Social media has given the public unprecedented access to the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Via posts, we can find out stars’ seemingly genuine opinions on the salons they’re visiting and the products they’re using.
Millennials, who are inherently distrustful of corporate advertising campaigns, are particularly likely to view social media posts as more authentic. And when the product endorsement comes from a celeb, it has even greater influence.
In fact, one in four British adults say their purchases are directly influenced by celebrities. According to an online study, conducted in February by OnePool for finance company Zopa, Brits are spending more than £6bn annually in a bid to emulate their favourite stars. Instagram was shown to be the most influential channel and 18–24 year olds were found to be the most affected by the famous, with 57% having made celebrity-influenced purchases in the past year.
Phoebe Cowley, marketing and events manager at 3D-lipo, which has a celebrity following for its range of non-surgical face and body treatments, explains how stars often contact the brand to offer support.
“We have previously worked with well-established PR agencies to secure working relationships with celebrities. Quite often, the celebrity is already having treatment, so they already know how it feels, and are thrilled with their results.
The PR company will work with the celebrity, drawing up a contract that lists an agreed amount of PR activity to ensure the brand can get maximum value and exposure from it for clinics that offer 3D-lipo treatments.
“Our aim when doing any form of celebrity PR is to create brand awareness to raise demand for treatment to the consumer, which then links back to the clinic finder on our website, with the specific aim of driving business through the doors of our clinics throughout the country”, says Cowley.
Dean Nathanson, managing director of CACI International, agrees that celebrity endorsement has greatly impacted the brand’s marketing, driving consumers directly through the doors of partner salons.
“The support from celebrities has immensely helped our marketing campaigns, encouraging loyalty to CACI International that has in turn benefited the revenue throughout salons by driving consumers through the doors to experience treatments”, he explains.
Over the next pages, three beauty business owners describe how they have benefitted from celebrity associations to the brands they carry.
THE COVE SPA GROUP
BRAND CELEBRITY AMBASSADORS: Coleen Rooney, Amy Childs, Danielle Armstrong, Patsy Kensit, Gemma Collins and Olivia Bowen
The Cove Spa group is a thriving chain of beauty clinics, with venues in Hitchin, Chiswick, Finchley and St Albans. Owned by Krupesh and Vikee Patel since 2012, it employs 30 staff and offers a comprehensive range of therapies from injectables to nutritional therapy.
The 3D-Ultimate machine, which provides non-surgical fat removal, treatment of cellulite and skin tightening for both face and body, is available at all of Cove’s branches.
“We conducted significant research in the area of advanced technological treatments and finalised our partnership with 3D-lipo in December 2017”, explains Vikee Patel. “After launching it in one site and experiencing great results, we purchased the Ultimate machine for all four of our branches.”
The 3D-lipo treatments have received vast media coverage. Coleen Rooney turned to the brand to help her shift post-baby weight, while former TOWIE stars Amy Childs and Danielle Armstrong have championed the brand as a safe alternative to invasive surgery in the Dying To Be Beautiful campaign.
Patel says the brand’s ambassadors definitely shaped their decision to work with 3D-lipo. “UK consumer buying behaviour is heavily influenced by celebrity endorsements and social media influencers. 3D-lipo has experienced massive growth, backed by celebrities, so you’re not just buying a machine when you work with them, you’re buying into a recognised brand”, she says.
“Customers like brand endorsements, especially when they can clearly see the technology demonstrate real results. It’s a win-win formula in my view.” Following celebrity media coverage, 3D-lipo has a strong “call to action” policy to entice potential clients to find their nearest clinic. “We always guarantee that the brand name and treatment are featured within any celebrity press, and also a link to our clinic finder, so that clients are directed towards a clinic in their local area to g for treatment”, explains Cowley.
3D-lipo also shares any press exposure on its website and social media and encourages its clinics to share so that they can act on a local level to create demand in their area.
“The great thing about social media is that it provides the perfect platform to enable us to quickly get the word out about the latest celeb or press feature, which clinics can then filter out to their own client databases while it’s still current”, says Cowley. Patel is convinced that treatment sales in his business would have been slower without such marketing support. “The brand’s marketing aids and our own before-and-after images have really helped drive treatment sales”, explains Patel, who uses the material across all the Cove Spa’s own marketing platforms.
“We’ve only been with 3D-lipo for a year, across all of our sites, and the machines have been paid off nearly two times over.”
