≡ Menu

Vintage cosmetic video – Maybelline mascara


This 1956 Maybelline mascara ad is remarkable for one simple reason. (And no I’m not talking about the haunting echo effect at the beginning.)

It’s remarkable because of the straightforward scientifically, solid approach it uses to market the product. Basically the message is “use eyebrow pencil to make your eyebrows stand out and use mascara to make your lashes more pronounced. ”

There are no fancy exaggerations, no magic ingredients, and no claims about making your lashes look 97% thicker. It’s almost as if they’re selling the idea of using eye make up rather than any particular brand of makeup itself.

I wonder if this approach would still work today or is the market too jaded?


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • rozy April 12, 2014, 11:52 am

    I think a similar thing could work today. I personally love the Dove commercials despite the criticisms.

  • Katie April 25, 2014, 3:08 pm

    Wow! I love this advertisement (minus the weird beginning). But I think you’re right about Maybelline trying to market the idea of using mascara and eyebrow pencils. I learned how to use makeup watching my mother, and she learned how to do her makeup by watching her mother (who this advertisement was aimed at). But my grandmother didn’t learn how to do makeup by watching her mother because her mother still considered makeup to be for “fast girls.” Also, I’m not sure if mascara and eyebrow pencils existed in my great-grandmother’s time so Maybelline needed to achieve two goals with this advertisement: teach women what mascara and eyebrow pencils are and what they can do to enhance your beauty and also to show that beautiful women use Maybelline’s products.

    Nowadays Maybelline doesn’t need to teach you how to use mascara because its a staple that almost all women know how to use. Also the market is so saturated today that they feel the need to exaggerate claims.

  • Pilgrim September 26, 2015, 3:40 pm

    she looks like the current Maybelline model. also, her entire look seems patterned after the major glamour star of that time, Elizabeth Taylor.
    Liz had those dense eyebrows. must have been great for make-up pencil sales. that solid mascara was still in production through the eighties.

    the music, being post world war two, has that exotic places kind of sound.
    could be that those who returned from pacific theatre brought that kind of music back. in this commercial, maybe it was to suggest the mascara will hypnotize those three men.

  • FrenchBeautista December 24, 2016, 5:33 pm

    Look at this one!! What a dream vintage job!