Xeomin isn’t shrinking away from the stigma against anti-wrinkle injections. It’s latest campaign, Later Haters, wants women to own their choice to get rid of wrinkles.
The campaign is spotlighting a demographic of women Merz calls “the reclaimers,” women around 40 years old who are looking to reclaim themselves as their lives change. These are women who have spent years focusing on their career or dedicating time to their children and are looking to “reclaim” their identity.
“There were these two milestones that were emotional triggers for these women,” said Christina Meyer, head of injectables marketing, aesthetics at Merz North America. “One was turning 40. We heard women say in research they used to be youngest woman in the meeting, and now they’re the oldest. [The other was] women who are mothers and spent last few years focused on their children. Both of those women want to reclaim their relevance, they feel that they are their own person not somebody’s mom or the old lady at work.”
Meyer credits an unconventional market research strategy for revealing the “reclaimers” and their worries about the stigma. Instead of watching groups of strangers behind a two-way mirror, the research firm brought together groups of friends and took them out shopping or to “injection parties,” where the women were more comfortable and opened up more.
The important part is encouraging these women to use Xeomin not to look better for others, but to boost their own confidence, Meyer said. In the new ads, women are X-ing out negative and judgemental statements like “she’s fake” and “she’s so old” and smashing feelings like doubt and regret on panes of glass.
Merz worked with MullenLowe for creative, B2 for PR, and Razorfish for HCP engagement on this campaign. The campaign will be digital and social heavy to best reach these women. Prior to the launch and launch event in New York on Thursday, Xeomin sent “smashable” invites to social influencers to create buzz.
The campaign also coincides with a period of women’s empowerment. Although Merz wasn’t intentionally trying to tap into these movements, Meyer said, they are what helps the campaign resonate with their audience.
“We live in a bubble in our industry because we are already comfortable talking to people about [aesthetics],” Meyer said. “Today’s women are more empowered and once we started to tap into it we felt it resonate with physicians and customers. Women started to share this with friends and we started tapping into a real insight and energy.”
But Xeomin is up against a formidable rival in anti-wrinkle injections: a brand that has become synonymous with the treatment in general, Botox.
“Part of the challenge we face is there is little category awareness [for Xeomin],” Meyer said. “For consumers, Botox is the category. What we found when talking to these women is they didn’t realize there were other options.”
Botox was approved in 2002 to treat frown lines between the eyebrows. About 10 years later, Xeomin hit the market to treat the same wrinkles. While the two drugs work similarly by temporarily paralyzing the muscles that create these wrinkles, Xeomin is a slightly different formulation with just one ingredient, botulinum toxin A.
Part of the effort is to simply inform women that there is more than one choice for botulinum toxin treatments. Once women are familiar with the name Xeomin, it makes the conversation about treatment options with their doctor easier because the brand is already recognizable, Meyer said.
Meyer also hopes the campaign and its messages of empowerment and breaking the stigma can differentiate Xeomin from Botox.
“We are the underdog; we are the scrappy challenger brand taking on something that has become synonymous with category,” Meyer said. “We need to break through that and standout in a way that’s real and authentic. Nobody wanted to talk about the stigma. Most campaigns gloss over it, but for the first time, we’re saying there is a stigma and there shouldn’t be.”