The Ordinary made a name for itself as a “good guy” of the beauty industry, serving up high-quality, no-frills skin-care ingredients at a cheaper price. (Think of it as the generic brand of your favorite products.) But rather than letting its products speak for themselves, The Ordinary made a head-scratching move by calling out another major skin-care brand in advertising that seems, well, catty.
In a recent social media ad, The Ordinary took an obvious jab at fellow skin-care company Drunk Elephant (the beauty brand behind the fan-favorite T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial) over marula oil.
The post, shared by Redditor Kikekakako, starts off touting The Ordinary’s 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil ($10 for a 30-milliliter bottle), an antioxidant-rich, brightening hydrator. Then comes the dig. “Referred to as a ‘luxury’ oil by some…It’s a fantastic oil in every sense of the word despite its affordability (one would have to be drunk to overpay for Marula),” the ad reads in obvious reference to Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, which is $72 for a 30-milliliter bottle. Yikes. You can see the whole thing, here.
The incendiary ad seems poised to start a beauty feud — though specifically targeting Drunk Elephant, you could say the same thing about all other brands across ingredients and price points. But here’s the real problem with The Ordinary’s ad: It’s not just calling out Drunk Elephant, it’s insulting all the beauty lovers who buy it.
While ingredients are obviously super important, people buy products for any number of reasons. Maybe you like the way the packaging looks sitting on your shelf. Maybe the scent of a certain brand what draws you in. Maybe you like the luxe feeling you get from splurging on a high-end product. It’s all based on personal choice.
Bottom line: The Ordinary, which we’ve quickly come to love for bringing inexpensive products to the market, shouldn’t be judging people who want to buy a different brand — one would have to be drunk to think that’s okay.
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