DO YOU OR YOUR MARKETING TRY TOO HARD?
I don’t usually watch music videos, but when I saw my Facebook feed was blowing up with posts about Colbie Calliat’s latest video for her new song, “Try,” I had to check it out. In order to prepare, I did a little research before investing myself. Results dredged up hundreds of articles with headlines about how Colbie is taking a stand against Photoshop and telling girls to take off their makeup. Not being able to resist a good controversy, I took the bait.
What I found was actually a cute little song and a simple video. The song has a message that tells listeners that they don’t have to try so hard to impress others by changing things about themselves, or by spending hours of their lives doing their hair and makeup. The video features Caillat and a diverse group of women lip-syncing the song. At the beginning of the video, they are all dolled up with hair and makeup. As the song progresses, the women wipe off all their makeup and reveal their natural hair. The song ends with a hit right in the feels as Caillat sings, “Take your makeup off/ Let your hair down/ Take a breath/ Look into the mirror at yourself/ Don’t you like you?/ Cause I like you.”
Personally, I don’t think that Colbie is pushing an anti-makeup agenda. I think it is more of a call for people to feel comfortable in their own skin, and if they do put in the extra effort, do it for themselves.
However, not everyone receives the message the same way. There are many critics saying that Colbie is telling women it is a bad thing to dress up and wear makeup. Others are claiming that the women in the video are not naturally ugly enough, so only pretty girls can go without makeup.
The debate caused Caillat’s video to go viral, racking up over 17 million views within the first few weeks of being posted.
Whether the singer is actually on a mission to break down the over-airbrushed world or build up the self-esteem of women everywhere, she definitely struck a chord with this one. Either way, for such a low-production music video, it brought in fantastic attention and stirred up just enough controversy to attract more than just regular fans. Overall, it is a clever angle with the right timing.
I sincerely doubt her team had this planned, but it’s definitely a PR success for Caillat and her music. On the other hand, it’s also a win for Colbie’s message: Take your makeup off, let your hair down, take a breath and people will like you…or at least watch your video.
~ Kristin Drabik, Summer Associate, The S3 Agency