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Vibrating Mascara

Vibrating Mascara

| On 12, Nov 2008

Jack Hipple

In a recent Sunday papers around the world, a large full page, color (not cheap!) advertisement was shown displaying a new mascara brush from Lancome:

When you watch the video at this site, you will hear things like: “Pulls lashes apart” “Coats all sides” “Vibrates at 7000 cycles per minute” “Let the oscillation do the work” “Repeat to improve the results” Now ask yourself–are you listening to a mascara application commercial or an ad for a vibrating toothbrush from years ago? A vibrating sander commercial from 30 years ago? How long have we had vibrating toothbrushes that massage gums, operate at thousands of cycles per minute, replace the work of hand brushing, cleaning all teeth and gum surfaces? What is it about eye lashes that are different than teeth and gums? I would submit not very much.

Why does it take 5+ years for a cosmetic company, whose goods are usually displayed in the same aisle of the store, to make the connection between oscillation and separation? I submit that the answer is that we think that our problem is unique and that no one could possibly have solved it before. We use special words to make us think our problem is special. In this case, mascara (solids coating), eyelashes (flexible fibers), and color (solids).We find it so incredibly difficult to want to admit that maybe the solution to our problems may already exist. We never ask ourselves, “who else has a similar problem?” How do they solve it? What’s the FUNCTION we are trying to perform (not put mascara on eyelashes, but coat fibers with solids). Who else does, FUNCTIONALLY, what you need done? How do they do it? What can you learn from them?