Marketing to women can be a tricky thing. Brands can easily stumble into schoolboy (or should that be schoolgirl) errors. The worst approaches range from patronising to facile to lazy lip service. Pink laptops anyone?
Now you’d expect beauty brands targeted at women to have a better understanding of their audience. Dove has secured masses of well-deserved plaudits and has set the standard for intelligent communications. The gloss and glamour of the traditional upmarket brands is complemented by some of the more quirky approaches of companies such as Bliss (Fat Girl Slim) and Soap and Glory (Butter Yourself) that show that humour can work really well in this space.
But that’s the thing about humour, you’ve got to know how and when to use it. Which leads us to the latest launch from Rodial an upmarket brand that is no stranger to controversy (Boob Job, Size Zero – all products with names that you could take as tongue in cheek, but a ‘sailing close to the wind’ type of humour!)
Rodial’s Cougar Skin is a product for mature, menopausal skin. Call me old-fashioned, but as the brilliant Jane Cunningham, aka The British Beauty Blogger points out, I don’t actually think that women who suffer from many of the more uncomfortable symptoms of the menopause will find the marketing approach of this product funny in the least. Sure, the cougar phenomenon might be amusing and self-styled cougars might be proud to adopt the label, but to apply it willy nilly to menopausal women as a whole and at a time of life that can come with emotional and physical upheaval is simply rubbish.
It’s a cheap trick from a brand that should know better.