Liberation wrapper lets Japanese women open wide

Freshness Burger, a national burger chain in Japan, came up with an innovative way to convince reluctant female customers to take a great big bite of the chain’s biggest burger. For Japanese women, having a small and modest mouth – “ochobo” – is regarded as attractive, and having a large, open mouth in public is regarded as “ugly” and “rude”. It’s considered good manners to cover one’s mouth when women need to open up wide. Enter the Liberation Wrapper – and it worked – boosting sales of that big burger by 213% compared to the previous month’s sales after introduction at Freshness Burger.

A grateful hat tip to Sociological Images for this unique cultural marketing example.

Miss Representation: how women are portrayed in the media


The documentary Miss Representation by actor and filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival last year. This film explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence. Millions of people have watched and responded to this film so far, but as Jennifer herself observes:

“More than the numbers, it’s the individual stories of action which are especially poignant. From the mother in New York who successfully lobbied Mayor Bloomberg to have a pornographic advertisement removed from her child’s bus stop, to the high school youth who started a ‘MissRep’ club to discuss sexism in the media with her classmates, we have been reminded again and again of the power of one individual having courage and using her or his voice to stand up to injustice.”

Find out about bringing this 90-minute documentary film to a classroom near you.

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“Fotoshop by Adobé” – all you need to look like a supermodel

Perhaps the reason I don’t look like a young and gorgeous size-2 supermodel is that I just do not use enough pro-pixel intensifying fauxtanical hydro-jargon microbead extract on my skin. You, too, can encourage your insecurities in a relentless search for entirely unrealistic beauty standards by learning about Fotoshop by Adobé – as described in this beauty product industry parody from filmmaker Jesse Rosten.

© 2012 Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

If we’re beautiful just the way we are, why do those Dove ‘Real Beauty’ ads tell us we need to buy their skin firming creams?

It was a truly brilliant stroke of marketing genius, this Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Over the past five years, this ad campaign flogs Dove’s skin firming products by using real women instead of professional size-two models in its advertising. The ‘real’ women in the ads range in age from 22 to 96, and cover a variety of sizes.

According to a press release from Dove’s parent company, Unilever:

“Through this global initiative, Dove has boldly defied society’s traditional images, and celebrated the beauty of women of different shape, size, colour and age because the brand believes this can widen the definition of beauty.”

Call me cynical, but I suspect that what the brand actually believes is that this campaign would sell a big whack of Dove skin firming products.

Dove strategically targeted a demographic of women who are tired of those stick-thin supermodels who just make us feel frumpy and dumpy by comparison. And this innovative strategy worked. Within six months of the campaign launch, European sales of Dove’s skin firming products increased by 700%.  The campaign’s 2004 sales topped $1 billion in its first year.

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