Avon is a beauty brand that has gone through various makeovers through the years.
In the US, it has just launched a new marketing campaign as part of New Avon – the North American division that separated into its own private company last year.
Aiming to shed the antiquated image of the old ‘Avon Lady’, it is not only targeting consumers of the make-up brand, but a new generation of potential reps.
Here’s a closer look at the campaign as well as why it could be make or break for the brand.
A focus on recruitment rather than sales
While most beauty brands use marketing to increase product sales, Avon is using its new campaign to highlight its direct-sales model and to drive recruitment for the company.
The campaign is centred around an advert set to the Gloria Gaynor hit, ‘I Will Survive’.
However, this time, the song has been re-worked to fit the theme of entrepreneurial freedom and flexibility.
Highlighting the positive results of stepping away from a dull office role into life as an Avon representative, the chorus is replaced with the lyrics: “I’m a boss”.
While the ad comes across as slightly cheesy, it does succeed in getting the message across.
With sales of Avon products rapidly declining from 2007 to 2014 (see below graph), its first major campaign since being sold to private equity firm Cerberus needed to be bold.
What’s more, it needed to shake off the idea that being an Avon lady is old fashioned or a role reserved for middle class suburbia.
With the rise of the contingent workforce, as well as brands like Uber and Airbnb capitalising on the ‘experience-hungry’ consumer, it is hoping to follow suit and target a younger generation with a greater desire for flexible work.
Using mobile-optimised video
So, we can see who Avon is trying to target, but how exactly is the brand doing it?
Alongside traditional broadcast, print, radio and digital efforts, the campaign is heavily focused on mobile, with video ads being optimised for smartphones and used for pre-roll advertising.
This appears to be a deliberate attempt to target fans of beauty bloggers and vloggers.
The campaign will further roll out in the coming months, with dedicated Snapchat filters and other digital components.
That being said, Avon is keen to show that it’s not only going after millennials.
Further to the main ad, the campaign also includes promotional videos featuring real-life Avon representatives, including a mother, student and even a couple that has made their living from the brand.
Will it reinvent the brand?
While Avon’s latest campaign marks a new narrative for the brand, it remains to be seen whether it’ll help reverse its previous fortunes.
After all, its decline wasn’t only down to a lack of new recruits.
A lack of digital innovation has often been cited as one of the biggest factors, with both its ecommerce site and software to help reps move online failing to take off.
With competitors like Birchbox and Sephora putting digital at the very heart of their business models, it’s no surprise that Avon struggled to keep pace.
Now hoping to strike a balance between direct-sales and ecommerce, its new campaign is definitely a step in the right direction.
Whether or not consumers will be more receptive than before remains to be seen.