Tuesday, 25 September 2012

For Who's Benefit? Benefit Cosmetics Recent Campaigns Falling Foul of Fans


This eCard popped up on my Facebook feed last night and I felt the need to share. Not in a 'Let's all roll round the floors' kind of way, in a 'What the actual eff?!' way. It would seem that Benefit Cosmetics (California), in the latest of their marketing campaigns, have chosen to throw off the shackles of make up marketing altogether and appeal to... Well appeal to who exactly? Because I can't see a market for these cards that ties in with the brand, try as I might. Now don't get me wrong, I love Benefit, their make up, their packaging and their way with brows but not so much their choices in advertising strategies of late. 


Within minutes of that eCard being posted by Benefit with the link to the rest of the 'witty' cards, and the suggestion to be 'Coy and Lady Like' but 'Laugh Your Face Off', their Facebook post pretty much blew up with bad reaction from Fans the world over. 'Wow', 'Classy, Not', 'WTF' were just some of the comments, with several commenters asking if Benefit thought this an 'appropriate' post. The answer was clearly no as it was deleted within minutes and not spoken of again. 

This Facebook stuff up comes hot on the heels of a video released by the brands head office this week that's come under fire from all angles for the use of what's seen as tantamount bullying and harrassment in the name of humour. Check it out below but also check out the viewers' reaction in the comments:



Of course Irish readers will know that there was a similar incident much closer to home this past month. Benefit Cosmetics Ireland hired comedian Katherine Lynch to perform a funny, tongue in cheek promotion  called 'Funny Fannies' that seemed to backfire also. The comments on that video have now been disabled but a quick look at the associated Beaut.ie post will let you gauge reaction. 

The mission statement for Benefit is, as all beauty junkies know, 'Laughter is the best cosmetic... so grin and wear it!' but I'm just finding it very hard at the moment to find these recent campaigns funny, not in the slightest. Surely we should be laughing with each other not at others. 

Tell me, am I being an aul one? Do I need to lighten up? Am I being too picky believing that the campaigns should actually have something to do with the make up that the brand are selling? Or are these recent attempts at humourous marketing so painfully far from the mark of humour that it literally isn't funny? 

I'd love to know what you think...




19 comments:

sarah gill said...
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sarah gill said...
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sarah gill said...
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sarah gill said...
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sarah gill said...

I just don't think that they are funny or tie in with my (pretty positive) perception of the brand. they stink of trying too hard and falling flat on their face. I always thought of Benefit as a classy brand. fun, yes, but still ladylike. these campaigns just completely fly in the face of that and it makes me uncomfortable.

LauraLou said...

Benefit have gone down sooo much in my books. From this, to the not funny fannies. I was at a recruitement day, and we were told to sell products to people, even if they were the wrong colour or didnt suit their skin.

fluff and fripperies said...

Great post Sue - I have been wondering what the actual eff they're up to myself recently! They need to have a look at their marketing and ask themselves are they being true to the essence of their brand xo

Stephcie said...

As soon as I saw that eCard one I thought ugh it's the fifty shades of grey effect - not a route a brand such as Benefit should or need to go down - they should stick to what they do best

Anonymous said...

No, I hate this ad campaign. I've always thought of Benefit as being a brand for classy girls who want to look natural and not think too much about their makeup or anyone else's. The Irish ad is desperate and not one bit funny, and the American ad is just obnoxious. I think that if most people would be mortified at the idea that someone would judge them based on their appearance. They completely fly in the face of a brand like Benefit.

Dee said...

I totally agree, it's just not funny, quite offensive in fact, and such a waste of budget. Let's hope they have a re-think soon because I'm on the verge of being completely turned off.

Linda Hobbis said...

I think Benefit have started to believe their own hype. Perhaps they thought they could sex it up a bit after the success of "They're Real" which was quite racy compared to other brands. I think they need to go back to the quality of their products because although the packaging is quirky and fun, the actual cosmetics are pretty lacklustre.

Makeup Over Mind said...

It's a bit weird, it's like they've forgotten how to balance humour and being professional as a brand. Don't know how this got past so many people to begin with. Will be interesting to see what happens.

Anonymous said...

It really just doesn't make good business sense.... I wonder what their promo manager was thinking to be honest :S I could think of 10 different pitches off the top of my head.
The problem isn't the ''e-cards'' themselves but the language and message they portray. Firstly the language is amateur, beyond amateur really and the message? Don't get me started....
Anyway that's my tuppence worth....
Great post x

TheUrbanUmbrella said...

I know they were trying to be "risque" with their new campaign, and I appreciate they are trying to be humorous - but they definitely missed the mark. I still like their makeup but I do think this campaign is a bit over the line.


xoxo Bree
The Urban Umbrella

http://www.theurbanumbrella.com

CherrySue said...

Thanks a million for your comments, Ladies. I'm so glad it's not just me. I guess I'm just staggered that each of these campaigns have been given the green light by teams of people.

They're can't have been a lot of market research of their target audience if the majority of people feel similarly.

Alex said...

That video is horrible to watch, it's not remotely funny and you can see the girls in it are genuinely upset and offended, not something that would make me laugh. The Katharine Lynch one was the exact same and those e-cards are just vulgar, half of them have nothing to do with make up! I only own one Benefit product as it is as they're so overpriced, was considering buying Coralista but I'll be unliking their Facebook and doubt I'll be buying from them again if they think it's a good idea to sell their products to women by insulting their appearance.

SíleC said...

That's the first time I've seen that Beauty Bust video and I have to admit it did raise a smile but the Katherine Lynch thing and the e-cards just strike me as...odd.

Karen said...

Sigh, I dunno what they're playing at... It's just not funny to me and strays beyond what the brand usually represents and that's cute, kitsch, smart and sexy. The names of the products always make me smile and it's like they've taken that and run with it. Far far away. I'm all about being a rudie patootie when it comes to my humour but this and the Katherine Lynch thing just ain't funny to moi. I didn't watch the video above in case it ruined any more of my love for Benefit.

Just pull it back a bit Benepeeps

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