Have you seen OLAY’s commercial recently? It features a woman saying that getting old means getting replaced by someone younger and then she complains about how unfair the situation is. Suddenly Boy Abunda pops in asking a supposedly thought-provoking question: “Do you lie about your age?”
I was bothered by this Olay commercial … no actually, I got angry with this ad because I found it so unethical and unscrupulous. These Olay people and whatever Ad Agency came up with this twisted campaign should be castigated, because they are actually subliminally planting the seed of fear in people about something so natural as aging. The worst part is they’re making it appear that they care for women and female issues that’s why they’re doing this (yeah right). In fact, because Olay cares (and because the tooth fairy exists), they want to listen to women and they are now encouraging women to “talk” to Boy Abunda about their fears (ye gods) in order to resolve them (they’re sooooo good that they make me want to cry — ummm, not, barf bag please). C’mon people, let’s kick this facade aside and get past this oh-so-phony gesture of goodwill before we all turn into Orocans. So what is Olay really up to? What is the true message behind their campaign? As I’ve pointed out a while ago — they are actually telling people that we should get very scared about growing old because we will be useless and undesirable once we get old. That is soooooo sick.
Good Lord, people should get mad with Olay and their advertising team. By people, I don’t mean just women, but men, gay and lesbians too — because we all age and we all get old, and contrary to what Olay is telling us, it is not something we can stop. Getting old is a natural process and it’s not something to be feared. We should welcome it, because it gives us rest from life’s troubles. It is a period of respite and a sign that we have grown and gained wisdom as individuals. Getting old means we have lived our lives and have learned from our experiences, and our empirical wisdom is something that we could share to the younger generation with the hope that they will be guided and live a life far better and far richer than we’ve had.
It is a blessing to get old, but Olay is warping and twisting that blessing and making it sound like a curse. I could almost imagine these shameless Olay people rubbing their hands together in greed while saying, “Yes, yes, sow fear in them. Deceive them, make them think that their age is something to be ashamed of — and then market our product to them as their messiah.” They are probably salivating at the thought of how much money they could make out of this whole misleading, and in my opinion, immoral campaign.
Oh you might say, I’m getting too far with the immoral tag. Think about it though, isn’t it immoral when you plant fear in people’s hearts? Isn’t it immoral when you make people feel bad about themselves? Isn’t it immoral when you manipulate people by subtly telling them that they are getting old, useless and ugly so they need to buy Olay age-defying products if they want to be happy and confident? Isn’t it immoral as well when you deceive people into believing that a natural process created by God is unnatural and should be treated as a form of disease? Above all, isn’t it immoral when you cultivate bitterness and distrust between the youth and their elders? After all, according to the Olay ad, the young are not to be trusted because they are out to replace their elders. How twisted and evil can one get — and Olay and their advertising team are doing this for what? I think we all know the answer to that: for money, profit and market share. This makes me feel angry, disappointed and worried. Why are we allowing these ideas to propagate on national TV? We shouldn’t let ourselves be misled by these deceitful business people and we should put a stop to this. In fact, I think we should stop buying their products altogether to make them realize that what they are doing is wrong.
My parting shot is this — No, I never lied about my age. I am 37 years old. I wake up in the mornings and I feel stiff, my back hurts and my joints hurt as well, but I don’t mind because all of these are part of living and getting old. I also don’t mind because each passing day I see my daughter grow up — we laugh together, we talk about a lot of things and she ends up surprising me with her insights at times. I try my best to prepare her for life (because at my age I know how tough life can be) and I try to guide her with my experiences. I hope by sharing with her what I have learned about love, home, friends, family and God; she’d be able to live a full and happy life herself. Now, these joy and knowledge are something that Olay and their long line of products can never ever sell — and I thank God for that.