Christie Brinkley Will Be Ultherapy’s Next Brand Ambassador… Here’s How to Adjust Your Marketing Efforts Accordingly
The concept of a brand ambassador has been utilized as a marketing tactic in some shape or form since the birth of mercantilism. It’s a winning strategy that’s worked for centuries to foster brand recognition and tribalism. As a technique for gaining public support, this type of influencer marketing has been entrenched in nearly every human institution from the beginning of civilization until now, working it’s way into religion, politics, consumerism, and everything in-between. And considering the sociological constructs of civilized societies, this approach makes a lot of good sense.
Influencers Throughout History
As members of a society, we are inherently influenced by other people or groups that are in greater positions of wealth, power, fame, or all of the above. This isn’t to say that all consumers are just “sheeple” flocking to whatever store or product that the next celebrity endorses. However, even the most stringently countercultural individuals are not immune to the influence of those that they look up to. In some way or another, we all have idols and we all want to emulate these idols to some degree.
For direct-to-consumer products, celebrity endorsements, brand ambassadors, and other forms of influencer marketing have always been somewhat of a no-brainer. With practically infinite purchasing options at the tips of our fingers, we consumers often struggle to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to buying stuff. Even if we won’t admit it, we’re more than happy to take a recommendation from a celebrity, athlete, politician, etc…
This alleviates the stress caused by the overabundance of consumer choices, while allowing us to feel like a member of the same group or “tribe” that our chosen brand ambassador is also a part of. We’re given an easy choice alongside the chance to belong to something bigger than us (even if it’s something as trivial as a sneaker brand). And the vast majority of consumers welcome this opportunity with open arms.
Endorsements as the Cornerstone of Cosmetics and Sportswear Marketing
There are practically no industries where this approach is more pervasive than sportswear and cosmetics. If Michael Jordan wears Nikes, most aspiring athletes (and “sneaker freaks”) will also want to wear Nikes. And if sales skyrocket due to that endorsement deal, doesn’t it make sense to start making signature Michael Jordan Nike shoes? See: Air Jordans. Let’s not even get started on the kid's movie "Like Mike”, where actor/rapper Lil Bow Wow (now just Bow Wow) literally obtains Michael Jordan’s athletic abilities from wearing his shoes.
When it comes to cosmetics, this concept of emulating a product’s brand ambassador is perhaps even more deeply-rooted in the average consumer's mindset. That’s because this industry is all about aesthetics and achieving a desired look. There is no source that individuals resort to more for ideas of how they should look than the realm of the celebrity. And for good reason...
Celebrities as Aesthetic Guides
A large portion of the celebrity class got to where they are because they were deemed beautiful or at the very least "easy-on-the-eyes”. Of course, the concept of someone being “objectively good-looking” is replete with conflict. However, even the most scrupulous of critics would concede that the majority of society almost unanimously agrees upon standards for beauty within the celebrity class.
We all look at Brad Pitt, Christie Brinkley, or the next “beautiful” celebrity and think to ourselves, “sure…that’s a good looking person.” And yeah, it’s difficult to know whether those ideas of beauty are something we’ve learned or been indoctrinated into, or if they are inherent to our judgments and sensibilities. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. We collectively recognize something beautiful in those individuals and then proceed to judge ourselves based on their aesthetic appearance. Then we think to ourselves, “if I looked more like Brad Pitt or Christie Brinkley, I might be better looking.” That’s the mindset that makes marketing with brand ambassadors and influencers so successful in the beauty and cosmetics industries.
Of course, anyone with a set of eyes and ears is keen on the use of influencers and brand ambassadors in direct-to-consumer cosmetic product sales. This is prevalent in everything from Covergirl mascara ads to smaller-time "Fit Tea” endorsements via Instagram stars. However, this approach has yet to take full flight in the world of aesthetic enhancements and plastic surgery.
Endorsements for Cosmetic Enhancements See Slow and Steady Growth
This is likely because most celebrities are weary to admit that they’ve undergone any form of aesthetic enhancement procedure. More often than not, it’s something that’s kept behind closed doors within the industry. The general public still isn’t very accepting or open to the concept of their favorite celebrities “having work done” or undergoing surgical enhancements.
