So, the new Helen Mirren L’Oreal ads have launched today – co-incidentally, because I rarely have the TV on in the day time, I’ve just seen it.

Cheesy as it is, it’s so heartening to see that there is no digital enhancement at all; and she looks wonderful. I’ve heard from behind the scenes that she was adamant that there would be no photo-shopping or enhancements, so you really do see her as she is.

I’ve also looked at how L’Oreal are tackling the older skin message with this campaign for Age Perfect Cream. Extraordinarily, they barely mention age at all. At last! Using an older spokesperson appears to be enough to get the message across that it’s a cream for older skin.

“Age Perfect’s 1st night cream helps improve the appearance of skin before, during and after the menopause. Enriched with peptide-rich Soya Bean Extract, the rich, hydrating formula pampers the skin’s natural replenishing function through the night.”

However, there’s one little blip that I can see has been translated directly from the French – “anti-sagging”. I think here we would call that firming, which isn’t quite as brutal as the old anti-sag! In the ads, Helen talks about age-spots, which I think is okay – they are, after all, marks that come with age and are commonly understood using that term.
Age Perfect Cream itself is enriched with soya peptides. This is a good ingredient for more fragile skins – you rarely hear of any adverse reaction to it, and the basic function is the same as any other peptide – to boost collagen and prevent skin damage from free radicals. There is also evidence that soy peptides really can make some inroads into brown marks.
I think L’Oreal have handled this with great care – it’s a complete about turn from their laughable pictures of poor Jane Fonda who is so blurred that you feel like you’re looking at her through Vaseline glass. While it’s still in the ‘because you’re worth it’ vein that L’Oreal just can’t shake off (although you might be a little bit naughtily pleased that the L’Oreal press office is often beseiged by requests for product that when denied, are met with, ‘is it because I’m not worth it?’), I feel really happy about the Helen Mirren ads. The bigger picture here is that other major brands will be looking at it with an eagle’s eye and ready to sign their own older spokepersons so that older women are properly represented in beauty.
Nice one!


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