|It's a little-known fact that Natalie Portman prepared for her role in Black Swan by spending six months catching rabbits up in the Rocky Mountains.|
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
I Am Ready For More Beauty Ads Like This One
(“Idle Advertising: Beating You Over The Head With A Joke Since 2015.”)
I’m often a little hesitant to jump into discussing ads with an expressly different demographic to my own. Maybe I’ll like it for the wrong reasons – or maybe I’ll dislike it for the wrong reasons.
And with that caveat in place, here’s an absolutely fantastic ad, "Ready For More", for Boots No.7 by Mother London.
“Ready For More.” Simple. Unpretentious. Most importantly, an easily understood message. You age, and you keep going, because you’re still thirsty for success, even when tempered with experience. In the spotlight is Alessandra Ferri, age 52 – and Alessandra Ferri, age 19, as a hologram. The interplay between the past and present makes for a gorgeous, engaging film, with an empowering message that blends the nostalgic with the forward-facing. In fact I can’t say it more clearly than Ferri herself:
“I’m proud of what I’ve done and who I was when I was younger, but I’m also proud of what I’m doing now and who I am now.”
And yes, Boots’ anti-ageing products are a part of enabling that future. It’s not an aggressive push, but there’s a clear brand and product logic and a positive message behind it. Think “Like A Girl” but a bit more subtle.
Visually and musically it’s just stunning. The movement, the contrasting styles, the passion and the movement of the music – it’s all beautifully put together. The little moments – the younger Ferri looking to the older, their coming together at the end – they feel genuinely emotional. They feel full of life.
And with no script, Ferri’s personality and strength shine through far stronger than if she were spouting your usual beauty ad lines. As is pretty well established at this point, I’m a sucker for a stripped down, clean piece of short, strong copy.
(No extraneous words, no blathering on and on with unnecessary text and freewheeling that adds nothing to the conversation and drags you on with increasing bewilderment and boredom. No sir. I hate that.)
It’s a bold move to directly contrast the older and younger versions of a woman in an ad, bringing them in sharp relief while selling a product that is explicitly supposed to “hide away” the imperfections that age brings. Done poorly and it comes as cynical, a guilt-laden ploy to shame women into covering up their age/their weaknesses/the fact that they don’t have a penis (quelle horreur).
But this spot is all the better for that contrast of young and old.
Ferri does certainly looks older. She looks her age; she looks worn and unvarnished.
By god she looks powerful though. I wouldn’t want to go toe to toe with her.
(Not least because I hear ballerinas basically have claws on their feet. They are much like beautiful, beautiful eagles in that regard.)
Her younger self is beautiful and talented. But her present self has the confidence, the authority and the self-possession of a queen. The message? That growing up does mean ageing – of course – but ageing doesn’t mean you take a step back. You keep moving forward, like Alessandra Ferri.
That is the power of this ad.