Effective Beauty

I’ll admit it: I’m a beauty junkie. I have more makeup and skincare products than I could ever use in any reasonable time frame, and yet the list of products that I want to buy seems to be forever growing.

But as a result of owning so many different products, I also have a lot of boxes and other types of packaging from these products, which all advertise the great benefits and innovative technology that the products possess and utilize.

The one that I most recently came back across was a box from one of my BB cushions (which, for those not really interested in makeup, is something that basically helps cover blemishes and even out your skin tone). The first line of the product’s description on the box reads: “More effective two-step oil control system!”

The first thing that I noticed about this phrase was the use of the word “more.” By placing “more” directly in front of a descriptor word, people immediately understand that it is indicating that a higher degree of the adjective (“effective”) exists for the object (“two-step oil control system”). In other words, the product is not simply effective, but has a greater effectiveness than other two-step oil control systems. But what exactly are the other two-step oil control systems that the authors of this description are referring to? We don’t know, but that was probably an intentional move by the authors. For their purpose of trying to market and appeal their product to customers, it is not necessary to know what exactly their product is being compared to. (In fact, listing the names of competing products can even be disadvantageous.) The most important thing, the thing that will have the most impact and help attract customers, is the simple knowledge that it is “more” than something else.

Additionally, I believe the choice to use an exclamation point rather than a period is significant. Rather than simply stating information and allowing readers to interpret and understand it as they wish, the authors make the fact that their product is more effective seem like something everyone should be excited about by using an exclamation point. This more positive, rather than neutral, rendering of the phrase again helps further the author’s purpose of making their product appeal to customers because the average shopper will be more inclined to purchase something that they are excited about and view favorably.

In sum, this phrase conveys an arguably simply and straightforward meaning: their product is more effective than other similar products. However, this meaning is conveyed in a way that will most effectively help persuade buyers to purchase the product.

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