What is the key to revealing your inner goddess? According to Gillette’s new Venus advertisement, it is using their latest razor, the Embrace. Their advertisement depicts a handsome young couple gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes while sitting at a beautiful lakefront table. They are leaning into each other and smiling while the man caresses the woman’s flawless leg. This image conveys the message Gillette is hoping you will assimilate into your unconscious: using the Embrace razor will make you sexy and desirable.
Venus, including the Embrace, is the line of Gillette Razors aimed at women. This advertisement for Embrace appeals to younger women because of its sexual undertones. It evokes a feeling of longing and makes the observer desirous of having what the elegant young woman pictured appears to have: great looks, a gorgeous body, a handsome significant other, and a perfect relationship. The advertisement’s purpose is to convince the viewer that the woman possesses all of these traits because she uses the Embrace razor. If the image is successful, the viewer will buy the Embrace in hopes that she too can be a goddess.
The main focus of the advertisement is the very clear image of the man and woman against the faded background of a lake and city skyline. As the observer peruses the image, her eye travels down the couple’s perfect silhouettes until her eye is arrested as it encounters the man’s hand placed suggestively on the woman’s leg. The tilt of the bodies, similar skin tones, and muted clothes all make the man’s hand stand out to emphasize how much pleasure the woman’s beautifully smooth legs bring him.
The copy in this advertisement is also very provocative. In the top left hand corner, the words, “The Goddess of CHECK PLEASE” immediately catch the eye. This ambiguous phrase has multiple meanings. It is likely that the words are encouraging the woman to check to make sure that her legs are silky smooth. It could also suggest that her legs are hairless and she wants someone to check them out. The most sensual interpretation is that she is asking for the check so that she and her lover can leave the table to enjoy a romantic evening together. Another innuendo used is, “Get closer, or your money back.” This double entendre alludes both to a closer shave and to getting closer to a significant other. These, along with the company’s slogan, “Reveal the Goddess in You,” imply that using the Embrace will make you beautiful and, essentially, promises sex.
Where the text is not particularly suggestive, it is vague and deceptive. The copy claims that the Embrace “shaves your legs closer than ever and leaves your skin smoother than ever,” but an asterisk is placed at the end of the sentence. If you look closely, in tiny print at the bottom of the page it says, “Versus leading competitor.” It fails to mention who this competitor is, however. Therefore, this claim is not legitimate because it does not state what criteria determine the “leading competitor” and is not a fair representation of the competition. While statements like this initially look good, further inspection reveals their emptiness.
As demonstrated by this advertisement, many companies use sex to promote their products. This implies volumes about the manipulative ploys used by the advertising industry. They are not just selling a product; they are selling desire. It is up to the consumer to see beyond this and discern whether they want to buy the product. Until then, we will be seeing many more images of handsome couples wearing muted colors that promise us sex, beauty, and the ability to reveal our inner goddess