Yet, as non-surgical medical spa treatments become more popularized, there is a slow building atmosphere of acceptance and even public promotion regarding cosmetic enhancements. Celebrities are finally beginning to admit and even endorse the use of Medspa treatments like Botox or CoolSculpting, the latter of which has seen tremendous success with their Debra Messing ambassador campaigns. Enter Christie Brinkley and her new Ultherapy brand ambassadorship.
As 2018 rolls in, Ultherapy has plans to launch a brand ambassador campaign with model/actress Christie Brinkley at the helm. This is a big play for Ultherapy, via their parent company Merz, and will likely have a trickle down impact on all Ultherapy providers, as well as Medspas in general. This move also highlights an increasing trend toward the utilization of high-profile influencers within the aesthetic enhancement industry. As big celebrities become more open about how they maintain their youthful, star-like appearance, treatment manufacturers and larger Medspas will continue to capitalize on their potential influence.
So where does that leave you and your practice?
Celebrity brand ambassadors for cosmetic enhancements are not all that easy to find. And when these opportunities do surface, they often come with ginormous price tags. So, incorporating “big ticket” stars into your marketing campaigns probably isn’t viable. However, the rise of social media influencers has created an affordable market for smaller-time endorsements more aptly suited to smaller businesses.
There are countless Youtubers, Instagrammers, and social media influencers of all sorts with highly engaged audiences within every conceivable range of volume. This means that somewhere out there, there is a Youtuber or Instagram influencer that would gladly endorse your Medspa for a reasonable and highly negotiable sum. Sometimes, all it takes is offering discounts or free treatments to achieve success with this form of small-time influencer-based marketing. And the celebrity-idolizing consumer mindset that works so well in larger cosmetic endorsement deals is entirely scalable and applicable to these small-to-midrange audience influencers. Their audiences, however small, still want to act like them, look like them, or at least purchase the same products/treatments as them.
Reap the benefits of larger manufacturer endorsements, i.e. Christie Brinkley and Ultherapy, while emulating these tactics on a smaller scale for your own practice.
Achieving success with social media influencers requires a savvy social media manager or marketing team member who understands how to reach out and connect with these small-time digital “celebs”. Entire endorsement deals can be negotiated and confirmed via direct messages on Instagram in some cases. Of course, adopting the proper voice and digital approachability is highly recommended prior to reaching out to any influencer. You need to meet them at their level, on their playing field, with an open-mind and the desire to build brand recognition through creative and unconventional means.
Using Celebrities in an Unofficial Capacity
Another tactic you can take is to utilize the indirect celebrity recognition method. This basically takes advantage of the search-ability and popularity of certain celebrities without formally communicating their brand ambassadorship. For example, you can have a content creator on your marketing team write a blog post that highlights the aesthetic appeal of a certain celebrity. You could even go so far as to suggest certain treatments that would help individuals achieve this given celebrity’s unique look or aesthetic presence.
We’ve used this approach in the past with the New Look Now treatment visualizer, demonstrating how specific procedures could make an average man look more like George Clooney and an average woman appear more like the Little Mermaid (without the tail of course). These are obviously meant to be fun, entertaining, and light-hearted pieces of content. They make use of the celebrity appeal without obtaining or even suggesting any form of actual endorsement. However, they do touch on the same consumer mindset that actual celebrity brand ambassadors are meant to appeal to.
Leverage Trickle Down Effect
In any case, you’ll want to take advantage of the trickle-down effect that the Christie Brinkley Ultherapy brand ambassador partnership will surely have on your Medspa's website traffic. You’ll also want to do the same with Debra Messing and CoolSculpting, as well as any other treatment manufacturer endorsements in existence. This means creating website content and other marketing campaigns that highlight these celebrities to your audiences and direct them toward conversions for those specifically endorsed treatment options.
As society becomes more and more accepting of cosmetic enhancements (even surgical ones), the opportunities for brand ambassador marketing will surely increase. This influencer endorsement approach has been a successful way for businesses, politicians, religions, and all forms of institutions to market themselves to the masses (as well as highly select target audiences) since the beginning of civilization. Influencers (large and small) are now becoming a hot ticket item for Medspa marketing and your practice would do well to not neglect this expanding trend.
New Look Now offers cosmetic enhancement practices, dermatologists, and orthodontic surgeons the opportunity to use our virtual treatment simulation tool to improve patient engagement, conversions, and retention. Our treatment visualizer has been proven to decrease no-show rates, improve consultation-to-treatment conversion rates, and boost overall revenue at an incredibly low cost to your practice. Click below to request a demo today!