What A Nail-Biter!



Figure 4. OPI sample advertisement found in Teen Vogue.

The existing advertisements for luxury high-end beauty products vary greatly depending on the brand. Observation shows that Chanel’s overall advertising and branding is quite aesthetically uniform, but the brand seems to vary the content of each individual product’s campaign, signaling to the viewer a unique or new product. Different brands, such as Clinique or OPI, have other approaches to marketing their beauty products.
Looking at the two advertisements for nail polish, there seems to be a very serious and mature tone being conveyed. The OPI nail polish advertisement (Figure 4), which is promoting a new formula of nail polish, is far too busy; it is cluttered with words that are hard to read (small and jumbled together)  and an unnecessarily busy model (a lot of focus on makeup, hair and jewelry). It does not seem to effectively convey the main point of the advertisement.

One of Chanel’s only advertisements for nail polish, the Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour (Figure 1), is quite simple and straightforward, therefore sticking with an iconic brand image. This specific advertisement utilises color more than any other element. By emphasizing the


Figure 1. Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour sample advertisement found in Vogue Magazine.

same shade of red on the product bottle, the text, the brand name, the model’s lip and nail color, the advertisement creates a cohesive theme of classical beauty, sensuality, and boldness, building on the product brand. The Chanel advertisement, which is much more elegant and easy on the eyes, still strikes the viewer as being very mature, obvious, and simple, but is not very exciting or stimulating.
Another Chanel advertisement, for their new Chanel Chance eau Vive perfume (Figure 2), uses a different approach to grab the reader’s attention. By replacing a familiar object with the product of a similar shape and size in the same context, which in this case is bowling, the reader becomes entranced by the playful, whimsical and playful tone. The campaign even made a video with the same theme. Warm pastel colors stand out on a dark background, which ultimately draws more attention to the model and the product.


Figure 2. Chanel Chance eau Vive sample advertisement found in Teen Vogue Magazine.

Looking beyond the realm of Chanel and other nail polish advertisements, there are other luxury beauty items that could be marketed and visually advertised similar to nail polish. The 2-in-1 Clinique Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub and Lip Balm is a new product clinique is introducing (Figure 3). Clinique presents an interesting approach by substituting macarons or other small colorful treats with the products, which has a similar shape, size, and color. The products are placed in paper pastry cups. Whimsical and happy warm colors make the advertisement more appealing. This is a very similar method (replacement) to the Chanel Chance eau Vive advertisement. This method seems effective because is uses positive association to encourage the purchase of the product,


Figure 3. Clinique 2-in-1 Sweet Pots sample advertisement found in Harper’s Bazaar.

and may only have problems with specific individuals who do not recognize or like the association.

The mood in the luxury beauty item advertisements seems to vary. Some seem sultry, marketing sex appeal, and others seem whimsical, marketing individuality. Both types of advertisements still carry a classical, bold, and unapologetic tone. The target audience for these advertisements vary, but most would fall in the 12-30 years old age category. Sans-serif fonts are almost consistently maintained in these luxury beauty product print advertisements. In the case of Chanel and Clinique, exclusively sans-serif is used. OPI uses a serif font for their brand logo only, and all of the other text on their advertisement (description of the product itself) is sans-serif.
Warm colors are predominantly used in the advertisements. Pinks and reds are used frequently, which seems to draw the viewer’s attention to certain areas: the product itself (in the bottle and on the model), text, and clothing. These advertisements use white space to draw attention to the product itself by isolation (relatively). “White space” in these advertisements is just negative space, just as one of the Chanel advertisements has a very dark, almost black background. No matter the color, the “white space” is always neutral, drawing attention to the vibrant colors of the models and products. This is also an area to strategically place text, usually aligned with or within close proximity to the product. The only advertisement that does not follow this pattern is the OPI advertisement.

Image | This entry was posted in Blog #2. Researching Print Advertisements. Bookmark the permalink.

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