Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Photoshop can be seen as either your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on whom you ask. Its use in the advertising and magazine industries, especially regarding fashion, has been heavily criticized on many occasions.

Now, Dr. Hany Farid, a professor at Dartmouth College, and Eric Kee, a Ph.D. student at Dartmouth, “are proposing a software tool for measuring how much fashion and beauty photos have been altered, a 1-to-5 scale that distinguishes the infinitesimal from the fantastic.” In a recent New York Times article Farid compares photoshopping a person’s image to making someone look as fake as Barbie. He has a point. Even if an image is photoshopped only a little here and there to give a person height, decrease his or her weight or even some other smaller alteration: it adds up.

Former talent agent and marketing executive Seth Matlins and his wife Eva believe Farid and Kee’s research has the potential to truly make a difference in the industry. The Matlins have proposed a change in legislation to “require photos that have been ‘meaningfully changed’ to be labeled”—calling the proposal “the Self-Esteem Act.” Based on previous research and interviews I conducted for an ethics paper, I’d say there are other experts who would agree.

The impact and execution of this scale have yet to be seen, but it is certainly a project to watch. For those who don’t know who Pascal Dangin is: Google him. He’s considered a master at his craft so it’d be interesting to know how accurately his work would be rated on Farid and Kee’s scale.

-Erin Elzo

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I’m a sucker for marketing. If we’re being honest, most of you Jerks out there are too. It’s nothing to be ashamed of (usually). It’s all about the presentation—what colors are used, clever slogans, that sort of thing.

This is why it was no surprise that so many of my friends have fallen under the spell of the adorable mini-treats at Starbucks. The line of Starbucks Petites includes cupcakes, lemon squares and cake pops–among a variety of other delicious minis. I resisted for awhile, but finally gave in when a particularly persistent friend insisted I try just one cupcake. My demise? The Carrot Cake Mini Cupcake. 190 calories of (almost) bite-size deliciousness.

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I wish I was kidding, but you probably don’t, you horndog. A note from the brand masters themselves: “Pussy is a 100% natural drink. No nasty chemicals and nothing manufactured. It is made for people looking for a natural alternative. The name Pussy shocks and demands attention–that’s the point. Inhibition is a recipe for mediocrity. This is a premium energy drink named with confidence.”

Well, they got that right. It definitely caught my attention when I saw this picture, advertising an energy drink. But really? What other body parts could sell completely irrelevant products? Next thing you know, the word “penis” will be used to sell body sprays. I imagine that could get a little awkward.

Obviously, the energy drink was named “Pussy” to shock consumers and make them want to try the drink simply because of its name, but what does a vagina have to do with an energy drink? As the consumer in the video puts it: “this tastes nothing like pussy.” Well, no kidding! I don’t know about you, ladies, but what I have going on down there is not made out of “a blend of fresh white grape juice, limes, or six selected botanical herbs.”

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This week Ann Taylor released their new ad campaign, featuring an incredibly firm and wrinkle-free Demi Moore (peculiar considering her age). She is so airbrushed that she looks 20 years younger, or rather like a completely different person. Since I work in the fashion industry, I personally turn a cheek to airbrushing, but transforming 50-year-olds into 16-year-olds has recently recaptured my interest. With all the press from the UK’s ban on ads of overly airbrushed models, I think it would be nice to be served with a dose of reality. A wrinkle and a dark spot here or there would be rather refreshing, and possibly give hope to the average women of the world.

Just last week the UK Advertising Standards Authority banned L’Oreal ads featuring Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts. Obviously, we all know and accept these to be airbrushed, so why the ban? The ads feature anti-aging products that take credit for the mysterious disappearance of their wrinkles. Members of parliament deemed these ads to be false advertising and decided that the images could be detrimental to women. To this I say right on UK Parliament! We know foundation can’t give you a face lift; let’s lay off the Photoshop. Let the crow’s feet and sagging eyelids run free.

-Victoria Troxler