Stiff, wooden acting and a disappointing climax: Benefit “Real Men Don’t Fake It”

I used to think Benefit was a premium cosmetics brand. At £23.50 for a shallow blusher in cardboard packaging, you’d certainly think so. But it seems they’re determined to prove me wrong with their new ad, entitled “Real Men Don’t Fake It”:

This is less a slip and more a Freudian slap in the face. Aside from the health implications of applying something to your eyes that’s just been hanging out with some dude’s sweaty manparts, this is a lowest-common-denominator approach that I really didn’t expect from this brand.

I’m informed by the YouTube description that the blokes lending their nethers to the campaign are actually vaguely famous, but I didn’t recognise a single one. I’m clearly not the target demographic, but I have bought a lot of Benefit products up to now – a decision I’ll be reconsidering. Not because I’m proposing any kind of pointless boycott, but rather because I don’t want people thinking the lip gloss I’m wearing was just pulled out of some C-lister’s bum crack.

Given that the mascara in question costs a pretty package – sorry, packet – at £19.50, I’d be surprised to see this approach work. High prices and aspirational branding go hand in hand for a reason, and I’m just not sure anyone who spends £20 on mascara aspires to a wang – I mean wand – fresh from the pants of a pseudoceleb from Essex.

Sorry, Benefit – looks like this one’s flopped.

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