Modern Aesthetics | The Art of Branding
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The Art of Branding

Notable trends in the ethical marketing of cosmetic procedures, and the persistent threat of commoditization.

Botulinum Toxins Most Popular Non-Surgical Aesthetic Procedure

Botulinum toxins, accounting for 38.1 percent of all non-surgical procedures performed by plastic surgeons, continue to be the most common non-surgical cosmetic procedure worldwide. That’s according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, which just released its 2011 data. Here’s a look at the top procedures worldwide:

Plastic Surgery Marketing IncreasinglyMoving to Social Media

Social media is a growing communication tool for aesthetic surgeons, a new study finds (Aesthetic Surg J. 31(8): 972-976). Investigators evaluated and compared the prevalence of classic marketing methods and social media in plastic surgery by comparing and evaluating the web sites of aesthetic surgeons from seven major US cities, specially looking for the existence of Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace links and promotions. They also studied the trends of social networking memberships in each of the cities. In comparison to aesthetic surgeons practicing in other cities, those in Miami favored social media the most, with 50 percent promoting a Facebook page and 46 percent promoting Twitter. Also, 56 percent of New York City aesthetic surgeons promoted their featured articles in magazines and newspapers, whereas 54 percent of Beverly Hills aesthetic surgeons promoted their television appearances. An increase in the number of new Facebook memberships among cosmetic providers in the seven cities began in October 2008 and reached a peak in October, November, and December 2009, with subsequent stabilization.

The increase in the number of new Twitter memberships began in July 2008 and remained at a steady rate of approximately 15 new memberships every three months. The researchers expect continued growth in utilization of these networks to enhance practices and possibly to launch direct marketing campaigns. The authors also urge preserving professionalism and applying traditional Web site-building ethics and principles to these sites as essential.

UK SurveY: a Majority Would Turn Down Free Cosmetic Surgery

Most individuals participating in a recent UK-based survey would opt to grow old “gracefully” even if plastic surgery was offered free of charge, The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) recently reported. Of the 750 women polled in the beauty retailer survey, just 44 percent said they would opt for surgery. Interestingly, results suggested that younger individuals (18-to- 30-year olds) were most likely to consider surgery, whereas older individuals (55-plus years old) were most likely to not have surgery.

Smartphone Apps Potentially Useful in Practice

Investigators evaluated smartphone applications pertinent to plastic surgery for various factors, including popularity among general consumers, ease of use, and functionality. Using advertising guidelines from plastic surgery societies as well as the FDA, they examined each app’s content within the context of ethical obligations. Apps with the highest ratings were those offering the option to upload photos and morph each photo according to the user’s own preference. The title of apps also appears to play a role in popularity. The authors conclude that the role of smartphone apps is important to the future of plastic surgery as long as clinicians maintain an active role in their development to ensure value.

Web Ads And Female Beauty Ideal

Advertising on the Internet perpetuates the stereotypical ideal of feminine beauty, new research finds. (Journal of Adolescent Health 50(4): 339-345) Researchers examined advertisements from 14 websites popular with adolescents. Although a wide variety of products were featured, advertisements for cosmetics and beauty products were most common. Further, many products advertised (e.g., dating services, weight loss products, gambling games) might be considered inappropriate for teens. People who were a part of advertisements were generally female, young, thin, and attractive. Advertisements for games, weight loss products, and cosmetic and beauty products strongly focused on appearance and emphasized the thin ideal. Researchers concluded that adolescents’ exposure to numerous web advertisements that reinforce the importance of beauty and thinness could have a detrimental impact on their feelings about their bodies.