Consumers are tired of beauty adverts making them feel inadequate, and brands must now reinvent how they speak to them
Top 5 trends:
Top 10 skin care, colour cosmetics and hair care brands, earned media value and % Y-O-Y growth, April 2018
In an ever more crowded beauty market, where thousands of products launch every single week, and consumers, suffering from digital overload, actively avoid or ignore ads, the biggest advertising challenge is, quite simply, getting noticed. “There is so much noise out there and brands are fighting for attention against our ever-decreasing attention spans,” says Laura Giffard, founder and Client Director of Perq Studio. According to data from Microsoft Canada, consumers now have an average attention span of just eight seconds.
According to Sara Jones, Partner and Client Services Director of Free The Birds, defining and maintaining a unique point of difference is the first key challenge that beauty brands face, and not only in advertising but in wider brand design and communication.
Advertising has moved away from the old-fashioned long linear process of concept to magazine ads, says Jones, to a circular process with the creative idea at the heart of all brand activations. “Not only is it more efficient and nimble, it also meets the consumer’s need for consistency, no matter when or where they encounter the brand,” says Jones.
Giffard agrees that to cut through, brands must move away from the current approach for businesses to divide their marketing efforts by channel, as this results in separate teams, often with separate visions and objectives. “Ultimately this results in disjointed messaging and an inconsistent experience for consumers. Brands need to focus on building closer, meaningful relationships with customers by putting people’s needs, wants, mindsets and behaviours at the heart of communications,” she adds.
The second challenge in beauty advertising today is how brands can activate their unique point of difference in a way that is respectful and inclusive, says Jones (see #Trend 5). Importantly, this should not be about an advertising gimmick or about heritage brands all trying to reinvent themselves as caring, mindful, ‘real’ brands – consumers are far too savvy and see through spin, advises Jones.
“Beauty can and should be joyful and there is absolutely a place for full-on glamour and fantasy in that it’s not aiming to worthily change the world. But whatever the brand’s key point of difference is, its advertising should be about aiming to uplift its customers through fantastic products that make them look and feel great.”. . .
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