Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Folklore, Fairy Tales, and the Market

The link above will take you to a product promotion site by Caress body wash. They are promoting a new line of "exotic oil infusions," and to promote their products they've created fairy tale variants of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. There is even a link to upload your photo (and your prince charming!) so you, too, can be part of the Caress on-line fairy tale.

This is the use of folklore that would make Richard Dorson scream fakelore! It is an interesting use of fairy tale form, although there are too many puns and mixed metaphors. I particularly loathe Carson (of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame) as the "fairy" god mother.

Thanks, Christina, for bringing this site to my attention.


Christina said...

Oy! Tell me about it! I just found the entire thing so funny, considering that I found this site on the very night that we discussed folkore and technology. I suppose it was just meant to be.

As far as the clips go, I was so frustrated with the way they mutilated the fairy tale motifs! I mean, there is clever and then there is inane. I'll let you guess which I attribute to this site. I'll post more later, but I just wanted to say thank you to Prof. Shutika for posting this link.

Vanessa said...

Personally for me, I do not see how these clips are supposed to make you want to use Caress. It was way to elaborate and then they finally get to the point of advertising the product with a 5 second momement of the girls showering with Caress. I also found it interesting how they relate their slogan "Unleash Your Mysterious and Exotic Side" with the meaning of folklore. Folklore to them appears to be something like the unknown and exotic. Overall, these clips were quite amusing and cheesy!

Lynn said...

The Disney princesses for "adult" women. How "Grimm" is that? Our dull lives need to be enlivened by changing ourselves for a man - rechoreographing the dance or cancelling a meeting. Caress must have some magic properties - a link to folk medicine or potions? I guess I can laugh at the commercialization, but I do think that they are perpetuating a patronizing view of "the other" by using words such as "exotic."

AaronH said...

Last night on TV I saw two commercials for Capital One credit cards. In the first, a princess kisses a toad that turns into a ferret, then a turkey and so on. One of the "princes" says to her that, "kisses expire after six seconds" or something along those lines.

In the second, a valiant prince rides through the town holding the head of the dragon he has just slain. He presents it to the king and asks for his reward. The king, in turn, unscrolls a list of "further requirements" that the prince must obtain to get the reward. He does, however, say that the dragon's head is enough to enable the prince to wed the king's...er...humble-looking daughter.

In both cases Cap One is suggesting that their card is the real and standardized version of afairy tales in which heroes (aka card holders) can receive their rewards and live happily ever after. It certainly seems like a trend is developing more and more.