War Paint

Today, a good friend from San Francisco and I spent the day together. We watched the off-Broadway musical War Paint together, and as two people who work in marketing, a lot of the themes resonated and cracked both of us up. The one that was the most ridiculous given what industry we work in was when Helena Rubenstein, who was back in the day a famous and very wealthy cosmetics titan and icon, was trying to figure out how to increase her company’s revenue. Her then partner says to her, why don’t you just take the same face cream formulation, label one jar “day cream,” and the second jar “night cream”? No one will know the difference! This “genius” idea led to literally double the revenue they had previously seen and much success for their brand. Of course, this was back in the day when women had no idea what ingredients were going into their skincare and makeup, and they lapped up any type of advertising that led them to believe they were becoming more beautiful and “youthful” as a result of all this crap that different brands were selling at the time.

As someone who works in marketing, I realize that there are some things that I am more easily bought in on than others. The “day cream” vs. “night cream” idea is just so awful that it is good.

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