DDR on DTC: Latisse

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Every year, women spend millions of dollars on mascara to exaggerate their eyelashes. Cosmetics companies advertise and market their brands to women all over the world who want sexy, enticing eyes and most women between the ages of 15 and 75 own several tubes of mascara at a time. But now, Allergan — the company that erased our crow's feet and worry lines with Botox — can help us get rid of our messy mascara tubes. Because if your eyelashes are “inadequate,” you may be suffering from hypotrichosis...now easily treatable with Latisse.

The Latisse campaign features a testimonial from Brooke Shields and leverages typical beauty ad techniques by showing extreme close-ups of glamorous eyes and a beautiful face. But while her eyelashes grow longer and fuller, it's not because she's globbing on goo, it's because she's using Latisse.

This is a great spin on cosmetic products that that try to claim clinical or scientific attributes. Here's a real, clinical product acting like a beauty product...and it works! The ads are intriguing and informative. We understand the benefit of the product immediately, and we also understand that we have to see a doctor to get it.
 
Enticing us to believe we can have eyelashes as pretty as Shields' is a major goal of this campaign, but Allergan has another job to do. Using the same model it successfully deployed for Botox, it has created partnerships with local doctors to provide treatment. What's more, it has empowered them with a national campaign as well as co-op materials to drive in patients. A recent scan found more than 75 separate Latisse print ads for local doctors or clinics, some featuring Shields, some not.
 
The problem is, women who don't see the TV ad may not make the connection with Shields in the print ad. The body copy is all fair balance, until the bottom, where it notes, “See more Brooke Shields and other before-and-after results on Latisse.com.” It's right next to the “Make a Wish” sponsorship notice. Gee, I know what I wish for — long, beautiful lashes.

Deborah Dick-Rath is SVP, healthcare practice leader, at FactorTG. Contact: deborah.dick-rath@factortg.com
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