In a marketing move that seems as though it were aimed specifically at Michael Jackson, Vaseline has launched a Facebook application aimed at Indian men promising to show them how their skin tone would look much lighter should they use the product in question.
There appears to be a big market in India for this type of product, as lighter skin is seen as the height of fashion – hence why Vaseline puts so much baking into promoting skin lightning products. However, these products have previously only been advertising using conventional mediums, such as poster campaigns and TV advertising. The use of Facebook, and a profile picture whitening application, adds a whole new element if interactivity to the advertising.
By using the Facebook app, men can see how the cream would actually affect them by ‘whitening’ their profile photo. Currently the official page for the campaign has just over 500 fans, but you can expect that to increase as news of this Facebook spreads virally.
The campaign is being fronted by Shahid Kapoor, a Bollywood actor – although his complexion isn’t exactly dark to begin with. Perhaps Vaseline is targeting its product at darker Indian men, suggesting that they too could look like Shahid should they use the product.
While this whole product campaign may be criticised by some for being racist (we certainly couldn’t imagine this catching on in America for example) the nature of the campaign is sure to prove very successful for Vaseline.
Let us know if you’ve used the application to lighten your Facebook profile picture.