Cover Girl Cosmetics

Why Cover Girl is one of the most successful cosmetic organizations since the 1960’s?

Cover Girl cosmetics have been the top-seller since 1961 and are still going strong. It is hard, with all the advanced lines of make-up for one product to go as far as Cover girl has, so how does Cover Girl cosmetics do it? A lot of Cover Girl’s strong, on going successes are due to changing the look of the product, exceptional promotions which the public can’t look over, giving a cosmetic appeal to both older and younger aged women and most importantly by using near perfect women and teens to model their products.

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Although it’s wonderful that Cover Girl has been and still is so successful, it has put a dentation in today’s society in what women’s appearance should and shouldn’t be. Women and young adolescence are confused of what their appearance should be. Cover Girl has many famous models; one inparticular is the famous country singer Faith Hill. Faith is tall, skinny, and flawless. When women see models like her doing the advertising for Cover Girl, they automatically feel that they should look the same. Later in this paper I will go into semiotics which derives from the Greek word semeion meaning sign, it basically describes how people interpret different signs, such as models, and how these signs might effect one’s life and self-esteem.

Proctor & Gamble are the owners and starters of Cover Girl cosmetics. To keep up the success of Cover Girl they must keep on top of the advertising game to stay above the competitors. To do this they do many promotions, some include using famous singers, changing displays, giving away samples and one of the most important advertisement of all is the models Cover Girls incorporates in their ads.

Cover Girls did one promotion with Target stores to promote their product. They used the famous group 98 Degrees to make a sweepstakes called, “Fall in Love with 98 Degrees Sweepstakes.” The grand prizewinner of this sweepstakes is an appearance in the new 98 Degrees music video. This advertising doesn’t just take place in the Target stores; it also takes place in Teen magazine, stickers on the new 98 Degrees CDs, a national radio campaign, and the national Teen People magazine. Because it’s teens that mainly listen to the music that 98 Degrees produces, it’s the teens that this particular promotion is focused on. I see inside this advertisement that this might make teens feel that if they used Cover Girls products then and only then would they be worthy for such a wonderful experience. Young girls know that such a group as 98 Degrees doesn’t want an “ugly girl.”

Other promotions include things that we wouldn’t think mattered like store displays. Cover Girl cosmetics spruce up store displays at least once a month. That’s a lot of stores and work, but Cover Girl is planning on staying on top so they spend the money, which is about $63 million in ad support every year. In doing the changes in store displays they promote their new colors and new products to the public, keep in mind they do so mainly through the “perfection” of their models. The young and old want to stay on top of the new fashion trends, so promoting their new colors will always be a success and Proctor & Gamble is aware of this.

Also, with the $63 million spent on advertising every year, Cover Girl cosmetics sends samples in the mail and posts samples in cooperation with different magazines such as Elle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and these are just a few. The samples are focused upon the age groups of the readers and mail recipients. Proctor & Gamble is making mammoth changes everyday offering something for everyone. Trial size versions of Tinted Moisturizer will go to teenagers, while All Day Foundation samples will go to the older customers. Although Cover Girl has a large affect on teenagers, it’s proven they sell more products to women over 30 years of age.

Cover Girl has one of the largest mass lines in terms of items, with an estimated 800+ SKUs.

One other important advertisement Cover Girl uses is teaming up with different magazines to promote their products. In 1992 Cover Girl teamed up with YM magazine to promote their products. This special edition of YM was called “Love Special.” This particular promotion stayed on the newsstands for three months. Mark Clemens did the research for the title and said this was the most rated story line, love. These three months are crucial to YM and to Cover Girl, because they do a lot of surveys that help Cover Girl and YM stay on top of things and give the readers what they want. To show how much Cover Girl put into this promotion, they had 20 pages of advertisements in this one magazine.

Cover Girl has used many forms of advertisements. The one that interested me the most was when they teamed up with NIKE to combine total brand and individual product advertising. In doing this Nike and Cover Girl got together and made one commercial that focussed on Nike and on Cover Girl cosmetics. This was a smart move considering Nike is the top name brand of sneakers and Cover Girl is one of the top brands in the cosmetic division.

