Brands VS Affiliates: approaches to advertising beauty offers

The promo of affiliates makes us think that the brands with their effective advertising exist in a completely different reality. But are the differences really strong? And will the promos made on the level of the well-known brands be effective just as well? We have tested how effective is the use of the approaches of cosmetic brands in advertising beauty offers.

Quality is the main difference between the affiliates’ creatives and the brands’ commercials. And the main question is to bother or not with the quality and to try to catch up with the brands, meanwhile colleagues succeed with low quality videos made up from YouTube videos?


Brand advertising as a source of ideas and inspiration: stories of success

If you are working with beauty offers, then you definitely go beyond the spy tools. Even in Facebook’s “Stories of success” section you can find a lot of beauty brands that were advertised here with their results. We’ve found some for you:

OGX: hair care products

The world’s hair care brand OGX has used video ads on Instagram and Facebook on 5 key markets, raising sales in the US by 8% and reaching more than 60% of its target audience worldwide.

For the advertising, brands used a short video showing the product and emotions. All publications were made in the same style which became recognizable in no time:

SPHYNX: portable depilators

The Facebook page indicates that the company worked with an automatic rate for conversions, and thus it has increased the number of buyers on the Internet 8.2 times. Let’s see what kind of promos they used:

Please note that the approach of this company is as close as possible to the CPA: a product with a wow-effect, the work for conversions and promo also reminds vaguely of the creatives in spy services. So you can take it into account all right.

L’Oréal: decorative and care cosmetics

In Russia, the company was promoting some temporary hair dyes, but we’ve managed to find out a lot of interesting creatives for other products. In addition, the history notes 22 times fewer clicks in Stories: short interactive videos are pretty effective there.

Creatives for different products (note that the brand clearly sells the product):

Laura Mercier: decorative cosmetics

The advertising of this brand uses beautiful videos, but the product is sold minimally: even the story mentions that the company first of all increased brand awareness and was working on video views.

Examples of creatives for Laura Mercier products:

FRESHLY COSMETICS: natural cosmetics

Another brand that made a bet on advertising in Stories and achieved good results using short videos for up to 10 seconds with a static background of a photo and minimum of any moves or pictures:

Kao Merit Pyuan: Asian cosmetics

And their creatives clearly reflect the peculiarities of advertising on the Asian market: they are more infantile, and there is no clear message to buy the product.

SK-II: skin care

A brand that combines several strategies: the use of stars, bloggers, short and long videos, demonstration of the product and its use, creative scenarios with animation.

The promo is very interesting to see:

COVERGIRL: decorative cosmetics

The brand has no specific style in advertising: there are long videos in which girls tell about the product, short ones with wow-effect and, on the contrary, those that affect emotions, but do not emphasize the properties of cosmetics.

Typical promos are as follows:

BIRCHBOX: beauty-boxes

In the advertising, the company demonstrates beauty boxes quite gracefully and vividly, using minimal text animation. Moreover, they use videos with the photo on the background, but the text is running at that.

In general, the promos look are as follows:

Sometimes it is very interesting to find out a brand that produces a product similar to the offer and to see how it was advertised by the giant: you can get some interesting tricks. Further on you will learn if it’s worth using all of them.

Cosmetics advertising from brands: the main approaches

We’ve looked at hundreds of creatives and made a rough classification of how cosmetic brands advertise their products on Facebook


All advertising of cosmetic products can be divided into several groups:

1. Displaying a self-confident girl

A beauty in an evening dress with bright makeup strides confidently in high heels — this is how most of the makeup promos look like. If it is cosmetics for care or rejuvenating, then we see a young girl with perfect skin, even if the cream is suitable for adult women.

The product (bottle or vial) is shown on the background or in the end of the video as well as the brand itself. There is no clear message for purchase, too, because this video increases the awareness of the product and brand, but does not stimulate to buy it right now at this link.

The point is that large brands do not care whether the buyer will buy the goods now from the brand shop or in any place later: the purchase will happen in both cases.

2. Advertising with a focus on naturalness

Displaying models with a minimum of cosmetics, ordinary people and imperfect bodies is a relatively new trend. It increases the loyalty of the audience to the brand and its awareness, but it does not stimulate buying here and now again.

3. Creative arts and videos

These are pictures, carousel and even videos with unusual animation with the product. Definitely, these images get more attention from the user, even if they do not stimulate to buy right now.

