"I'm so proud of my dear @ KendallJenner to be so brave and vulnerable," wrote Kris Jenner on Instagram a few hours before Golden Globes sent. The post contained a video by Kendall who said, "I can talk to so many people and just be like" I can help you and that's fine. "" Kris asked successors to look at her daughter's Twitter for a forthcoming announcement about her "raw" story. There were many hashtags, like #bethechange and #mydaughterinspiresme.
Immediate speculation began. As Jezebel pointed out, fans began asking if she was going to talk about coming out (a long-standing rumor), a moment, an eating disorder, or perhaps opening up anxiety and panic attacks. The tone was serious, suggesting a great revelation.
No. In a commercial As aired under the Es red carpet cover, it turned out to be a sponsorship deal with the acne treatment mark Proactiv. The internet response can best be summed up as "many GIFs by Viola Davis look unprecedented in the same way."
The Golden Globe timing is not surprising. In the commercial, and in stories that appeared in People and Vogue shortly after the announcement, Jenner urged her story to attend last year's ceremony. She felt confident and beautiful, until she saw social media commenting to shame her for her acne. She retweeted a supporter who praised her for walking on the carpet with acne. According to Vogue, Proactiv sent his products afterwards.
Acne can be socially and psychologically degrading, and despite a small but budding movement that mastered "skin positivity", it is largely seen as a disease that most sufferers will get rid of. Kendall is just the latest in a very long line of celebrities who have been part of Proactiv acne marketing juggernaut ("zitterati", if you want) that includes a cultural history from the mid-1990s and great paycheck for their advocates like Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. It's an interesting and telling choice for the brand, which goes through a transitional period in the business model and whose parent company is considering selling it. It is also a pretty clear signal of who brands regard a "celebrity" now.
Proactiv and the golden age of infomercial
Shamwow. George Foreman Grill. Bowflex. Tony Robbins. And yes, Proactiv. What these all have in common is that they were historically sold via infomercial. But Proactiv is the only one who is undoubtedly a cultural and economic strength. It is one of the best selling acne treatment brands of all time.
Proactiv's products are not unique or different from many other acne products out there. Its treatment products contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and sulfur, the three most common active ingredients used in over-the-counter medications you can find at any pharmacy. But when it was launched in 1995, it was a little different. It was diet-based, which means that instead of a spot treatment product that you are looking for when you already have breakouts, it was supposed to be a three-step system to prevent and treat, sold as a set and via an auto-renewed subscription model. . Its biggest differentiator from the competition is that it brilliantly used a strategy for infomercials and A-list celebrities to sell their products.
Proactiv was founded in the early 1990s by two dermatologists, Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields. If those surnames are known, it's because they are also the founders of Rodan + Fields, the popular (and sometimes infamous) billion-dollar multi-level marketing beauty brand that probably sneaks over your entire Facebook feed.
According to Forbes, the duo attempted to throw Proactiv to Neutrogena, who told them that infomercials would be a good way to market it. Neutrogena eventually went, and after some initial concerns about infomercials were "cheesy", the founders decided to embrace them as a marketing plan. They licensed the product to Guthy-Renker, a company with significant knowledge of infomercials. (Guthy-Renker was behind the Tony Robbins empire and currently sells both Cindy Crawford's Significant Beauty line and the often-sued Wen hair care line.) Forbes suggests that Rodan and Fields were paid 15% royalties by Guthy-Renker, at least once point. It is not clear whether they are still involved in the company. From publishing time, Proactiv did not respond to requests for comment.
Infomercials became popular in the mid-80s after President Reagan resigned some FTC advertising rules that had previously capped the permissible length of ads, opened the well-known 30- to 60-minute "programs" hawking everything you could imagine.
Steve Dworman, who literally wrote the book – well the popular industry market reports – on the genre was an industry advisor during the 1990s. He says Victoria Jackson, a Hollywood makeup artist, was one of the first to launch a beauty line through the medium, noting that her show had very high production values. (Please enjoy this clip from 1990 when she talked about "no makeup makeup" with Love History star Ali McGraw and Family ties & # 39; Meredith Baxter Birney.)
"You put a show on the air that had Ali MacGraw on it, and the next day people would stand around the water cooler at work talking about it," Dworman says.
One problem that marketers have to contend with is that some products, such as a juicer, are one-time purchases. Beauty products were an ideal way to keep people back, so the subscription model.
"In the mid-90s, response rates were not quite as high as they were in the early 90s, so people were looking for ways to optimize their profits in the industry," said Dworman. "Making a continuity product, meaning a product which you want to refill, usually through automatic re-orders, was a really, very good idea. "
This model suffered some setback from customers who found it difficult to stop automatic costs, but the company made hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Eventually things changed. "Infomercials started really declining in the late 90s due to the internet and the proliferation of cable channels and satellite TV," Dworman says. "There are fewer eyes and they are spread out over many more sources."
Dworman says the response rate, which means people who call or click to buy things, for infomercials is about 25% of what it used to be. He also says that people who watch television these days are often over 50 years old, which is not exactly the target demographic for acne treatments.
Proactiv has long had kiosks in shopping malls, but it started selling its products wholesale for the first time in 2016 at Ulta and this month at Sephora, along with a traditional website. But while Proactiv had to swing out of infomercials as the only sales method, a cornerstone of its brand remains strong (albeit perhaps declining): the celebrity statement.
