Celebrities and magazines sell make-up. Fact

Related tags Revlon

The fixation on celebrity culture and the influence of women's
magazines are continuing to drive international sales of make-up.
According to the latest report from Mintel, names such as Catherine
Zeta Jones and Kate Moss who endorse products that appear in a
range of magazines still carry kudos for the average consumer, but
over-endorsement has a downside.

The Mintel report highlights how celebrities are used extensively to promote sales of make-up products within the beauty pages of women's consumer magazines, creating a must-have appeal amongst the buying public. Some companies employ famous models and Hollywood actresses, such as Catherine Zeta Jones who works for Elizabeth Arden, Elizabeth Jagger for Lancôme, Kate Moss for Rimmel and Julianne Moore and Halle Berry who appear in Revlon advertising and promotional material.

However, these kind of contracts are prohibitively expensive for all but the very largest cosmetics companies, so many smaller brands connect with the rich and famous by sending them free products in the hope that they will provide an endorsement, which can be used in PR material.

The report says that the downside of celebrity endorsement is that it is ubiquitous and there is no longer a novelty factor or surprise when one or other celebrity is seen to be using a particular brand or product. Furthermore, the constant pursuit of beauty and perfection can make women feel dissatisfied with their own looks, leading to anxieties about perceived imperfections.

This can be especially acute for older women feeling the pressure to look younger than they are when bombarded with images of mainly very young women in make-up advertising. However, some companies are using older models, such as Andie McDowell and Julianne Moore to promote their products.

Magazines are considered to be just as worthy as endorsements, the report also points out. Indeed the two are often inextricably linked, as a quick flick through any leading woman's magazine will testify. However, it is not just glossy ads that do the trick, column inches are considered to be the most effective way of raising consumer awareness of new products, especially within the women's monthly glossies.

An editorial mention of a new product or shade can send a product flying off the shelves within hours, so the make-up PRs spend a great deal of time buttering up beauty editors to ensure that their products make it onto the beauty pages of the key international magazine titles such as Glamour, Marie Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Vogue.

But despite the fact that celebrity associations and magazine coverage do have a bearing on sales, it remains that such strategies have to have the right direction. Put the product in the wrong magazine, associate with the wrong celebrity or simply over-expose it and the desired effects will remain illusive.

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