4. Cartoon graphics

Animated graphics is another interesting way to show the action and application of the product. It attracts attention and ensures the product and brand awareness, arouses interest and marks out these videos from the usual and boring advertising.

5. Presentation of a specific product

This is quite unpretentious: companies show a photo of the product + special offer + several product advantages are mentioned. Or just end up with the product demonstration. This is effective for the products that are advertised through other channels, and that are already known to customers and they want to buy them.

Sometimes they combine some points: for example, the product is presented with the animated graphics thereby attracting more attention of the audience.


Typical creatives for beauty offers: main characteristic

The following classification of typical beauty products creatives was made as the result of searching through spy tools and promo materials on popular beauty offers:

1. Demonstration of product use + quick effect

A girl (or a man, but beauty offers are most often aimed at women) shows the product and applies it. A clear wow effect is seen on the video: the difference between what was in the beginning and what happened in the end is obvious.

2. Hypertrophied beauty

This is a sound wow-effect, even if such a result is clearly impossible with the product. The text may not promise such an effect, but the promo is used to attract attention.

3. A product review in the first person

The product is shown live from all possible angles: it is held in the hands or applied. At the same time, the text tells about the advantages.

4. Compilation from brands promos and TV shops

The scenario is similar to the following: the product is shown, used, and then the result is displayed and the product is demonstrated again.

5. Before and after

Affiliates just love this approach and try to use it as much as possible in their promos, bypassing Facebook moderation. Brands don’t do that: they do not need to spoil their reputation in the advertising network.

Practice: compare the approaches, look for differences and evaluate the effectiveness
So, we’ve decided to test in practice some of the approaches of brands and affiliates on the EyeLash Serum offer on geo Italy.

The following strategies were compared with each other:

1. Displaying a self-confident girl

2. Advertising with a focus on naturalness

3. Creative arts

4. Videos combining affiliates’ approach and minimal graphic effects: collages, animation of results, moving text

What results have we received?

● The worst results were given by the creatives with an emphasis on the natural beauty (although this was corresponding to the theme of the Offer) and is often used by brands: the announcement gave the most expensive clicks and results: 17.15% more expensive than an ad with a focus on confidence, CTR is 1.34% lower.

● The emphasis on the confidence and bright effect of the product (in this case, serum) attracted more attention of users, but it had a low convert. Hence, we can conclude that such ads miss the message to buy here and now: users look and click, but do not rush to buy.

● Creative arts with the product were in second place in terms of performance after the combined video. CTR and cost per click were low, but so was the conversion rate.

● The combined promo had the best results for the set of indicators: click and lead price were very low, the CTR and CR were the highest.

This does not mean that you should not transfer the approaches from brand advertising, this only means that you need to carefully select the promos and do not copy the approaches but remake them. Then it will be easier to stand out among the other affiliates that drain on the same offers!

What in our view is worth taking from the brands for beauty offers creatives:

● short videos

● bright and unusual patterns, animated text

● interesting animation that does not distract from the product

● hypertrophied beauty to attract attention

● collages

● combining of photos, slide show and videos.

What approaches are not good for transferring into creatives on beauty offers:

● super high quality video that requires professional shooting and editing, as the videos made “with their own hands” evoke more confidence of users, they do not accept them as explicit advertising, and therefore buy more willingly

● complex animations and effects, as they distract from the product: we need to motivate the user to buy it but not the brand awareness

● demonstration of emotions without reference to the product effect: we need to get a quick purchase, but not the brand awareness

● use of naturalness and realism in promo: such creatives do not attract much attention so far despite the trends.

Sometimes brands’ advertising is effective only because it is created by this brand. That is, the publication by Sephora is viewed upon differently by girls than the same ads from a no name page. After these videos girls do not rush to order a specific product: it is beneficial for the brand to increase its recognition. But the same users will buy the product when they see it in the store. This approach does not work with traffic arbitrage: you can use the audience for retargeting, but this separate strategy for draining requires additional settings and costs.

And if you use these tricks to design your promo leaving a powerful incentive to buy, you can transfer your creativity to a new level. Go for it! :)

About the author: Nice to e-meet you 💚💜

We are Leadrock — no. 1 for those who are eager to move forward and want to work in the CPA market by their own rules. We have more than 200 Whitehat own products for European, Asian and Arab countries, as well as top CPA-market offers and approx up to 100% in some GEO. Exclusive offers blew up the local market, and now went beyond its borders.