Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Be Prepared.

The above screenshot is from a CNN story on a Facebook widget that allows Indian people to lighten the skin in their Facebook profile shots.

Never mind the fact that Vaseline is using this widget as a viral to promote their line of skin-lightening creams.  However, it's nice to see that vanity is just as vacuous on the other side of the world.

What I find strange is the copy and slogan - "Transform your face on Facebook with Vaseline Men  - Be Prepared."

I'm sure something is lost in translation here and from the copy.  But do Indian men really want to look like sun-starved Brits?!  If so, the first thing I'd suggest is to wipe that satisfied smile off the face of the model and replace it with a proper English scowl.

I'm also a little lost in the product name - "Vaseline Men."  Clearly, I'm not a "Vaseline Guy."  Frankly, I don't want to be.   Nor have I been tempted.  Ever.   Now, Old Spice?  Yeah.  I even wore Aramis bronzer once (it was Halloween and I went as a Jersey Guido).

And, I'll go out on a limb and speak for approximately 90% of men and state that I've never heard anyone state or even hint that they wanted or needed Vaseline anything.

However, the strangest aspect of this s-ad is the slogan - "Be Prepared."  Essentially, the slogan states this:  Be ready to appear Caucasian.

Do I hear the clomp-clomp of jack-boots?  Geez.  All I can state is that I'd have had serious trouble working on this account.  Or, I'd have gone the extra mile and branded Vaseline Men hair bleach and blue contact lenses.

PS- A sadvertising reader pointed out the Indian caste-system favors lighter skin.  Still... Again, "Vaseline Men" remains a strange name and India should remember Michael Jackson in their prayers. 

PPS - judging from the responses received, it seems the whole world wants to be white.  Wow.