Analysis of Lancome’s Marketing Gimmick

Lancome is a French-based company established in 1935 by a French entrepreneur Armand Petitjean. The company’s success since then has been occasioned by the company’s marketing strategy which has ever been targeting dynamism in its brands. The changing socio-cultural trend in the market has influenced the brands’ marketing gimmicks in the company’s history. For instance, the brand established in the early days when women still wore gloves and were not allowed to vote are different from the current brands (Lancome Paris, 2012). The company also embraces diversity in culture and ethnicity. In 2003, for example, Lancome launched a marketing campaign for black women’s hair products (Lancome Paris, 2012). As a result, black women purchased more of Lancome’s products than women from other ethnic groups.

In this paper, the researcher evaluates the changing trend of these marketing strategies using an analysis of relevant primary and secondary data. First, he considers an image of the company’s ad using Kate Winslet commercial and an image of the company’s ad on its make-up ‘rouge in love’. These are represented as figure 1 and figure 2 respectively in the appendices section of this paper.

Lancome

Kate winslet Commercial involves a video of Kate Winslet who is a famous English Actress who featured in the play ‘the reader’ and won an academy award. In the video Kate Winslet rolls nude around in a hotel floor with just a sheet and a lipstick (Huffington Post, 2011). She appears in a television spot for Lancome’s ad on its brand L’Absolu Nu lip colour. From the image, Kate looks gorgeous and her lips shows the beauty of using the Lancome’s lip stick. This attracts women who aspire to look as beautiful as Kate.

Lancome marketing

On the other hand, figure 2 illustrates the image of the company’s makeup brand ‘rouge in love’ which is a lipstick product sold by the company. On the left hand side of the image the viewer can note the name of the lipstick, ‘Rouge in love’ which sounds romantic and attractive especially to stylish women. This name is framed in a red-coloured symbol of love which also provides romantic scenery. There are also some descriptions below this brand name which tells the woman to love her lips and explains the period which the makeup can last. It shows that the lip color can last for up to six hours. These descriptions are aimed at attracting women who seek to make themselves beautiful using make ups. The image also portrays four different samples of the brand which are also look attractive to women users.

The most significant part of this image is the right hand side which shows the image of one famous actress in Harry Porter, Emma Watson. The picture was taken in such a manner that displays the best attributes of Rouge in love. For instance, Emma Watson displays her gorgeous red lips with Rouge in love applied on them. Her finger nails are also clearly displayed to illustrate how beautiful one looks if she applies the company’s make-up products on her fingers. The blending of colours is illustrated by the red lips and the red fingernails. This makes someone to look even more beautiful and hence the customers who wish to be beautiful are attracted. Emma in the picture poses in a very attractive manner and her name is written on her shoulder. This is meant to attract customers because Emma is a famous actress and customers will prefer to use products that are associated with her. As an actress, Emma has her own fans. These fans will be specifically attracted to buy products that bear her name and image. Customers who are Emma Watson’s fans will always be delighted to have products in their houses which carry Emma’s image so that they can be able to look at her gorgeous image often. They also feel good and proud to be associated with such a famous actress and will therefore wish to have products that are associated with her.

The two sources show the transition of Lancome’s marketing strategies. Therefore, they represent the comparison and use of images of two different models to market Lancome’s lipstick brands. In the first instance, Kate Winslet illustrates a mature and sexy woman while Emma in the second part represents a young and passionate look. Emma represents ‘youth and beauty’ while Kate Winslet represents women and beauty. Secondary sources illustrate the inherent elements of shift and persistence in social values in these marketing strategies of Lancome. For instance, Peiss (1986) suggests that the heavy commercialization of the late nineteenth century has prompted the working-class women to engage in leisure activities so as to avoid being over-dependent on the workplace. In the past, the role of women in leisure activities was only zeroed in household chores and performance but in the recent past this has changed and women now go to dances and amusements to spend their leisure time and earn income. This is illustrated in the two illustrations of Kate and Emma whereby the women can now use their leisure time in acting and featuring in company advertisements. This cultural shift has led to a scenario whereby women play a role of marketing company products in their leisure time.

In the past, culture also dictated that women had no role in politics and their way of dressing was not as it is in the current period. For instance, Lancome used different brands in the past when women wore gloves and their ads did not comprise of women displaying their bodies on the ads. From the primary sources of this thesis, however, women like Emma and Kate can now display their sexiness which was not allowed in the past according to Peiss (2011).  Peiss argues that the cultural transformation has occasioned the change of night-life into events where women are able to demonstrate their sexiness. This is evident in the case of Kate who could shamelessly roll on the floor of a public hotel with no dress on but just with a sheet and a lipstick. This was completely out of order in the past but nowadays it is accepted by the commercial system for as long as the action brings in revenue to the participants.

On the other hand, Benjamin Barber’s assertion in his book ‘Consumed’ seems to be opposed to the cultural transformations experienced in the modern world. Barber (2008) contends that the act of marketing by companies to create consumer demand has the potential of corrupting people’s good citizenship. Barber observes that in the modern world children are expected to be ‘mature’ consumers of goods and services while adults are used by marketing departments to act like adolescent children so as to continue spending of youth on products. This aspect is clear from the advertisement of Lancome through Kate. Kate rolls nude on the floor like an adolescent so as to perpetuate the increased demand of Lancome’s lipstick. It is also illustrated in the advertisement of Rouge in Love whereby Emma Watson is used to represent ‘Youth and beauty’. According to Barber (2008) this action is considered as a habit that can break social ties. The need for more consumers has caused businesses to advertise their products inappropriately and create demand for luxurious products such as Lancome’s make-ups. This does not only destroy the good culture but also destabilizes the world’s political and economic systems (Barber, 2008).

Kitch (2001) also observes the change of culture from a home-based and collective women role to a new culture of personal style and consumerism. The study shows that women have also abandoned their sexuality role and concentrated on sexiness. These aspects are all demonstrated in the two cases of Lancôme’s ads. For instance, Kate abandons her sexuality role and displays her sexiness by rolling on the floor of a hotel with only a sheet and a lipstick. The introduction of these marketing gimmicks has occasioned an end to feminism as new technologies and media for visual images such as those of Kate and Emma emerged.

It is therefore clear from this analysis that the role of women in the society, in businesses and in politics have changed through cultural transformations over time. This has impacted on business marketing and creation of consumer demand as the need for consumers contradicts society’s norms and cultures. In the case of Lancome’s ads, it is clear that the company changed its marketing strategies since the time when women played household roles and wore gloves to the new era where the likes of Kate Winlet could role nude in public places just in the name of pursuing customers. Indeed, the role of women as feminists has been translated into a consumer role. They are used by marketers to create demand and to be customers of their products as well. However, the use of Emma in advertising Rouge in love does not portray her role as sexiness but as an advocate of youth and beauty. It is therefore more appropriate than the use of Kate Winslet in the Company’s marketing of its brands.

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