Beauty Study: Successful Beauty Ads Appeal to Women's Confidence; Samples Don't Hurt

10/22/2010 01:10 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Research has found that the most compelling beauty advertisements appeal to consumers' confidence rather than their insecurities -- free samples don't hurt, either, according to's 2010 Beauty Study.

The study also revealed that beauty products are considered a necessity, with over two-thirds of respondents willing to purchase products even while watching their budgets.

Conducted online in August, this study aimed to understand why consumers use beauty products; what influences purchasing decisions; what kind of beauty advertisements are most appealing; and what brands can do to attract new customers. It also looked at what emotions beauty products evoke in consumers.

The study revealed that beauty products are non-negotiable, regardless of budget, because consumers view them as an important part of life and necessary to help maintain their look and skin/hair health. Eighty percent of respondents plan to spend more or the same this year on skin, hair, male grooming, teeth whitening and cosmetic products.

Consumers also indicated that they use beauty products for the following reasons:

  • 69 percent of respondents use beauty products to make sure hair and skin always stay healthy.
  • 67 percent of respondents use beauty products to help solve specific skin and hair problems/concerns.
  • 59 percent of respondents use beauty products to maintain a certain look/style.
  • 55 percent of respondents use beauty products to look the best for their age.

The study also concluded that consumers prefer ads that appeal to their confidence, rather than to perceived insecurities.


The most compelling ads offer free samples or trials (cosmetics, 71 percent; skin care, 64 percent), printable coupons (cosmetics, 58 percent; skin care, 56 percent) and product information (cosmetics, 49 percent; skin care, 44 percent). (Full report.)