You’re naturally gorgeous, so you don’t need any enhancements like contouring makeup, celebrity-backed potions or cosmetic procedures. While that might be true, says the star of a hilarious new ad, there’s no shame in a tweak here and there if it suits you.
And more to the point of the first campaign for a Chicago-based chain of medical treatment centers, there shouldn’t be any guilt involved.
In a long-form spot that takes direct aim at haters and critics of procedures like Botox injections, Images Med Spa challenges the stigmas and snide comments faced by its clientele.
The no-nonsense protagonist argues that #WokeUpLikeThis is a social media construct, one usually far from the truth. After a few hard seltzers and a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call from a screaming baby, she shows viewers how she really looks, and it’s not exactly runway ready.
On any given day for many women, there are products and processes like hair dye, bronzing powder and teeth straightening that go into the overall aesthetic, she says.
She’s not suggesting that females should try to look like an “alien race of social media cat lady sex dolls.” Or that anyone should bow to the patriarchy and the manufactured beauty-industrial complex.
But at the same time, “We should be able to look good without feeling like we’re making some back-alley arms deal on Soviet soil.” She says this while hiding behind a trench coat, oversized glasses and head scarf to run into her botox appointment.
The ad’s tagline is: “Let’s feel good about looking good.”
The work comes from Chicago startup Quality Meats, the agency behind one of the summer’s biggest viral stunts for beloved local restaurant Wiener’s Circle.
After that project went live—the famously sassy and profane hot dog stand offered “curbside abuse” per social distancing orders—Images Med Spa reached out to Quality Meats.
“We were a bit unsure about taking the job on,” said Gordy Sang, agency co-founder. “But based off our conversations, it seemed like they were ready and willing to do something bold for the category and to speak on behalf of it. We knew the risks, and actually that’s what was exciting about the opportunity.”
Images, with five Chicago-area locations and a staff of 70 women and two men, was looking for an empowering message.
“Beauty shouldn’t be defined by what anyone else thinks,” said Images design director Brittany Murawski. “It’s a feeling, and we’re the ones who feel it, so no one else should tell us how to accomplish it.”
And though lip liners, Brazilian blowouts and tinted moisturizers are deemed acceptable, Botox “crosses some invisible line of not being natural enough, which is silly because most things we do to look ‘naturally beautiful’ aren’t event natural,” said Lauren Langfield, Images’ vp of marketing, who noted that “clearing a few wrinkles is considered taboo.”
Quality Meats collaborated closely with the female-centric brand on the script, used a female producer and partnered with a women-led production company for the September shoot.
“When you think of med-spa advertising, most of it feels like something you’d see on the menu screen of a hotel room TV,” said Langfield. “We wanted to create something that can break through, feel relatable and approachable, and hopefully generate some real conversation.”
Judging by the early response, women agree with the 2-minute video’s myth-busting ethos. The social campaign, living mostly on Instagram, has racked up more than 500,000 views, with overwhelmingly positive comments and engagement. The work has boosted the spa’s Instagram following by 50%, with beauty influencers, various Housewives, Selling Sunset and Very Cavallari stars sharing and discussing it organically.