CLAIROL HAIR-COLORING PRODUCTS

The photo is standard issue for this category, as is the aren’t-I-naughty headline. The unusual element is the handwritten mini-autobiography that lists Ms. Whiplash’s name, Clairol shade and “Loves”—the last of these consisting of “Southern writers, British bands, my little red convertible, staying out late.” These calculated snippets of self-description make me feel as if I’m looking at the Playmate of the Month, except they forgot to take her clothes off. Anyway, it seems like either more or less than we need to know about the blonde. If you’re intent on sprucing up your tresses, would it make any difference to you if she loved Southern bands and British writers rather than vice versa? If you do take the biographical schtick seriously, the ad provides just enough information (or misinformation) to make it feel contrived. As such, it’ll have a hard time persuading women that Clairol’s mass-produced products can give each of them an authentic “beauty all your own.”