who had just met the women and produced illustrations based on their descriptions. In the end, for each woman, two drawings were made: One showing how they viewed themselves and one showing how others viewed them.
As you may expect, the drawing based on the women’s descriptions of themselves were not nearly as flattering as those based on descriptions from others. The message seems to be clear: Many women are too caught up in negative images of themselves to see their own beauty. Whether this simple experiment will actually improve anyone’s self-image, we can’t say, but we’re certainly happy to see some positive reinforcement!
▼Check out the video below (with Japanese subtitles) if you haven’t seen it before.
So, how did Japanese commenters react to this very western commercial?
Well, after the women found fault with themselves, the artist, knowing the concept of the commercial would obviously make the later drawings more attractive, wouldn’t he?
I always used to wonder how people around me viewed me, but after watching this, I felt like I needed to like both my strengths and shortcomings. What a great video.
This is so moving, I actually cried. The things I thought were worst about myself, other people don’t even notice. I hated myself, but others see me in a positive light. It made me realize the difference between how I value myself and how others do.
I cried. Hard.
I thought it was an excellent commercial!
I absolutely love this movie [sic].
The point is if you change the direction of your thinking just a little, you can find happiness.
This showed up as one of YouTube’s commercials that play before other videos, but without even realizing it, I watched the whole thing. It put a smile on my face. Well, if we’re honest though, this is a commercial for a cosmetics company…but there’s not really any “sales” in the video. This kind of commercial is really sophisticated.
This is the first commercial I haven’t skipped on YouTube!
When describing one’s own face, you would do so directly (or, trying to be humble, even make it sound worse than you really think), but for someone you just met, you definitely wouldn’t say anything negative. So that’s why they got those kinds of sketches. And if the illustrator understood the point of the exercise, the differences would be even more pronounced.
[In response to above comment] I don’t know about the illustrator, but I don’t think it’s a detriment to the video to say that the point of the commercial was that we wouldn’t say bad things about others. It’s just reflecting that the way we describe ourselves versus the way we describe others is very different.
I think that since we see our own faces everyday, we start focusing on even the smallest flaws…
Overall, Japanese commenters seemed to be really taken with the video. Numerous people called it the best commercial they’d ever seen, saying that it was one of the few YouTube commercials they didn’t skip. We’re not sure how often people actually sit through an entire YouTube commercial…but it certainly can’t be very many folks!
So, dear readers, what did you think of the commercial? Does its message ring true for you? Or does the fact that it’s actually just a soap commercial leave you rolling your eyes? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!