BRAND CELEBRITY AMBASSADORS: Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Kim Kardashian, Aisling Bea, Laura Whitmore, Linda Evangelista, Sadie Frost and Rochelle Humes
The Seduire London clinic is a family-run medispa in its fifth year of operation. It has three treatment rooms and six staff members. The clinic has been offering a full range of CACI facial treatments since its inception.
CACI’s non-surgical facelift and rejuvenation treatments have been advocated by A-list celebrities across the globe. So much so that the brand says singer Jennifer Lopez has even purchased her own machine. Seduire owner Pamela Kennedy says she came across CACI when searching for an alternative to injectables or other invasive anti-ageing treatments.
“Before we opened, I hadn’t heard too much about CACI but I knew I wanted to go down the road of non-invasive treatments for people who didn’t want injectables, so I started researching brands. Once I started Googling, I saw endorsements by J-Lo and Michelle Collins. There were so many iconic stars representing the brand, which compelled me to look further into CACI”, she says. “Then I found out what the machine could do and how many treatments you can perform with it and I fell in love with it.”
Kennedy says that the majority of her CACI clients were attracted by the coverage of the brand in the media. “People come in to us and ask about CACI because they’ve seen that Michelle Collins has used it”, she says. “When the stars say they have treatments, the public feel that they can attain the same look because the treatment is affordable and not out of their reach. It instills trust. They also know stars wouldn’t risk their reputation by advocating something that doesn’t work.”
Nathanson says CACI has never paid for any celebrity or influencer endorsements. “Due to the uniqueness of our microcurrent treatment, CACI connects with celebrities who receive treatments organically and they provide images and quotes for us and to publications.”
The brand has a portal, so accounts can log in and access marketing media to upload to various platforms. Kennedy use CACI’s marketing collateral across all Seduire’s social media platforms. A CACI profile book is also available in Seduire’s reception, which features news snippets of celebrity coverage.
“It’s a good way to explain the treatment, without getting too technical”, says Kennedy. “Celebs are on telly every day and customers can see they can achieve these looks.”
THE BEAUTY CENTRE, ESSEX
BRAND: LASER LIPO
BRAND CELEBRITY AMBASSADORS: Lisa Snowdon, Cara de la Hoyde, Nathan Massey, Gail Porter and Samantha Fox
The Beauty Centre has been established as a medispa in Braintree, Essex, for 20 years. It has seven treatment rooms offering an array of beauty and aesthetics therapies.
Pauline Hume, senior aesthetic practitioner at The Beauty Centre, purchased Strawberry Lift after experiencing a successful demo, and within just six weeks of receiving delivery of their first machine, decided to order a second unit.
“Strawberry Lift’s Silent Ultrasound has rapidly taken over HIFU treatment for the lower face and being pain free, unlike HIFU, encourages more people to try the treatment”, she says. “It takes just 30 minutes and both our machines are usually booked out, especially between 12pm and 2pm, as this is now being called the new ‘lunchtime lift’ among our clients.”
Hume says that the celebrity endorsement helped bring the treatment to her attention, and the same applies for the public. “We have a huge number of people coming to us specifically for a Strawberry Lift after seeing the celebrity ambassadors talk about the treatment and reading about it in the press”, she adds.
In addition to Strawberry Lift’s national PR campaign, the brand supplies accounts with leaflets and banners. “I do think celebrities make the public take notice of an ad – even if it’s just out of curiosity”, says Hume. “What we’ve found really useful is the wide range of celebrities who endorse the product. This helps us promote it to various demographics, male and female.” Laser Lipo director Sharon Cobley explains the brand’s choice to work with an assortment of celebrities. “Our fantastic PR agency Alex Silver PR specifically chooses celebrities that we know will respond to the treatment so that they are a genuine fit. When strong results are shown, clients can visibly see the benefit of our technology.”
She says results tend to be particularly good for men so the brand was keen to have at least one male ambassador to show off a chiselled jawline. Love Island star Nathan Massey was on a mission to get fitter, which he’d posted about on social media, but was struggling with his double chin. “With many people following his journey, Nathan is great at showcasing how to reduce fat around that area without surgery or needles”, says Cobley. Meanwhile, Lisa Snowdon, Gail Porter and Samantha Fox all target more mature women who want Strawberry Lift to help with signs of ageing.
Hulme says this type of marketing has given her clients trust and confidence to try the treatment. “Having the machine endorsed by well-known celebrities and having their before-and-after pictures posted in the media means that people are confident in the treatment and the results it gives.” PB