Last week Benefit broke away from its pretty-in-pink retro theme to create a ballsy new campaign titled “Real Men Don’t Fake It”.
The video, released last week has to date gotten nearly 350,000 views and most of the reviews have been mixed. While some viewers find it hilarious others have found it to be somewhat offensive.
Susanne Arfelt Rajamand, head of marketing Singapore of Unilever lauded the brand for being daring and not taking itself too seriously.
“It surely is high on attention and will certainly garner PR and cut the clutter in the very busy cosmetic category,” she added.
Personally Rajamand found the ad a little uncomfortable, but that is what she appreciated in ads. Such ads, she added, “evoke some sentiment and are cutting the clutter”.
“They try to be different – and the entire message is served with exaggeration and a glint in the eye. Not my favorite creative – but surely more entertaining than demeaning,” she said.
However, according to Rajamand, while this might work with the younger consumers (15-25) but the older target group will surely feel offended and find that the creative is taking 10 steps too far in order to get attention.
She added that it would also be a “very risky move to run this ad in the Asia.”
Meanwhile, another senior marketer asked the question that, while the brand will be talked about will it be in a way that they would want to be talked about?
He added that one worrying trend is when “marketers don’t measure the success of their campaigns in terms of driving sales or affinity but in terms of buzz.”
Claudia Allwood, U.S. director of marketing at Benefit Cosmetics told Mashable the brand wanted “to find a clever way to play on real vs. fake double entendre.”
She added that the video was “cheeky and overt” so you “can’t possibly take it seriously.”
Meanwhile, Valerie Cheng, chief creative officer of JWT said that the ad “completely failed to achieve its objective if it’s trying to sell me the mascara.”
“There’s not a single line to tie the idea with the product so that I know what I’m buying,” she said.
While people would be curious enough to want to watch the film till the end, she added, unfortunately, most people would have found that they’ve wasted their time and get irritated with the brand.