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  • Dalia Rubinowicz

Advertising Trends in the Digital Age: The Beauty Industry

Beauty is a social construct based on trends of the time and place. Nowadays, with the presence of social media, certain beauty standards can be broadcasted far and wide for billions of viewers to see. This may not be the most productive for young impressionable children, but it provides a gold mine for advertisers to exploit. Since technology is so innovative and has such a wide grasp, the beauty industry is especially taking advantage of it with some of their most up and coming advertising trends.

First off, here’s how the beauty industry has manifested itself in a digital setting using one single word: Influencers.

As we all know or refuse to admit, both Millenials and Gen Z spend a lot of time scrolling mindlessly on Tiktok. I will spare everyone the reality check of how many hours on average exactly, but we can all recognize the current hold it has on our society. Without even realizing, we are exposed to, as some may call it, the “Influencer Effect”.

They are paid to name drop various different brands in such a casual, effortless manner that we, the consumers, are taking in all of these brand names and product information without even realizing. This is not just exclusive to Tiktok, however. Other social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and more house a lot of this content as well. It is safe to say that the idea of being an influencer has become a type of art form-casually folding your endorsements into your regular social media content. According to Harvard Business School, 67% of beauty shoppers get their product information from social media influencers, as seen in the graphic below.

These influencer relationships can even lead to brand partnership if an influencer has an affinity for a particular product and builds a strong relationship with the product’s brand. An example of a success story from an influencer who built up her own beauty empire would be the one and only Kylie Jenner. She began endorsing other beauty products, later starting her own makeup brand that has now acquired a skincare line, and is still growing. She is now the youngest self-made billionaire, at 21 years old. All personal opinions aside, anyone can admire her success from a far. Kylie Jenner herself attributed her own prosperity to one thing and one thing only- the power of social media.

Other trends in the beauty industry that have rendered themselves very successful, and can also be attributed to technology, include virtual and augmented reality experiences.

These technologies have partnered with beauty companies in order to create a software that allows people to scan their faces and “try on makeup” digitally in order to get a feel for how a certain makeup product will look before purchasing it. Sephora Visual Artist is one of the many programs that offers this technology to their current or potential customers.

Another program has also been created that serves as a “skin analysis tool” that identifies any patterns or issues for each and every skin type. A skincare brand from Malaysia called Nutox started a partnership with Ministry XR, an advanced technology company, in order to bring this idea to life. Due to such ideas, certain companies now have the ability to expand their horizons and begin to market themselves not only as competitors in the beauty industry, but the technology industry as well.

One of the many wonders of technology is that any purchase can be made within a number of seconds, just one click away. The appeal of this is almost sad, as we have become hermits who are too lazy to change out of our pajamas and slippers to head out to a physical brick-and-mortar store. Once again, who knows what long term effects this can have on our society, but it is a surefire advantage for digital marketing.

For this reason, beauty subscription services have been one of the latest and greatest trends within the industry.

For beginners especially, subscription services can be a good place to start for someone who wants to acquire a specific makeup or skincare routine. These companies send a box of different sample-size products every month to their subscribers. They also bring attention to many different brands and help with product discovery, all at the convenience of the consumer. This provides a more personalized experience for each customer and gives them something to look forward to every month. Examples of popular beauty subscription brands include Birchbox and Ipsy. They keep the beauty industry fresh and interesting, with all of the necessary technology at the customer's fingertips.

All in all, new technology is helping to expand the capabilities of advertisers beyond what anyone could have imagined. Going hand in hand with current advertising trends in the beauty industry including influencer marketing, virtual and augmented reality experiences, subscription services, technology seems to be the future for advertising, and not just in one industry. Since companies want to stay relevant with consumers and amongst their competition, they all aspire to have at least a minimum amount of tech-savviness. Whether just a click or a post away, the beauty industry is now more accessible than ever, so you can just sit back and plan your new skincare regimen or next makeup look with this free time.

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