Transforming Skin… Encouraging Beautiful Lives

Written by Raisinberry

This is what happens when your marketing department has been reading Pink Truth on the weekends and can no longer stomach the company they work for. Wrap up all the things the Mary Kay product line and opportunity has to offer in a clean Madison Avenue catch phrase and the best thing you can think of is “transforming skin”? Encouraging beautiful lives? Well let’s just dissect this gem of a slogan and see what we have.

No doubt, Mary Kay’s marketing department dumped “enriching women’s lives” because it’s clear to see that hardly any women are enriched by Mary Kay. Continuing to use this slogan is just too much hypocrisy in the face of 500,000 women quitting every year and career path consultants exposing the debt they are in. Nope. That hype is over, so “encouraging” is the new verb.

Hmm… this word is quite good. Encouraging means you stand back and cheer but have no direct responsibility for outcomes. You are just a big pink cheerleader saying “you go, girl”, and whatever results happen, happen.

Beautiful is another good word. That must have taken weeks to come up with and here’s why. Think of all the kinds of “lives” that Mary Kay could hope to be responsible for (oops), encouraging. Excellent lives, Profitable lives, Victorious lives, Prosperous Lives…. But no… they want us to have Beautiful lives. I guess that will happen due to their new color cosmetics. Subtly suggested within the word “beautiful” is not wealth, nor material goods, but a subjective quality of appreciation.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the woman facing bankruptcy from her Mary Kay may reflect on the treasure she has in her family. The woman whose husband has left her due to her pink fogged addiction to recognition can discover her true gifts as a business woman without being mired by his negativity. It is truly beautiful!

Yes a beautiful life can be gained by all in Mary Kay, who have sufficiently learned how to frame every situation within the rosy colored glasses.

Encouraging Beautiful Lives has us once again seeing Mary Kay as our benevolent creator of opportunity. We who did not have lives before, now suddenly might because Mary Kay has come to fill the void. Encouraging makes no promises…”enriching” did. With consultants in financial wreckage in 50 States, Mexico and Canada, Mary Kay has to back pedal right out of that old slogan before someone calls them on it.

Now “transforming skin” is a bit more interesting. Is this a “back to basics” ploy in an attempt to signal the sales force that Mary Kay was built on skin care? What words didn’t they use? Beautiful Skin? Ageless skin? Flawless skin? They could have picked “Radiant Skin encouraging radiant lives.” But “transforming” is a word that suggests change. Going from one thing to another thing. Might this also be a word that claims no responsibility for actual results? If something is simply changing, not getting better or worse, no real product claims are being made.

So in one mighty slogan signaling the new improved Mary Kay, we have only encouragement for your personal definition of what-beauty-is-to-your life, and no promises whatsoever on whether your skincare will beautify and improve your business or your customers face. But they promise it will transform. Pretty vague if you ask me.

Mary Kay is let off the hook with the suggestion that transformation can happen in any number of ways, none of which locks them into a promise. Mary Kay’s new slogan keeps the perception of MK soft and squishy with none of the liability. And since a beautiful life is defined personally, Mary Kay sets no parameters.

If you think about it, it is brilliant. It defines the current viewpoint of this era of Mary Kay. We make you no promises. It is all up to you. Our sales force are independent contractors, we are not responsible for what they say, how they manipulate, or what kind of life you end up with due to listening to them. We only cheer you on, whatever you are doing. We don’t want to know. You will sell each other, persuade each other, lie to each other, and even support each other as you race to reach our benchmarks of recognition. And when you walk down the Seminar Stairs, we will see all you have achieved and we will encourage you all in your beautiful lies. Er, uh, lives.

It is a lukewarm, passive statement designed to make MK appear kindly and benign, not at all the monster portrayed by Pink Truth.

Maybe the better slogan would be, “Transform Mary Kay, restore trust and integrity to our lives.”

Well if this is the best the marketing department can do, defining the culture of Mary Kay, then I think it is safe to assume that 2008 will demonstrate even more distance between beauty consultants, and Corporate, as they wave from afar, hands tied, watching all those beautiful lives flush down the toilet.