L'Oréal Hands Over the Creative Reins to Influencers Over 40

The beauty giant is the latest brand to address an age gap in the market

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Instagram can often feel like a carefully curated carousel of stylish, staged candids, travel reels set to high-octane music and memes. Millennials or Gen Zers, which account for two-thirds of the app’s 1.2 billion users, are usually the culprits.

With influencer spend set to reach $32.5 billion according to Statista, and the majority of these budgets still going to Instagram, brands are keen to capitalize on these eyeballs turning to young influencers to help drive sales. However, by ignoring an older demographic, marketers are missing a trick. According to Hootsuite, around 13% of Instagram’s audience is aged 45 and over, while Gen Xers are the fastest growing group of any users on the app.

L’Oréal Paris is the latest brand to address this gap in the market with a campaign for its Age Perfect Rosy Oil-Serum, enlisting 10 influencers aged 45 to 84 to promote the product.

Created in partnership with influencer agency Billion Dollar Boy, the push is targeting the Nordics, including Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. It launched at the end of 2022 with Instagram Reels, images and Story sets. The creative features close-up shots of each creator, accompanied by voiceovers involving self-affirming “love letters” from the influencers to themselves and their skin.

Talent ranges from to 65-year-old blogger and model Susanne Histrup to Finnish entrepenuer and author Merja Mähkä.

Gabriella Ostrenius, Nordic social brand lead at L’Oréal Paris, told Adweek: “Many anti-aging brands promote the narrative that older women are focusing on trying to get rid of wrinkles. But, with the launch of our Rosy Oil-Serum, we want to celebrate and encourage the attitude of positivity, confidence and self-love that our audiences already feels about themselves—no matter what their age.”

She said the launch aligned with L’Oréal’s “age-inclusive” brand values, part of its diversity and inclusion commitment.

A fresh approach to influencer marketing

Supported by paid media, the influencer campaign will be measured on its ability to build awareness for the Age Perfect range. General sales, along with Instagram swipe-up purchases, will also be key metrics.

Suzanne Stal, business director at Billion Dollar Boy, said the strategy had been paying off following some initial posts in November.

“To date, we have reached over 1.2 million people, exceeding our KPI by 450%, delivering almost 4 million impressions and achieving an engagement rate of 2.5%,” she said.

Stal added that the diverse cohort of influencers was given parameters for content creation, but also “creative license to approach the brief in their own way.”

The French-founded fashion brand isn’t the only one to turn to older influencers over younger models; 76-year-old actor and singer Cher was appointed as an ambassador for luxury fashion house Balmain in 2022. Elsewhere, 92 year-old Helen Vanwinkle Honey (aka “Baddie Winkle”) has collaborated with brands ranging MGM to Sephora.

According to a 2021 report from the International Longevity Centre’s report, people aged 50 and over now account for about 28% of the G20 population—a figure predicted to increase to about 35% by 2035.

Despite a growing presence and more spending power than their younger counterparts, older generations have reported feeling misunderstood and ignored by brands. A 2021 study from advocacy organization AARP found that 62% of older people feel ads have unrealistic representation of the over 50s. Forty-seven percent agreed that when ads did feature older people, they simply reinforced negative stereotypes.

The same research revealed that women over 50 were disillusioned with beauty brands in particular, with 61% saying big, traditional companies were “only looking to make a profit” while 87% said wished beauty and personal grooming had featured more “realistic” images of women their age.

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