December 5, 2022

Cl Youth Theatre

Fashion, The needs of women

Campaign Trail: Laura Geller turns tables on classic holiday ads to address ageism

Campaign Trail is our analysis of some of the best and worst new creative efforts from the marketing world. View past columns in the archives here.

Laura Geller Beauty on Dec. 2 unveiled its latest campaign with a lighthearted film designed to address ageism and society’s fixation on anti-aging. In “Let’s Get Old Together,” former supermodel Paulina Porizkova — known for her candid chatter online about age discrimination — appears in scenes crafted to debunk the notion that beauty is tied to youth.

The 56-year-old relaxes near a pool and says, “Mature, advanced, middle-aged. Let’s just say it. I am getting older. And what’s wrong with that?” Throughout the 50-second spot, Porizkova portrays an experienced corporate boss and a fitness enthusiast, noting that “older is experienced. Older is powerful.”

Building on its work with actress and spokesperson Fran Drescher, the brand is refining its marketing strategy while continuing to celebrate the beauty that comes later in life, according to director of brand marketing Sara Mitzner.

“There’s so many scenarios in life where youth is put on a pedestal. Our idea was to lean into juxtaposition in the different scenes to show that age comes with some confidence,” she said.

Shifting after a sale

“Let’s Get Old Together” is a digital- and social-focused effort, appearing on the brand’s social channels as well as Porizkova’s. Promoted content on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube will extend the campaign’s reach over the next 90 days, wrapping up around the brand’s spring campaign launch in April.

In the years leading up to this week’s campaign debut, Laura Geller had done some significant soul-searching, including a revamp to its brand identity spurred by a change in ownership.

“Before the sale in February 2019, the brand was expanding into mass retail spaces, so there was a push as a response to being in those retailers to try to grasp the younger customer,” Mitzner said. “Part of being in mass retail is, of course, getting a mass number of customers — not just speaking to a certain niche.”

Following the sale to AS Beauty in 2019, Laura Geller drew insights about its core fanbase through market research. Rather than merely refreshing the brand’s look to woo new and younger customers — a common approach for beauty companies during a rebrand, per Mitzner — the market research pointed to a core customer base of middle-aged women.

“We’ve seen a lot of inclusive campaigns recently, which is a really great thing. But there hasn’t really been one that’s been focused on older women or a brand that focuses on women over 40 like we do,” Mitzner said.

Those insights kicked off a fresh approach for the brand, centered around simplicity and confidence. One remodeled website and an entirely new messaging strategy later, the brand doubled down on owning its niche in 2021 by pledging to feature only women above 40 in all of its future marketing materials.

When conceptualizing the “Let’s Get Old Together” effort, the in-house team behind the beauty brand continuously returned to the idea of juxtaposition.

“We started by saying, ‘How can we tell this story about confidence and about how great it is to get older, and what a privilege it is to get older?’ We came up with an idea to do it in showing an older woman in scenes you typically see younger people in,” Mitzner said.

Porizkova was a natural fit for the campaign beyond her long career in fashion and modeling, per Mitzner. She embodies Laura Geller’s message due to her social media conversations about ageism and unrealistic beauty standards, circulating the hashtag #NoBotoxNoFillers.

Contrasting with typical holiday ads

This time last year, Laura Geller’s marquee campaign focused more on product through holiday makeup tutorials tied to the Broadway show “Jagged Little Pill.” Actors from the show performed an original song composed for the brand’s campaign in a series of short video clips. A charitable aspect rounded out the “Beauty-n-Broadway” effort, with Laura Geller donating to Save our Stages, an organization that helped to support the Broadway community as stages were shuttered during the height of the pandemic.

“There’s so many scenarios in life where youth is put on a pedestal. Our idea was to lean into juxtaposition in the different scenes to show that age comes with some confidence.”

Sara Mitzner

Director of brand marketing, Laura Geller

Laura Geller, the founder of her titular beauty brand, launched her career doing makeup for Broadway shows. By nodding to her roots, 2020’s “Jagged Little Pill” push marked one of the first steps in the beauty brand going back to basics in simplifying its marketing strategy.

Fast forward to this December, the Laura Geller brand is looking to contrast with typical holiday campaigns from rival cosmetics makers and other women-focused categories, Mitzner said. The push is designed to layer onto the brand’s past work and dovetail nicely with future efforts around combating ageism.

“We see a lot of holiday campaigns from other beauty companies with sexy makeup and bold campaigns this time of year. Holiday doesn’t necessarily have to mean special looks or extreme makeup, so we wanted to stand out among what a lot of other brands are doing this time of year.”