So, so many celebrities have shilled Proactiv
In 1999 Judith Light, then known for his role in sitcom Who's the boss and now known as the head of all red carpets, was hired as the first celebrity of Shill for Proactiv. Since then, P. Diddy, Alicia Keys, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Bieber, Lindsay Lohan, Mandy Moore, Vanessa Williams, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Kaley Cuoco, Adam Levine, Julianne Hough and many more have repped the brand . (There were later rumors that Diddy sued the brand because it didn't work, but there is no credible reporting that this actually happened.)
It always seemed so farfetched that some of these people used the products, but it was on purpose. "In the early days, I think Guthy-Renker would, after celebrities like you would never believe, be caught on a television advertisement for a acne medicine," Dworman says. "They were trying to go," Oh, God, if he really has this problem that I do, and that's what he uses and they have access to the best doctors and everything, then I'll use it too.
One of the Guthy-Renker founders has insisted that they actually used the products, but of course, money was a draw for celebrity dozens.
Dworman says that in the beginning, Proactiv celebrities were paid an appearance fee for shooting and a royalty on the sale. "Some of these celebrities ended up making a lot of money because the brand grew so big," he says. According to AdAge, royalty was 3%. Then Proactiv returned to a pay structure instead of revenue sharing. Various reports over the years have suggested that celebs received anywhere from $ 2 to $ 5 million, with a founder banning in 2010 that around $ 15 million was earmarked for endorsements, compared to $ 200 million the company used for more traditional advertising. Dworman believes that if a celebrity is to be used continuously, the range can be from $ 5 to $ 10 million.
Proactiv has always chosen a pattern of celebrities that reflect pop culture at a particular time, as Billboard noted in 2010 when Bieber was called a brand face and YouTube musicians were the ascendant. First, there were sitcom stars, then reality stars like Jessica Simpson and Kelly Clarkson, so pop stars and musicians got many eye-catches on YouTube and other video platforms. There have been no major names that have been announced over the past two years, at least by the brand's historical standards. Jenner is not an A list celeb, but she is a great influencer. With her family social media pedigree and 101 million Instagram followers, she fits into this pattern nicely. Social media affects the new celebrities. Proactiv's own brand Instagram account, with a modest 53,000 followers, could certainly use a Kardashian level boost.
Will Kendall x Proactiv Work?
The beginning of her tenure as the acne-free face of Proactiv with a smaller bait-and-break controversy is not great, especially with her story of the highly notable Pepsi commercial debacle. In 2017, she was also the face of the short-lived, thousand-year-focused Estée Lauder makeup line, Estée Edit. So she doesn't have a good track record. But Alixandra Barasch, an assistant professor of marketing at NYU Stern, believes that Jenner can come by: "I think most consumers are quite forgiving for most celebrities who are apologetic. Maybe she is a little deaf and sometimes misses the mark a little, but [this is] not so bad offense. "
People have definitely asked if she actually uses the product. Jenner, a wealthy fashion model, has access to some of the best skin pros that money can buy. It's especially damaging because her sister Kylie said in an interview in the New York Times in 2015, "We have a family dermatologist, Christie Kidd in Beverly Hills. My sister Kendall had very bad acne when she was younger and she managed to clean it up. "(Kidd is actually a medical assistant.) Anonymous Beauty Guard Instagram Account Estee Laundry dug up some other examples of her crediting of non-Proactiv sources to help with acne.
Kendall Jenner gets 3000 dollars faces on the head of toe Balenciaga in between shots to Vogue I promise you she does not use proactiv
– ELECTRIC CHAIR (@rihannasgayson) January 7, 2019
Finally, according to Barasch, Jenner is studying sincerity in advertising. "The way she communicates, both the message content and her voice and non-verbal facial expressions should be super important," she says. She believes it is definitely an audience of young women who want to deal with Jenner.
A bigger problem can be with the company itself. In 2016, Nestlé acquired a majority stake in Guthy-Renker as part of a plan to launch a "skin health unit", which also includes brands like Cetaphil. With reports that this unit only accounted for about 3% of the company's total sales, Nestlé now wants to sell it. Guthy-Renker was able to buy back the bet, or a third party could get into the picture, leaving Proactiv's future uncertainty.
Then there are the products. People are more interested in skin care then ever and analyze ingredients carefully. Among avicionados, Proactiv's products have a reputation for being tough and drought. And at $ 80 for a 90-day delivery of the 3-step system and $ 20 for a single tube of benzoyl peroxide treatment cream, it's not cheap. A similar product from Neutrogena is about $ 8.
Then there are newer services like Curology, a telemedicine that offers custom prescription drugs, which are more effective than over-the-counter meds. It's about $ 20 a month. There is also Differin, the prescription retinoid that was recently approved for use in the over-the-counter and is less than $ 15.
Finally, it can come down to how cynical everyone is. "Finding a good brand for your brand is a very, very difficult thing, and it has become even more difficult because in our culture it has come to the point where everyone knows that everyone is paid to say everything," Dworman says.
There is twice as much for the Kardashian-Jenner clan, which is known for shilling teatos and forgiveness gummy hair vitamins. Some of them make it judged on a scale of how the merchant seems to work.
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