Beauty ads have always featured beautiful, carefully made-up women. Flawless skin, a dramatic smoky eye, a glistening, bold lip—this is what we’ve come to expect. But there’s a building backlash to all that perfection. Cosmetics industry researchers found that consumers have become skeptical of color cosmetics advertising—especially when they believe that images have been airbrushed or Photoshopped. Women believe that extensively re-touched images deliver artificial expectations about results, and more broadly, promote unrealistic images of beauty. Women’s Marketing looked at key concerns surrounding beauty creative and offers insight for cosmetics brands.
Women Want Images of Real, Attainable Beauty
Research found that 41% of U.S. women are skeptical of color cosmetics advertising and would prefer to see unretouched images that represent women from diverse ethnic backgrounds and a variety of ages. Brands have an opportunity to address a growing multicultural market and expand their reach with models and influencers that represent an authentic, attainable image of beauty.
Show and Tell: Make-Up Tutorials Influence Consumers
Increasingly, women are turning to social media for make-up tutorials—they don’t just want brands to sell them products, they want them to show them how to re-create runway-inspired looks. Approximately 21% of the category’s core consumer segment, women ages 25-34, like or follow makeup brands on social media, and 17% report that they often purchase products they see promoted across social networks. As technology becomes increasingly important to engage color cosmetics users, especially when targeting the core consumer demographic, apps, instructional video, and social media interaction that encourages women to experiment with new products and formats will become essential for brands to remain competitive.
Appeal to the Affluents
Affluent women and those aged 25-34 represent an important target for the color cosmetics category, as they report using the largest repertoire of products, while also being more apt to stay engaged with the category using platforms such as social media and brand apps. While there are opportunities to grow the market among older and more budget-conscious women, affluent women and those aged 25-34 continue to represent the most lucrative target for make-up brands.
Ultimately, consumers want to feel that a brand authentically understands and represents them. Marketers that engage in two-way dialogue and appeal to the consumers’ desire for transparency will win their loyalty. Women’s Marketing has a deep understanding of the female consumer and her path-to-purchase. Contact Women’s Marketing and tap into our expertise to let us help your brand find its voice with a holistic media plan that reaches women when, and where, they’re most receptive to your message.
Source: Mintel, Color Cosmetics, July 2015