The video (above) does a great job showing how youngsters are told what they should look like, but when you consider what other brands are owned by the consumer goods firm, things start to seem a bit hypocritical.
Unilever’s subsidiary in India, Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL), markets Fair & Lovely Skin Cream and Lotion, the largest selling skin care product in India. Fair & Lovely is being promoted as a “fairness face cream” to lighten dark skin. Through their advertisements, Hindustan Lever spreads the message that a light skin is better than dark. Here’s a short ad, translated into English.
And equally interesting, is this ad for Fair & Lovely, targetted at men.
It’s as obvious as it comes to promote the idea that white is better, although on the slight flip-side, there are a huge amount tanning products here in the UK.
I think a lot of it comes down to people wanting what they don’t have. If you want to be thin, “drink Slim Fast” (also Unilever-owned) if you want to be white, “use Fair & Lovely,” if you want to stand up against the darker side of the fashion industry while maintaining your beautiful skin, “use Dove.”
Hypocrisy, or catering to the consumer? On a deeper level, would the consumer even have these supposed needs if it wasn’t for the advertiser?