Allergan's Botox sets its sights on a new customer: men

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Allergan wants to bring Botox to a brand new audience. For the first time, the drugmaker is running a Botox ad campaign targeting men.


Historically, women have been the main audience for Botox cosmetic, explained Colleen McKenna, VP of marketing for the facial aesthetics division at Allergan, but the time was ripe to develop a full media campaign for men.


“Men, in a lot of realms, are starting to catch up in terms of treating wrinkles and beauty products,”  McKenna said. “As society changes and it becomes more acceptable for men to use these products, they're becoming very curious[, but there's less conversation about aging and facing aging and what's available to men.”


In research conducted by Allergan, the company found that 40% of people considering injectables are men. The number of men going in for aesthetic procedures has also increased by 325% over the past two decades, McKenna said.


The campaign targeting men includes print, TV, and digital ads. Print ads are running in men's lifestyle magazines such as Esquire and GQ along with finance and tech-focused publications like Wired, Fast Company, and The Wall Street Journal.


The television ads are running widely, including on early morning and late night network shows and on cable channels including ESPN, Bravo, and CNN. The campaign, and TV spots, began April 23 and will continue through at least the beginning of next year. Allergan worked with FCB in Chicago on the ad campaign.


The campaign website also addresses some myths about Botox Cosmetic, including that Botox is only for women. “Nope, think again,” the website says, alongside a 2013 stat that one in 10 Botox patients are men.


“The underlying insight is the same for men and women: We all want to put out the best version of ourselves,” McKenna explained. “Men feel the same way women do, women are a little further along in the thinking of it than men are, but the insights are the same. That's the beauty of the campaign, we have one platform with different executions.”


The Botox campaign is also an education effort; many men (and women) simply don't understand how it works. So along with busting the myth that Botox is only for women, the latest campaign is also educating men about the length of the procedure, how the results look, and that Botox is an FDA-approved product.


Last September, Allergan brought on football legend Deion Sanders as a brand ambassador to market Botox to men. The company created two videos with Sanders, including one in which he discusses how turning 50 prompted him to use the treatment.


In Allergan's latest earnings report, Botox remained the company's biggest drug by revenue, with $817.3 million in sales in the first quarter, a 14% jump over the previous year. Expanding its marketing efforts to a new, and previously untapped, audience should be “an accelerator,” McKenna said.


“Women are just as important as ever,” McKenna said. “There's so much opportunity with the female market, it's like the tip of an iceberg. More than 18 million people men and women considering treatment, so it's a huge opportunity with both men and women. The men's spot works just as hard for men as for women.”


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