New Maybelline Rocket Mascara

I chose an ad for a new mascara from Maybelline called The Rocket Volum’ Express. A new kind of mascara is being sold to women who want “bigger, smoother, more even lashes”.  The ad is pretty striking; it begins with a count down in bold colors with a background of fireworks. The ad flashes between close ups of a women’s beautiful face and her eyes with thick lashes and scenes where the mascara is centered in a black screen with more fireworks in the background, a close-up of the mascara’s brush shows the audience how effective it is at coating each lash. Black scenes with bold words proclaim that it has 8x the volume, another that “it’s rocket science”, another explodes the word clumps as the narrator says, “too fast for clumps”, and yet another states that it is smoother. The ad ends when the narrator says, “Maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s Maybelline” and the mascara bottle takes off like a rocket trailed by fireworks. The ad is not very risky or original as most mascara commercials feature close-ups of women’s eyes and of the brushes ability to coat the lashes. The only difference I found in this ad was the countdown and use of fireworks in the background.

This advertisement demonstrates identification as a persuasive technique by advertising something that a majority of women can identify with: wanting thick, bold lashes. This ad presents it’s product in a bold way that makes the audience want to appear more like the beautiful woman in the ad. By stating, “Maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s Maybelline” at the end of the commercial the ad is basically saying that if you weren’t born with “it” then Maybelline make-up can help. Most women are not born with movie-star thick eyelashes and this ad makes those kind of lashes both desirable and available to the audience.

When I applied Burke’s pentad to this advertisement I found that the act was the presentation of the Rocket Mascara. The scene changes throughout the ad featuring a woman standing in front of a graffitied wall, two women on a table in a diner, a mirror image of a woman sitting in an arm chair over a highway, a woman laying in a hammock over a highway and a woman in front of a building at night pointing to the bottle of mascara as it takes off like a rocket. The agents are the models showing off their lashes and posing, as well as the narrator. The agency is that the ad is being shown on television and can be found of YouTube, as well as the boldness of the ad. The purpose is to sell a new kind of mascara to women.  I think that the most important ratio of Burke’s pentad in this ad would be purpose: agency. As an advertisement the purpose is the most important part of the pentad because it is the entire reason for the ad. The agency is the second most important because it is the techniques used to persuade the audience or the manner in which the purpose is advertised. This is a television advertisement that can also be found on Maybelline’s channel on YouTube. The techniques used in this ad are bold colors, black scenes with bold words, and close-ups of both the mascara’s brush and the resulting lashes on a woman’s eye.

Given what I know about persuasion I think that this ad is somewhat persuasive but it could be improved upon.  I do not think that the ad does enough to identify with its audience. It could do more to pinpoint those women who would most benefit from this mascara without alienating them. My simply adding “ This mascara turns thin dull lashes in to bigger, smoother, more even lashes”, the ad could better state its purpose. I have always had a slight issue with Maybelline’s slogan, “Maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s Maybelline” because to me it implies that natural beauty is uncommon and that make-up is necessary. The slogan is usually presented in two different voices, the first stating, “Maybe she’s born with it”, and the second seeming to counter with, “Maybe it’s Maybelline.” The presentation of the slogan is what changes the implication in my mind because it seems to be portraying that the second voice does not believe that a woman could be born that beautiful and that she must be using make-up. I think that Maybelline is trying to imply that their make-up looks so natural that you can’t tell if the woman wearing it is born with it or not but this is not very clear.  I think that another slogan would be more compelling for audiences. I’m not a slogan writer but something that would imply that Maybelline is better than regular make-up without also implying that women can’t be naturally beautiful would be more enticing to me and I’m sure many other women who probably haven’t received this slogan as it was intended.
Lexi Welborn

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