Aging and Advertising Image
In today's modern world, there are several products on the market designed to target aging populations. Skin creams, anti-aging pills, vitamins, hair regeneration lotions, and many other products imply that to look younger is to feel younger, and to feel younger is only possible through the use of medications designed to increase hormones, increase vital anti-aging chemicals in the body, and decrease fine lines and wrinkles.
These products, designed to promote self-esteem and confidence through a look of youth, neglect the important fact, however, that age is not simply a visual concept, but a physiological fact of life.
Relastin Skin Revitalizer ™ is one such anti-aging product currently on the market. An anti-aging cream, Relastin Skin Revitalizer ™ claims to increase the elastin of the skin, thereby reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
The company describes elastin as "a protein in connective tissue that is elastic and allows tissue to return to its original state." The product also claims to increase the appearance of firmness, make skin appear smoother, and enhance the appearance of skin ("Relastin™," 2006).
The advertising for Relastin Skin Revitalizer ™ uses a variety of methods to target older audiences whose skin may be suffering from such fine lines and wrinkles. First, the simple title of the product suggests a more youthful skin appearance in relation to the product ("Relastin™," 2006). In using the phrase 'Revitalizer,' advertisers capture the concept of the older audience's wish to revive the skin of their formative years, when their bodies, minds, and spirits were not aged.
Secondly, various phrases throughout the advertisement portray the concept of beauty in youth, which again targets an older audience. By using such words as 'smooth', 'tighter', 'more radiant', and 'natural beauty', the wording of the ad is aimed at promoting the concept of youth and vitality as a means for self-esteem and attraction ("Relastin™," 2006). For those who may suffer from even the finest lines, such concepts certainly create a desire to achieve a younger self.
A third method used to target older audiences is the references to signs of aging. Again, specific phrasing is used to target those who may see signs of aging as unattractive or ugly. By stressing phrases such as 'fine lines,' 'wrinkles,' and 'sagging,' the advertisement promotes the concept that such features make one less attractive ("Relastin™," 2006). This method makes the assumption most individuals with such features see them as negative signs of aging, and that one's self-image is harmed by such appearances.
Finally, the advertisement promises results, which is vital in the selling of self-image concepts. For many who would purchase such a product, a promise of a younger appearance is the strongest point to the advertisement. Relastin Skin Revitalizer ™ promises smoother and firmer skin through an increase in elastin, and this promise is reiterated with results of 'clinical studies' ("Relastin™," 2006). While no reference is made to sample sizes, control factors, or other basic research methodology, the advertisement claims the product produces smoother, tighter, more elastic, less wrinkly, and less rough skin, in as little as two weeks. For individuals whose self-esteem is lowered because of their visual signs of aging, such promises are a high selling point.
These methods, when combined, form a strong concept of beauty and confidence in younger looking skin, while also emphasizing the negative aspects of aging skin. This concept, in turn, appeals to an older audience who dream of youth and a youthful appearance. The advertisement implies that to look young is to be young. As Susan McCarthy notes in her article, "On Immortality," people object to the idea of aging, and the fundamental truths that follow aging (McCarthy, 547).
But is simply reversing the visual signs…