Vaniqa is an Rx dermatological cream that reduces “unwanted facial hair” in women. It's a “cosmeceutical” brand that falls somewhere between the dermatologist's office and your local Sephora, and its new DTC campaign is just as confused. We see many happy customers in 60 seconds — all in close-up, too. They may be smiling because they got a $50 rebate, which is prominently displayed a few times.
The ad is very hard working. It uses a clinical tone so we know it's a serious, not frivolous, beauty aid. We see a brief “little science” demo that shows how hair follicle growth is stunted by an enzyme blocker in Vaniqa. And the ad delivers an end-benefit that could apply to any number of personal care products: “the freedom to be close to people.” All in all, it's basically a mini-infomercial, complete with testimonials and offers, but in a 60-second format
Unfortunately, even though a large amount of information is provided, the ad fails to build an emotional connection for the brand. And worse, the call-to-action is fumbled, so we are not sure what to do or where to go for this product. It's too bad the advertising misses an opportunity for Vaniqa to be memorable and wanted by the millions and millions of women who have “unwanted facial hair.” Ouch. My guess is that this is a large female target audience — one that other DTC cosmeceuticals such as Latisse and Oracea have figured out with effective, branded ads that convey both emotion and information.
Deborah Dick-Rath is SVP, healthcare practice leader, at FactorTG. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org