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Multi-channel beauty communication Communication and cultural changes in the personal care business



*Corresponding author

Connexia, Via B. Panizza 7, 20144, Milano, Italy


Twenty years of communication evolution in the personal care sector have seen us go from glossy covers to worldwide digital communication. Personal care is debated on social networks today, it has been “normalised”, has become interracial and multicultural, falling well apart from the iconic, never-changing beauty standards of past TV commercials. Brands now seek to establish a “democratic relationship” with consumers; brand promotion becomes conscious participation.

When we think to the ‘90s, those years really looked like the height of the “glossy cover” culture, a way of interpreting personal care that was pre-set and individualistic. We tended to chase unreachable models and engaged constantly in trying to translate and apply the iconic beauty canons we were offered to our everyday life.

Through the main communication channels, which today we refer to as “traditional” - press, TV, radio, the relationship between the brand and the consumer grew in one way only and the target, the consumer, passively acknowledged the promotional message, which was built and conveyed in a way that did not allow recipients to actively participate in the communication process.

In the last decade of the twentieth century, communication in personal care was full of expectations to be met, committed to reaching an exclusively female target, who was offered a sculpted-face beauty model, ice-cold women conceived as inaccessible icons, almost unreal, with the aim of offering the most attractive brand image possible, which promised everything a women could wish to aspire to a sort of beautiful treasure box one might succeed in ...

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