Four Iconic Advertising Campaigns from the Beauty Industry

The aim of advertising is to promote products using creative messaging that combines engaging visual content and intelligent copy to convince audiences to buy. Over the years, several beauty brands have impacted their consumers and made a statement in the industry.

From campaigns aimed at emboldening women to those that inspired a generation, here are four iconic advertising campaigns in the beauty industry that will remain classics.

  • Max Factor, The Celebrity Factor

Celebrities have always been a keen point of interest for advertisers. This is because of their ability to transfer likeness to products as stated by McCracken in the Meaning Transfer Model.

Popular cosmetics company Max Factor timed his brand with the rise of moving pictures. As Hollywood gained popularity, so did this beauty brand.

It wasn’t until the 1920s when he signed up various Hollywood actresses as endorsers that his brand began to shine. With stars like Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, and Greta Garbo, The Celebrity Factor campaign allowed people to associate make-up with sophisticated women, and not only those with ‘questionable character’.

  • Dove: Campaign for Real Beauty

In 2007, Dove proved that beauty isn’t skin deep with this stereotype-breaking campaign. At a time when the media had one idea of what beauty was supposed to look like, Dove came up with a universal message that corrected societal notions.

The campaign was a huge success because it inspired women world-wide to accept their imperfections as unique to their beauty. To Dove, beauty wasn’t just superficial, but an inherent attribute. As a result, the brand garnered several awards and gained revenue from increased sales.

Watch ad here.

  • Pantene: Labels Against Women

It is often believed that men have it easier with certain ‘habits’ than women. A man is seen as a boss, while a woman is bossy. A man is seen as dedicated, while a woman is selfish. A man is seen as smooth, while a woman is a show-off. Labels which often tend to hold women back.

This creative Pantene campaign sought to inspire women to own their peculiarities and rise in their respective roles.

Watch ad here.

  • Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Beauty products aren’t for women alone. In this whimsical 2009 campaign for Old Spice, a dashing Isaiah Mustafa appears to tease women with his witty monologue and quick change of scenery.

The iconic ad spoke to women without alienating men. The purpose was to get their men to ‘smell like a man’ with Old Spice. It was created from the insight that a good percentage of women buy deodorants for their men.

Watch ad here

Advertising continues to change with time. This is what beauty companies can do with huge budgets; but the rise of video on social media, especially Instagram and YouTube, beauty marketing is more accessible for small businesses and independent artists. Why not check out this Instagram video tutorial for ideas on how you can get started? As the media industry experiences innovation, messages will evolve in context and execution.

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