Does this eyelash curler look sad to you?

There’s a new mascara advert on the London Underground escalator screens that causes huge disagreements between me and Mr. Copybot every time we walk past it. He’s a Planner, by the way. They don’t half argue.

It’s for Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara, and it’s saying that with this mascara, you won’t need your medieval old eyelash curlers anymore. Now, there’s an eyelash curler on the right of the ad, just sitting there. Like this:

Clinique ad

Now, I swear they’ve intentionally somehow positioned this curler in a way that makes it look sad. It looks to me like it’s dejectedly casting its eyes down at the ground to the right, head in hands, mouth agape. Something like this:

Clinique mascara ad with my scribbles

It makes perfect sense, because it’s not needed anymore. It’s thinking “Where will I go? What will I do? What will I CURL?!” because this bastard mascara has come in and stolen its livelihood. Cast it out on the streets.

Mr. Copybot, however, is absolutely insistent that the eyelash curler is just an eyelash curler. It’s positioned normally and it’s just sitting there to illustrate what the thing you don’t want anymore looks like. So you know what to look for when you’re heartlessly chucking stuff out, I guess.

I’m willing to concede that he could be right, because I do have a tendency to ascribe feelings to inanimate objects. Hence my irrational unwillingness to throw out stuff that I think might feel rejected if I do. But the thing is – if he’s right, and it’s just a curler, why is it there? What’s the concept here? It’s sitting there alongside the mascara as if they work together. They could have at least knocked the curler over or something – had it lying on the floor, or in the clichéd waste paper bin. Without the sad face I’ve imagined, it’s just there. It doesn’t do anything. And since I’ve always been taught that every word in a line of copy should be able to justify its place, every part of the art direction should too.

So what’s the verdict, internet? Have I gone loopy, or what?

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