Cover Girl also has holiday promotions in advertising. One of the fun promotions is for Halloween. This Halloween promotion features Crackle Lacquer, a nail polish that creates “cracked designs” and Pure and Magic Body Art which is a cream-to-powder body paint. These products are not only placed in the cosmetic isles of the stores; it’s also placed with the general merchandise to generate maximum impulse sales.

One of the main reasons Cover Girl is so successful is the models they hire to wear and promote their product. Some include Faith Hill, the country music singer, Monica, the pop rock singer, and just famous models such as Nikki Taylor and Sarah Thomas. All in all these models all are built the same. Their tall, thin, have perfect hair and a flawless complexion. What is sad is that many teens think that they should also convey this appearance which is almost impossible. It really doesn’t matter how many Cover Girl products you purchase, you can’t have you face and body perfect, and no one is perfect. In the magazines and advertisements on television they use something-called airbrush and special affects. In magazines they airbrush all the flaws from the models by covering them. In the television commercials they use special affects to make their bodies look perfect by using other peoples body parts on the model.

One of advertising’s “unintended effect” is the impact of highly attractive models have on young women’s self-esteem and the social comparison theory as framework. One of the main concerns our society is the plight of female pre-adolescents and them receiving less attention than boys in the classroom, unrealistic expectations often judged by their physical appearance. There are more cases of bulimic and anorexics today than their used to be and some people blame this on advertising and the models that are used. Some of the rich girls get liposuction, but the others make themselves sick trying to look like, “what they should look like.”

Advertising is beginning to create a “sense of inadequacy” on women’s self-conception. Many feel that the media throws a large part of this on women because of reinforcing a preoccupation with physical appearances.

Physical attractiveness begins to bother pre-adolescent girls beginning in the fifth grade. At this age, young women derive their self-concept primarily on physical appearance. Television and magazine articles show the type of appearance that is nearly impossible for one to portray. The social comparison theory is a big issue today for men and women of all ages, due to advertising in/on television and magazines.

The primary function of advertisement, we know, is to introduce a wide range of consumer good to the public and thereby support the free-market economy. This is obviously not its only role. Advertising is also used to manipulate people in to buying into a new way of life.

Semniotics, a term that derives from the Greek work semeion meaning ‘sign.’ A sign in anything that portrays a certain meaning to different people. The way something is signified is the mental concept in which something is portrayed. I feel that semniotics is used everyday in advertising. Using models like Cover Girl does portrays a meaning to many adolescents that they should look like the models do. Because this is physically impossible, it will never happen, therefore Cover Girl will always sell their product to those who will always want to look the “way they should” according to magazines and television.

Why is Cover Girl one of the most successful cosmetic lines since the 1960’s? This again was the question and the answer is: Cover Girl helps people to make themselves what their not and what they will never be. This is sad but true. Cover Girl is also very successful because of their unique forms of advertising and promotions. Contacting certain audiences which is their main target during different promotions is a wonderful way to go.

Understanding advertising will better help you understand yourself and make you realize whom you really are and whom you will always be no matter how many cosmetics you buy.

Works Cited
By: Heather Hale

Adweek, L.P. “Cover Girl to sponsor a special June issue of YM on topic
relationships.” Mediaweek 26 April 1993 v3 n17 p4 (1)

Adweek, L.P. “Cover Girl Sweepstakes Ties to Target Stores.” Brandweek
26 July 1999 v40 i30 p1.

Adweek, L.P. “Makeover for Makeup.” Brandweek 6 Sept. 1999 v40 i33

Cosmetics International Cosmetic Products Report, “Cover Girl Bolsters it’s
Foundation.” July 1999 v15 i174 p11., “Sarah Thomas.” XMCM/faith/news.htm, “Faith Hill.” “Semiotic Analysis.”

Progressive Grocer, “Wicked for Halloween.” Oct. 1999 v78 i10 p122
Sloan, Pat. “Cover Girl Pays Attention to Both Brand and Product.”
Advertising Age 3 March 1997. v68 n9 P12 (1).

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