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Competitive Intelligence for Personal Care: Do Beautiful Women Sell?

Posted by Angela Jeffrey on Oct 27, 2015 1:34:28 PM

Do beautiful women or celebrities ‘sell’ in personal care/beauty advertising? Do we ‘hate them because they are beautiful?’ Or, do we prefer their beauty to the plainer ‘real woman’ ads that have been such a popular trend?  What about those boring product ads?  Does anyone actually read them?  If you're interested in ad analysis in more categories, see our  Competitive Intelligence resources page for more.

ABX Shares Competitive Intelligence for Personal Care Products After Analysis of Print Ads

In our review of more than 100 recent personal care print ads, we found that NONE of these approaches work consistently in this category.  Of the four approaches:
  • Celebrities scored no higher than product-only or model ads
  • Model ads had the fewest negative scores
  • Product-only ads had the widest range, from the very highest to the very lowest!
  • And … 'real woman' ads were consistently low scoring – indicating, perhaps, this trend has seen better days.
(Note: Each dot in the chart below is an ad effectiveness score)

 ABX Ad Effectiveness Tests on 100+ ads in Personal Care

A look at the following chart shows how the various competitors stack up in ad effectiveness in print for the period.  In actuality, the ads in this category cluster more favorably near the yellow 'average ad effectiveness' line than they do in many other categories.

Ad Effectiveness Average Scores for Key Competitors in Beauty and Personal Care

So, what can we glean from some of these ads moving forward?

  • Best AdNeutrogena’s CLEAN IS ONE THING. DOUBLE CLEAN IS THE NEW THING scored an ABX Index of 129 (29% above average) and phenomenal 'Reputation' and 'Action' scores. The ad is well written, informative and clear.

Ad with highest ad effectiveness score for Personal Care Industry

ABX Advertising Effectiveness Scores

ABX Advertising Effectiveness Scores for Neutrogena

  • Most 'Challenged' Ad – This Maybelline New York ad simply has no brand recognition.  Can you read the copy?  Maybe a Millennial can (which is most likely the target), but good luck to the rest of us (as per the GenPop scores below). 

Ad with lowest creative effectiveness score in Beauty Industry for 90 days - Maybelline

ABX Advertising Effectiveness Scores

ABX Advertising Effectiveness Scores
  • Most 'Surprising' Ad - Clinique's FACE FORWARD ad shows an attractive "real woman" influencer that did well in 'Awareness,' which means the branding was clear, but that's about all. Does this indicate that 'real woman' advertising is over? Maybe. 

Ad with surprisingly low creative effectiveness score in Beauty for last 90 days - Clinique

ABX Advertising Effectiveness Scores

ABX Advertising Effectiveness Scores

As Digiday's @hilarymilnes recently reported,The Limited just launched a new "real woman" campaign. We'll be watching to see if the results!  And, be watching for other ABX studies such as Competitive Intelligence for Retail, Financial Services, Automotive and more.

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How the ABX Testing is Done

ABX provides ad effectiveness scores from human respondents against 14 variables and in all media types. ABX Index values are a comparison of the results of an ad versus the average of all ads in the ABX database (100,000+ ads). Click for more information about definitions and methodology.

Topics: Personal Care, Competitive Intelligence, Advertising Effectiveness

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