Unilever, Lipstick


A middle aged man puts on lipstick in the washroom. As he does so, leaning into the mirror, another man leaves a stall and looks at him oddly while washing his hands.

A version of an Aretha Franklin song plays, with the appropriate words, "The moment I wake up, Before I put on my makeup, I say a little pray for you...While combing my hair now, And wondering what dress to wear now, I say a little prayer for you."

The man exits the washroom wearing the lipstick and a large room of people in his office look at him oddly as he puts on a lab coat.

A narrator then says, "At Sun, we take every stain seriously." At this point, the man and another, also wearing lipstick, examine wine glasses with lipstick -- then he comically kisses another.

"That's why we've developed new three-in-one tablets to get rid of even the toughest stains, while protecting your glasses from corrosion." The two lipstick-wearing men now wash the glasses in a small washer, revealing a larger "scientific" lab around them.

The closing shot is with a team of technicians and the tagline: "Dish washing is our life."

This commercial's humor is in the odd looks the man gets from his coworkers for crossing the gender barrier by putting on lipstick. However, it makes no sense, since his work would otherwise be obvious. While he is not trying to be a convincing woman, male-to-female transgender workers would not relate well to this joke.

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User Comments
Andrew Ogus
If they kiss each other, what's the problem? It's a funny ad. And if we have to bend over backwards to avoid offending SOMEONE SOMEWHERE we'll have a very dull world.

I don't see how the ad itself is homophobic. The man wearing the lipstick seemed to have no objections to it, and he was the focus of the ad. It's the side characters that objected, and this man is shown to be our dishwashing hero at the end of the ad...by that explanation, the ad is actually positive. Truthfully, I believe it's simply neutral because it doesn't actually take a stance.

Oliver Kreuter
I saw the ad myself and in my eyes the humor was not about the guy being 'strange' or 'unmanly' - but more so because he is a geek. The entire 'test lab' and office situation is unreal - and he does not even know how to really apply lipstick. If ever, the strange looks come, not because he is wearing lipstick, but because the co-workers seem more like "what is he up to now..." Absolutely no offense here.

Come on, this ad is meant to be funny. It's not offending transsexuals. These men just look funny wearing lipstick. Their colleges have known them for years, and suddenly they're wearing lipstick, that's funny. The final line "Dishwashing is our life" is ironical enough, isn't it?