Hilarious Spoof Pokes Fun At Sappy Beauty Ads

With a chorus of uplifting orchestral music bumbling along, the warm voice of a thoughtful woman laying down “the message,” and an adorable infographic popping up on the screen, the first few seconds of this video almost seem legit, almost. We’ve seen them all before: ads that are supposed to simultaneously speak to who we are as women, warm our hearts, and sell us something. They're so popular they even have their own name. And to even further prove their prolificness, "femvertising" now has its own parody.

We are all about embracing our so-called "flaws" — and take pride in reporting on the diversity of beauty — but there is a fine line between celebrating and exploiting our insecurities. Toronto agency John St. taps into this with their hilarious spoof featuring Jane St., a new fake agency devoted solely to "empowering" women through advertising. "In order to really stay ahead of the game, we need to identify tomorrow’s insecurities today,” says one employee in the video. "They might not even know they have an insecurity, so it's important that we dig them up," says another.

In the real world, not everyone hates on these ads. Samantha Skey, chief revenue officer of SheKnows Media, told CNN earlier this year that she applauds brands challenging gender norms through advertising. “(They) can sell products while also selling good ideas and good values and socially empowering women and girls." And, after seeing the success of pioneers like Always and Dove (according to CNN, sales at Dove have reportedly soared from $2.5 billion to $4 billion in the 10 years since it launched its "Campaign for Real Beauty"), many other brands have jumped on the girl power bandwagon.

Female empowerment is in no way a bad thing to promote, of course, but the influx of femvertising has left many skeptical. The Daily Dot has called Dove’s mission to reject impossible beauty standards and airbrushing “a marketing campaign in a movement’s clothing." The video hones in on this as well, saying "It’s a win-win for women and girls, and it’s a win-win for the brand because they sell more stuff."

Sure, ads are meant to sell products — but exploiting women through a loose veil of empowerment is not the way to do it. But, if these ads are having a positive effect on young girls and women, maybe they're not as bad as this video suggests? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
Advertisement

More from Celebs & Influencers

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.