Prestige skin-care brand Murad embraces out-of-home advertising this summer as the advertising medium makes a steady comeback.
Starting Tuesday, Murad runs its first-ever Times Square billboard, plus 30 additional billboards in New York and Los Angeles. It is also investing in wild postings, connected TV ads and consumer-facing events held at Sephora stores during the second half of 2023. The ads support the brand’s fall campaign called “Not Your Ordinary Serums.” The serums featured are Retinal ReSculpt Overnight Treatment and Retinol Youth Renewal Serum. The ads contain a QR code that leads people to the landing page NotYourOrdinarySerums.com, where they can input their email to play a periodic table matching game. Prizes include 25% off their purchase, a year’s supply of serums, airline miles and travel-size Murad products. Overall, Murad is leveraging an expertise- and ingredient-focused narrative for the campaign.
“[This campaign is] definitely a different approach. … The social space has become so competitive, it’s [become more] interesting for us to think about how to advertise differently,” said Paul Schiraldi, CEO of Murad. “It’s the old-school reach and frequency media advertising strategy, but it works.”
According to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America’s latest data released in May, OOH advertising revenue increased by 1% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year, accounting for $1.82 billion. Digital OOH ads accounted for 31% of sales and increased 4.3% year-over-year. And the billboard category’s growth almost doubled that of the overall OOH category at 2% year-over-year. Schiraldi declined to specify what the Unilever-owned brand invested in the campaign but said its media spending for the second half of 2023 is double compared to last year. According to Unilever’s first half-year earnings, its Beauty & Wellbeing category grew underlying sales by 9.1%. Volume growth of 3.8% was led by continued double-digit growth in Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing and strong growth in Hair Care.
“Both [Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing] are now big-scale businesses, and they’re growing very quickly,” said Graeme Pitkethly, CFO of Unilever, on the July 25 earnings call. “It’s hard to estimate where to finish the year. But my rough mathematics [are that they’ll be] about €3.5 billion [$3.82 billion] of business.”
As a brand, Murad has incrementally expanded its marketing and advertising efforts year-over-year with bigger and bolder concepts. In 2019, Murad hosted a wellness-themed, three-city pop-up. It then followed up the wellness focus in 2021 with the launch of its digital publication, “Well Connected,” covering topics like stress reduction, self-care and nutrition. Earlier in 2023, Glossy reported on the brand’s active partnership strategy with four other companies, including wellness club Remedy Place and facial treatment brand Hydrafacial.
The Not Your Ordinary Serums campaign is billed as a top-funnel awareness driver, a common focus for Murad. In addition to driving sales, Murad is also looking to improve the perception of the brand and publicly communicate its points of difference. Not Your Ordinary Serums ads feature the tagline “Don’t be ordinary” and testimonial quotes from publications like Marie Claire and Us. The brand’s landing page states, “Discover the ultimate derm-approved formulas, including clinical-grade serums, moisturizers and more.”
“We’ve focused on bridging the gap between consumer needs with dermatologist-specific treatments and surfaces,” said Schiraldi. “After all of the different waves we’ve seen around skin-care regimens over the last couple of years, it feels like now is the right time to talk to consumers about why combining ingredients is so important.”