So — what happens when the No. 4 pharma (by revenue) in the world (think stodgy, old guys!) sets about re-inventing a consumer advertising-driven brand? And a 75 year old brand, at that? Mistakes. Will. Ensue.
To wit — Jezebel.com, writing on ill-conceived ad campaigns, feels this one is a complete misfire. I’d be inclined to agree solely on the grounds that it may encourage more of the toddlers in tiaras subculture to seek a $25,000 prize by exploiting their own offspring. I am mostly unconvinced that it sexualizes little girls, but I am concerned that it leaves open associations like the second image below — do click both to enlarge.
Back to Jezebel, then: do go read all of Jezebel‘s take on it — but here’s a bit:
. . . .Hey, parents! Have you always dreamed of your daughter being known worldwide as an oddly sexualized orange baby whose pants are eternally being eaten off by a dog? Well, your day has come, my friend! Merck & Company is reviving their classic “Coppertone girl” campaign with the “Little Miss Coppertone” contest. The winner gets to show their butt on the internet. Forever.
Through June 22, parents can submit photos of their daughters aged 2-7 (sons are BANNED!!!) to the Little Miss Coppertone Facebook page, where other parents and, uh, sunburned baby enthusiasts, can comment and bicker. Then a panel of judges, including some lady, will choose the finalists. . . .
To be clear, here — I am not one of those who overreacts to such things, but I’d also honestly ask whether Whitehouse Station wants its flagship Consumer Health product aligned in popular culture with. . . SNOOKI?! Forget the nostalgia-angle, I think this co-brand parody on Snooki’s new book cover (original image copyright Simon & Schuster) should really have Mr. Frazier re-thinking the whole
lotion notion. Ouch.
What do you think? Do you even care? Should anyone care? Let me know. Finally — in the interest of complete coverage, only — here’s a link to the Facebook contest page — for all the tiara-wearers out there.