The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

There’s A Big Difference Between Looking Good Enough For Hollywood And The Local Panto.
February 20, 2009, 6:24 am
Filed under: Comment

So I’ve written about MAC Cosmetics in the past … and whilst some of these posts have taking the piss … I’ve always had a soft spot for the brand because they have a fresher, cheekier approach to the often self-important, uber-serious tone of the fashion and beauty industry.

However I have say I think they’ve lost their way and adopted the ‘shock at all costs’ strategy, best favoured by creatives who like executions rather than ideas.

Before that comment gets anyone’s panties in a twist, I am not saying communication should blend in with its surroundings – far from it – I am just saying that in the commercial communication/strategy industry, you need to have a purpose to what you’re producing or you’ll find yourself without a job/company before too long.

And before someone say’s I’m advocating the sort of ads produced by Colgate on an almost hourly basis, I would point out that the best work I’ve ever had something to do with [even if it was just bringing in a cup of tea at a pertinent moment] always had a well crafted, pragmatic strategy/idea at the heart of it – be it Tango, Supernoodles, Mini or Schweppes – because in my industry, I believe creativity has to be linked to effectiveness or it’s another reason why clients won’t want to deal with you.

Anyway enough of all that, the reason I’m writing this post is because MAC have chosen a brand ambassador that just doesn’t work.

I know I’m a 38 year old man who has never worn makeup in his life [that’s my story and I’m sticking with it] but as much as I thought their ‘Barbie’ campaign was madness, this just reaches new levels – or should I say depths.

Yep, Dame Edna Everidge!

Fuck me, what were they thinking?

Putting aside the fact she/he is about as relevant today as Button Moon [look it up] … even with the glam and bling culture that permeates too much of society, no girl [or flamboyant homosexual] wants to look like a 75 year old Australian man in drag.


You might [just might] get away with RuPaul… but Dame Edna Everidge?

I’d love to know what photos Barry Humphries agent must have on the Marketing/Account Director of MAC and their agency – they must be dynamite to get this campaign off the ground.

More proof of global campaigns created and executed by people who haven’t gone further than their toilet.

Anyway, because I am still gutted we didn’t win the MAC pitch we went for a few years ago, I am seizing the ‘fuck up fairy’ strategy that MAC seem to be going full steam ahead with and creating a new campaign with a new ambassador in a bid to win the business that I still feel should really be with us so with that, I present you the cynic/MAC campaign …

Call me Guillaume – Global Marketing Director of MAC – you should have my number unless you’ve been sacked and replaced by your uber-conservative L’Oreal paymasters!

21 Comments so far
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campbell. after a week of writing posts even the fucking sunday sport would turn down this is a good one. fuck i even almost laughed at the result of your powerpoint photo editing which we both know is a major fucking compliment towards you. i cant be objective about mac because ever since we didnt win the business im convinced theyve purposefully gone all out to rub it in our faces with shit like this.

theyll be using hinge and fucking bracket next or prince circa 1984. its not retro its brand reembalming and will only appeal to people who use make up with the subtlety of coco the fucking clown

mac? cac more like

Comment by andy@cynic

I want Andy to do a blog with George Parker.

I’m sure there is a rationale behind MAC’s use of Dame Edna but then some people think there was a valid reason behind liberating Iraq.

Comment by Pete

i think they should use barbie again.

Comment by lauren

I am a humble client but I still believe you should be able to “see” strategy within communication. Many people think this is the wrong approach but without short or long term strategy, you are communicating without purpose and that can be commercial suicide.

Robert has always said an idea should be understood by more than just the people who have spent months working on it behind closed doors and I completely agree. This does not mean having bland strategies or communication, in fact the opposite is true, but it must be rooted in relevance to the audience or you are in danger of simply disrupting for the sake of disruption.

Like Robert, I am not prone to wearing make up and accept I am not the sort of person Mac cosmetics wishes to appeal to, but I still fail to see the relevance of Dame Edna, especially in Asia and would welcome someone enlightening me regarding the choice of ambassador.

One final point, where is Robert? He has been strangely absent for a while.

Comment by Lee Hill

Female MAC fans I’ve spoken to about this seem to love it.
Irony people, irony.

Comment by northern

1) Lee is right – though I’m not sure there is really such a thing as short-term strategy – that would be tactics.

2)Aren’t Queen 75 years old?

3)Robert has always been strangely absent.

Comment by John Dodds

Fit for a Queen… that is terrible yet brilliant.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Rob is back – after numeropus shit flights, some shitter than shit taxis and a meeting with the sort of people that make an evening with Dodds seem more attractive.

First of all, I’d like to say that Northern should know better to use 3 people as a barometer for a campaigns likeability. Besides, LIKING a brand and BUYING a brand are very different and who knows if the people he asked were the sort of folk who even wear make up 😉

[Just teasing NP]

In all seriousness, whilst I appreciate that their may be an ‘irony’ element in this campaign – it still doesn’t work at all for Asia – not because they don’t get irony [which they don’t, at least the Western interpretation of it] but they don’t know who Dame Edna is so it looks like MAC is a brand for ugly OAP’s.

And I don’t agree with John that shorter term strategies are always tactics. Surely it is dependent on the timeframe you’re talking about? Pedantic? Moi?

Anyway, I still think the campaign is shit and I still think “irony” would be more of a post-rationalisation than an explanation of the real strat … but even if that wasn’t the case, I think the work isn’t that great – especially for a global platform.

Ooooooh I feel better after all that has been released, ha!

Comment by Rob

Well of course it depends on the time-frame (insert tired old keynsian cliche here), but that’s my point. If the time-frame is long-ish then you can think strategically. If it’s short-term, then you’re acting tactically – though all tactical efforts have to comply with previously determined long-tem strategy.

Comment by John Dodds

Just say “OK Rob” … it won’t paint you in a bad light, promise!

Comment by Rob

I’m not saying the long-term strategy is set in stone, it has to be flexible if thigs change but that should be built into your thinking already. But if you start creating short-term “strategies” the big risk is that you foul up the longer-term one.

Comment by John Dodds

If I said “Ok Rob” I would be conducting one of those short-term strategic shifts that I just showed to be wrong.

Comment by John Dodds

Is that the real reason why women say “no” to you then? 🙂

Comment by Rob

There are too many reasons to list and they wisely tend not to speak to me anyway.

Comment by John Dodds

Only through their lawyers eh?

Comment by Rob

Only through their lawyers eh?

You and Andy have a lot in common, ha!

Comment by Rob

I didn’t know who this woman/man is and after Andrew told me about him/her I still don’t know why they use her. Someone said it is about irony but I think it is silly.

Comment by Katerina

fuck you planning types. katerina has spoken and shes always right. except when she says i cant have a sausage sandwich then she becomes a cliche chick 🙂

Comment by andy@cynic

please tell me that on another blog somewhere, there are pages of critique about that skinny bitch keira knightly being used as the face of chanel. that would make me feel good too.

also, i have to say that benefit NYC have taken over from where mac used to be, in terms of irreverence towards the trad cosmetic überlords.

Comment by lauren

only if theyre lesbians lauren

Comment by andy@cynic

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