16x — that’s not too far off the mark. We’ve all seen these claims before: 4x brighter eyes, 74% thicker lashes, removes 6x more makeup than cleaning with water alone, clearer skin in 2 weeks guaranteed.
In the December issue of Global Cosmetic Industry magazine, Alisa Marie Beyer has a piece called “The Claim Game” about these bold beauty claims, and how crafting a compelling claim can mean the difference between a bestselling beauty product and a flop.
“Generally speaking…claims fall into two categories: emotional (for example, painful acne blemishes will disappear in two days) and numerical (such as, 97% of women saw smoother skin in two days).
— Alisa Marie Beyer, “The Claim Game”, Global Cosmetic Industry, December 2010
The magazine is a trade publication, and Alisa’s audience is mostly made up of cosmetics company executives. It got me thinking about beauty claims and how important it is for consumers to know what goes into the marketing, and how it pays to take every claim with a grain of salt.
The big companies study the psychology behind our purchase decisions. They know that most of us respond positively to seeing big numbers in claims, but they also know that if they make too many big claims, it’ll sound too good to be true.
It reminds me of that episode of Mad Men where they bring the girls who work in the office into a focus group. I can’t remember the product… I think it was Pond’s Cold Cream, and they talk about all sorts of things, like the ritual of taking off your makeup at night, and the hopes and dreams of the girls in the room — all to better target the advertising.
“…96% of women said their skin felt smoother, fresher and healthier instantly.”
— Anonymous beauty company
Some claims are just plain silly. 96% of women said their skin felt smoother, fresher and healthier instantly? Instantly? That’s awfully quick.
A lot of research and psychology goes into selling makeup and beauty products. A girl’s gotta stay on her toes.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. Happy last few hours of 2010! Are you doing anything fun tonight? I actually think we might be staying in…