The use of celebrity faces by various brands in cosmetics and fashion is nothing new these days. It used to be models who were the faces of brands. These days, with celebrity culture being so rife, and with celebrities being able to influence pop culture so much, brands are turning to celebrities to endorse their products and designs. We talked about it once before to see if we were influenced by celebrity endorsements and the general answer there was no.
If there is another trend I notice, it is that these celebrity faces are getting younger and younger. I realise that the brands want to capture the younger market. Catch them young and hope they’ll stay with you as they grow, seems to be their view.
The young too seem to be more willing to spend on higher end products, either because they identify with said celebrities or whether they just have more disposable income on hand and focus on the “me” and the “now”.
I do wonder though if these faces and especially younger faces affect how you feel about a brand and its products? I have realised that it has affected me and perhaps not in the way the brands have anticipated.
I’ll take one example. Lancome and Emma Watson. I randomly thought about this phenomenon while messing around with the Rouge in Love lipstick and is the most glaring example for me.
I love Emma Watson. From her debut as Hermoine Granger in the Harry Potter movie franchise, I’ve liked her. She was cute as a button and as she grew up, she thankfully displayed none of the excesses and tantrums that many young child stars do. Outwardly anyway. She also has grown up to be a lovely young lady with classic good looks and is quite a beauty with style sense to boot. She is in fact, the perfect catch for a brand like Lancome to makeover their image as a brand for older women. Younger girls, having grown up the past decade with Harry Potter movies and books can identify with her and these are the young ladies just starting out with makeup and skincare. Perfect timing!
Unfortunately for me, its had the rather opposite effect. I am age-wise, past the target market Lancome is trying to reach. I love Emma Watson but she is too young an image for me. And it seems to me that it is starting to show in the products. The new eyeshadow palettes tend to be sheer and too light and pastel. I loved Lancome’s old Color Focus eyeshadow palettes. Colours were beautiful, fairly pigmented and fairly interesting. The new blushes, whilst pretty are a bit too shimmery and sheer. I like sheer shadows and blushes, but if I want to do sheer I’d go with a Japanese brand. They know how to do a sheer yet pigmented texture. Something few Western brands have managed to successfully emulate.
The new Rouge in Love lipstick too is lovely but its sheer and light, and the colours are, I find, a little boring and too safe. Perfect for the young lady just starting to try out lipsticks. It is by all accounts a very lovely lipstick. But the packaging and the ad campaign makes me feel too old to be even wearing it. Its nothing to do with age being a number, its just what I think looking at the products and campaign. I like the formula of Rouge in Love but I don’t like the feel of the packaging. I much prefer the more classic and classy design of the Rouge l’Absolu lipstick case, and its formula. It gave me something to aspire towards instead of handing it to me on a platter and I feel like a lady using it and it was what I wanted, when I was in the “Emma Watson target age group” of consumers. There was a bit of prestige about it that I loved.
Another example is the Blanc Expert whitening serum launched this year. Emma Watson is a lovely English Rose with a complexion to match. I personally don’t think using her in the ad campaign and making her look that white when I know she is so young, makes me want to try the product (I didn’t). So sadly, these days, whenever I see Emma Watson in a Lancome campaign, I go “Ooh she looks lovely!” but tend to switch off and think its just not targeted at me. Unfortunate, I say, because the products could well be good stuff.
On the other end of the scale is Julia Roberts who is I feel, much too far off the age scale from Emma Watson. I can’t identify with her either because I remember her from her Pretty Woman days which is when I was the target market for Lancome and that was so long ago! So I’m thinking “I can’t possibly be using what she’s using now! I’m too young!” Catch-22 situation eh?
So, that’s how I feel. The face of the brand can make me switch off my interest in the brand. Knowing that Emma Watson just turned 22 a few weeks ago emphasizes the age factor and target market more for me. I just feel that if Emma Watson, a young lady of 22 is using it, how can it be relevant to me, someone much older than she is? I think I am less affected if it was just a random model’s face used in the promotional ad. That way, I am interested in the product and have no thoughts on the person pushing it.
Are you affected by the celebrity face of a brand either positively or negatively? Does a celebrity face of a brand affect your perception of the brand or its products? This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while so perhaps its just me who feels this way. Please feel free to share your thoughts :)