Skip to main content
advertisingfeminismmediatelevisionTV commercials

The Evolution of Beauty Commercials: Once Upon a Time…

Media messages directed at women and advertisements for beauty products have changed significantly in the past 20 years.

In the early 1990s many TV commercials for beauty products portrayed assertive businesswomen:

1990 Italian commercial for L’Oreal Elseve Shampoo, starring Cindy Crawford

1990 L’Oreal Plenitude Anti-Wrinkle Cream:

And these days, nearly 20 years later, we can notice a shift in the subtext of ad messages. The focus is solely on seduction and leisure time:

Italian commercial for L’Oreal Elseve Shampoo, starring Laetitia Casta

Side note – in case you do not speak Italian, I must point out that the language used in this ad is deliciously ridiculous:

“Il primo balsamo alla proteina di perla” = “The first ever conditioner with pearl proteins” ??????

“Trasforma i capelli lunghi in luce scintillante” = “Transforms long hair into sparkling light” ??????

“Lucentezza a specchio” = “Mirror shine” ???????

“Tocco cashmere” = “Cashmere touch”

And a commercial for L’Oreal Plenitude, from the 2000s starring Virginie Ledoyen… at the beach:

Bring back the strong businesswomen!