If advertising can be believed, legions of women are convinced that beauty is ephemeral, dissolving quickly. Consequently, there is no scarcity of cosmetics advertisers capitalizing on this conviction. Females can spend inordinate amounts of money in their attempts to improve upon nature. Advertisers pitch a commensurate number of promotions designed to ensure women continue their spending habits. Marketers can elicit optimal results by understanding how promotional material affects female audiences.
Many women are influenced by advertising that speaks to a desire to remain healthy. For example, ads that pair a natural-ingredient cosmetic line with females engaged in healthful activities such as yoga can send the message that the products enhance a sense of healthy well-being. Ads that focus on anti-aging products continue to hold a considerable influence over women. Alice Ripman, beauty director of InStyle magazine, observes that women persist in seeking products that offer beauty retention and youthful looks, and advocate a healthy lifestyle.
A study entitled “Truth About Beauty,” conducted by McCann WorldGroup, found that as women compare and analyze advertising, they are most impressed by images and descriptions characterizing natural-looking models with whom they can relate. For example, women in their prime perusing two ads that promote a wrinkle-reducing product find the more convincing promotion to be the one employing mature models who exude health and beauty rather than images depicting younger individuals who are naturally wrinkle-free. In addition, the McCann study indicated that women comparison-shop for beauty products sold at a discount, as demonstrated by the popularity of voucher programs offering reduced-price coupons.
Advertisers may unwittingly be lowering women’s self-esteem through cosmetics advertising. According to a study executed by the "Journal of Consumer Research," after viewing ads relating to cosmetics, some women unfavorably compared themselves with the beautifully youthful models used to promote a product. Often, advertising images such as these have been improved with air-brushing, creating impossibly-perfect appearances. The same study noted 20 percent of women stated feeling less confident after viewing such images.
Advertising exerts a positive influence when it helps women believe they’ve proactively taken responsibility for their appearance. For example, females who possess blemished skin may feel a sense of personal pride and commitment in the act of buying and using an advertised product to resolve problem skin, says consumer website Consumer Instinct. In addition, marketers exercise a favorable influence on women when advertising is approached with an understanding of what psychologically motivates women to feel good about themselves.