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Beauty brands hit and miss with video advertising

By Lucy Whitehouse + , 16-Apr-2014
Last updated the 16-Apr-2014 at 15:25 GMT

Recent video advertising campaigns by Dove and Veet have met with criticism from consumers and professional commentators, emphasizing the importance of the increasingly dominant marketing format for the beauty industry. 

Elsewhere though, Unilever (which owns Dove) seems to be leveraging the trend to its advantage, having just launched its ‘All Things Hair’ YouTube channel, which harnesses the increasing dominance of beauty vloggers for the profit of its own brands.

The move from the consumer goods multinational comes as recent statistics from marketing and advertising software company Pixability noted that up until now, beauty brands have owned just 3% of the site’s beauty video content of 14.9 billion views.

Missing the mark?

Recent video campaigns from skin care brands Dove and Veet both stirred up criticism from both social and conventional media.

Dove’s advert, a continuation of its ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, follows a narrative of the ‘placebo effect’ of a fake beauty patch, and was deemed “garbage” by New York Magazine.

Market researcher YouGov, which tracks brand popularity, noted a ‘distinct’ down-trending for Dove among women in the wake of the advert.

Meanwhile, Veet’s three-part campaign comparing unshaven women to men was quickly removed by the company following widespread rejection by consumers.

Hitting the target

Brands increasingly need an understanding of the international nature of the internet, with Veet admitting that it had failed to account for the global nature of viral video advertising.

This is a US advertisement, and has only been shown in North America. In the UK market our marketing focus is quite different,” they told consumers complaining in the UK.

Yet all video views add to brand exposure, and Unilever notes Dove's patches video has met with the strongest launch of the brand's ‘Real Beauty’ videos to date in terms of viewing figures; again in part due to a global approach, as the advert was rolled out in 65 countries.

Unilever’s ‘All Things Hair’ channel looks set to prove a reliable and successful avenue for future video content for the company, and is a move which seems to respond to recent expert predictions for beauty brand video opportunities.

Vbloggers are doing better [than cosmetics brands] because they’re being authentic, they’re delivering a benefit, and they’re pushing out regular content. These are solvable problems for major brands,” Merrily McGugan, marketing manager from Pixability, has said. 

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