Evil Marketers Know When You Feel Ugly

You feel ugly on Monday at 6 a.m. after a wild weekend (duh) and you feel good on Friday at 2 p.m.when you're looking forward to going out with the girls (woot woot!). We know this, the whole world knows this, so it was only a matter of time before the dollar-driven marketing people figured it out. The media planning agency PHD recently commissioned a study to figure out when U.S. women feel "the ugliest," presumably so they can prey on those insecurities.

"Identifying the right time to engage with consumers with the right message is Marketing 101," explained Kim Bates, head of Brand Planning at PHD. "But when you are trying to connect with women on so personal an issue as appearance, it can be even more important to understand the wrong time as well."

We feel the most vulnerable about our appearances on Monday (we all hate going back to work) and Sundays (“the visible and emotional effects of weekend social activities [take a toll] on their faces,” said PHD). The times of day when women feel the least pretty are between 5 and 9 a.m. (if possible, just avoid mirrors till noon). We feel ugly when we're tired, sick, sweaty, stressed, crying, and at the end of a long day (I doubt even Angelina Jolie could keep her poise with all that going on).

Hang on a minute — marketing geared towards women exploits our insecurities? Color me unsurprised. What's discouraging is that PHD openly suggests advertisers use an "Encourage/Empower"strategy — encourage women to buy concealer, give them a pat on the head when they use it. Bates explains PHD's strategy:

Monday becomes the day to encourage the beauty product consumer to get going and feel beautiful again, so marketing messages should focus on feeling smart, instant beauty/fashion fixes, and getting things planned and done. Concentrate media during prime vulnerability moments, aligning with content involving tips and tricks, instant beauty rescues, dressing for the success, getting organized for the week and empowering stories.

So beauty companies will use any method to boost their sales figures. Yeah, it sucks, but our economic system pretty much functions on selling us an oppressive beauty ideal — because being your own sweaty Monday-morning self just doesn't require buying as many products. If it did, these study results would be a heck of a lot different.

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