What psychological influences are utilized in the Cover Girl commericals that make them compelling to adolescents?  Describe the characteristics of the advertisement (for example, music, colors,...

What psychological influences are utilized in the Cover Girl commericals that make them compelling to adolescents? 

Describe the characteristics of the advertisement (for example, music, colors, people, or events) that make it particularly appealing to adolescents and discuss why they are appealing.


Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Adolescence is, developmentally speaking, the time where the last part of our brain, the frontal lobe is experiencing the most dramatic changes. This part of the brain deals with emotions, sensations, and other growth-related psychological attachments which make them a particularly vulnerable popu;ation.  This is mainly whi they are targeted the most. Particularly in an economy that glorifies all that is vain and superficial, these elements are specifically significant to adolescents who are in the process of seeking for an identity. What could be more advantageous that proposing an identity already packed with a smile, vivid colors, perfect hair, and flawless skin? Identify with that. That is what the commercials aspire teens to do.

The psychological trends are very obvious- All good, no bad. All shiny, nothing dark. Happy girls, triggering the serotonin and endorphins and making girls behind the TV create scenarios where they are part of that carefully selected workd.

The messages conveyed are of no cause and no consequence. You are "just worth it", "maybe its Maybelline", "trust them, they are experts"/// in other words: Pretty is being carefree, and perfect is being worry free.

The emotions being played on are the same that are right now developing in teenagers. The sense of being, of wanting, or expecting, the want for perfection, the establishment of guidelines of beauty.

The issue of self-esteem, self identity, self worth, self assertiveness and self assurance are most of the issues tried to be resolved: Use this lipstick and you will feel prettier. Try this hair color and you will be liked.

These advertisements affect not only adolescents, but adults equally. Anyone with a vulnerability and personality gaps will fill them with these superficial expectations of beauty. That is where the problem begins.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most cosmetic advertisements use the notion of bandwagon to instill psychological influences into the consumers.  This takes the form of defining beauty as something external, an idyll to which all should and must aspire.  This creates a sense of longing in the consumers, particularly adolescents, which allows them to believe that in order to achieve beauty, the product must be purchased.  This operates on several levels.  The first is that it drives the idea of needing to define beauty against an external element.  In such a process, individuals see the ability to be perceived as beautiful as something that can be "bought" or "purchased." It is not defined internally, for which there can be no immediate product.  At the same time, it creates an illusion of enticement within the individual, who believes that they must aspire to this notion of beauty and in order to see themselves as "beautiful," the product becomes essential.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having looked at the ad that you talked about in your message, here's what I'm thinking.

The music and the colors and the person are all meant to appeal to adolescents.  The music is relatively modern sounding (to my old ears at least), the colors keep flashing and changing and doing that kaleidoscope thing and that's catchy.  Finally, Rihanna is pretty famous and popular (although I imagine her relationship with Chris Brown isn't helping).  When it comes to the person, it's also obvious that they picked her because she's good-looking and has the kind of body that can look good in that dress.

I think that it's pretty clear that this ad is supposed to be saying that if you use that make up you can look like her and the subtext is that if you don't, you're not going to be cool (or maybe hot) and desireable.

I hope that helps.

As far