Avon moves away from ‘traditional beauty ads’ and plots to encourage social selling

Avon is launching a new campaign aimed at convincing the British public of the quality of its products well as shouting about its cause to empower women.

It is the first advertising campaign to be devised for the British market by the brand’s UK marketing team in 20 years. It involves two video ads that will run through October and November. The ads, created by VCCP Kin, will appear on TV, online and VoD.

The brand actively wanted to move away from traditional beauty advertising, Avon’s marketing director Anthony Wells told Marketing Week.

“Our last TV campaign was synonymous with the beauty industry and imitated other beauty brands. This activity is the start of something new and is about beauty for a purpose,” he said.

Avon wants to empower women in a more relevant way. As a result, its first advert focuses on the brand’s representatives. The brand is still predominantly a representative based business, with over 6 million global reps.

“Women are faced with so many rules and the [beauty] industry doesn’t make it easy to live up to those rules. So our campaign is based around real people who make up their own rules. Representatives are the closest embodiment of this,” he explained.

Changing quality perceptions

Wells admits that many women weren’t aware of the quality of Avon’s products.

“Our research showed that many people don’t know how good Avon is. But when blind tested, 9/10 would recommend our foundation to a friend while 8/10 would switch in terms of skin care,” he commented.

In light of this, the brand filmed various well-known beauty vloggers blind testing Avon products for its second ad.

“We wanted to bring to life the quality of our products in a fun and engaging way that broke all of the rules. We filmed their authentic reactions when using the products and how they felt when we revealed the products were from Avon.”

The adverts end with a challenge to consumers to #makeupyourownmind. This tagline is part of a broader brand strategy.

“Many brands within the beauty industry are creating an unattainable ideal, but we encourage people to simply be their best. Challenging people to make up their own minds is part of a broader long-term strategy, built on through social media,” he explained.

A bigger focus on ecommerce

While the majority of Avon’s representatives still go door to door to sell their wares, the brand is planning to build on their online platforms to enable reps to use other platforms to sell their products, including social media.

“We were the first beauty brand to have an ecommerce site. Customers can either buy the beauty products directly online or use the platform to find their nearest representative,” he explained.

“In the not so distant future, we’ll provide every representative with a range of sophisticated online tools that will allow them to share Avon more freely through their social networks.”

  • Find out more about above-the-line advertising at this year’s Festival of Marketing, where you can listen to speakers on the multichannel stage. For more information go to www.festivalofmarketing.com.

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