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CoverGirl's Game Face Gets a Makeover
By: Jennifer Graber
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A majority of the time, a makeover is a positive experience. We all enjoy, from time to time, feeling different, dressed up, and confident. A makeover can be life-changing. However, in this instance a makeover is not necessarily a good thing. CoverGirl launched a campaign urging consumers to “get their game face on.” The campaign was designed to get consumers to apply makeup in the colors of their favorite football teams. The campaign was a great idea in theory, but took a wrong turn for CoverGirl when it received a makeover.
An altered image of a Baltimore Ravens CoverGirl model surfaced on Twitter. The original photo was edited in Photoshop and made it appear as if the model had a severe black eye. That specific CoverGirl ad was targeted because of recent domestic violence events involving Baltimore Ravens player, Ray Rice. The purpose of the altered image was to protest the makeup company’s association with the NFL. And it was also to show discontent over the perceived lack of punishment for Rice from Commissioner Roger Goodell.
One journalist pointed out that the made-over image was a perfect protest in that makeup is often used to disguise domestic violence injuries. Thus, the edited version just made sense as a demonstration of disapproval over the entire situation. The unofficial, edited CoverGirl image went viral on social media in no time. And there is a perfectly good reason it went viral — the image is disturbing and shocking. And it is potentially a survivor trigger for emotional distress. We do not expect to see black eyes on Twitter or Facebook. Rather, we expect to hear what our best friend from high school had for dinner after he went to the gym with his partner. The altered image is out of place. Domestic violence images do not belong in our social media news feeds. And domestic violence does not belong anywhere, at all.
Social media users, and everyone for that matter, should be appalled at the fact that the CoverGirl image surfaced. Actually, we all should be appalled that the image had to be created in the first place. The fact is someone saw an opportunity to be an activist and ran with it. That is an admirable feat. Sometimes we have to shock and awe to get a point across. The more "unique" the image is, the more likely it is to go viral. Thus, a greater chance for success exists in creating awareness and opening up frank discussions. Is this true for you? Do you believe the CoverGirl image was a great tool for domestic violence activists? Or do you believe it was taking things a bit too far?

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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