The first European television adverts to promote a 'cosmaceutical' product have been broadcast in the UK.
They feature Restylane, which is an injectable dermal filler that smoothes wrinkles around the mouth and nose. Its manufacturer Q-Med is looking to consolidate Restylane's market-leading position by building on a long-running press advertising campaign. Restylane is classified as a medical device, but it's also known as a 'cosmaceutical' because it straddles the cosmetic and pharmaceutical worlds. By far the best known brand in the field is Allergan's Botox, but it's used on a different area of the face to Restylane.
UK consumers spend more on cosmetic surgery than any of their European counterparts, and analysts Datamonitor predict UK spending will rise from £497 million in 2006 to £1.5 billion by 2011. The promotion of medical devices direct to consumers is permitted, unlike prescription medicines, opening up the possibility of mainstream advertising. Q-Med says it wants to take on established cosmetic creams marketed by the likes of L'Oreal and Oil of Olay, and claims Restylane offers superior and longer-lasting results.
The company launched its first UK television adverts in May with the help of creative agency Eurocom, and hopes to spread its message to an even wider audience. Colette Skilling, marketing director of Q-Med UK, said the product is poised to gain ground in the hugely lucrative and competitive anti-ageing market. She commented: "Restylane was the first dermal filler to market over 12 years ago and is now the leading dermal filler worldwide with over nine million treatments performed. "Our press advertising has been very successful over the years, but with research now showing increased consumer dissatisfaction with creams, we believed that the time was right as market leader to take the initiative and be first to television with a clinically proven and credible alternative."
Eurocom Healthcare Communications has worked with Q-Med for almost five years and has concentrated on consumer press activity and supporting communications with practitioners who provide the injections until now. Tony Chant, managing director of Eurocom, says Q-Med isn't looking to play the same game as the cosmetic giants, who use big budgets and celebrity endorsements to promote their brands. "It would be crazy to try and outspend these competitors, so we had to find an angle that would not only resonate with the concerns and aspirations of our target audience but one that we could also take ownership of."
The company has settled on what he calls a 'very focused positioning' of 'when creams are not enough and surgery is a step too far' - clearly defining a unique place for Restylane in customers' minds. Tony concluded: "We then had to ensure that the production values we attached to the advertisement reflected the quality of the brand and matched or surpassed that of the competitors already established in the medium."
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