Acne.

There is a full out war in the acne treatment industry with three contenders vying for your money. As an admittedly too old MTV viewer (I’m just outside of their core 18-24 demo at old 26 years), I am forced to sit through acne spot one after another every spot break on all three MTV channels I have (MTV, MTV2, MTV Hits).

After Proactiv came to market and became the over the counter acne leader, the traditional skin care brands have had to rally back for their position. While Proactive remains strong, two traditional skin care brands are hot on their heels (at least they’re trying to compete through the advertising efforts).

Proactive- “Celebrities use us, so you want to buy us”

They always have a slew of B and sometimes A list celebrities talking about how awful they looked and thanks to Proactiv they now look amazing.

Clean & Clear- “You’re best friend uses us, so its kind like we’re best friends too.”

I’m really impressed by the recent efforts put forth by Clean & Clear advertising. The spots start with two girls sitting on a couch discussing their former problems with acne and their love for Clean & Clear. A stream of real life girls come on screen and talk about how much their looks and life improved with the use of Clean & Clear. This brand has the advantage of being a familiar name to both the girls they are going after and the parents that will actually buy the product. However, with the targeting specific to teenage girls they’re missing out on the male and adult demos that Proactiv also features in their spots.

Skin iD- “We’ll create a specialized skin care treatment for you, because you’re special dammit!”

Hayden Panettiere is the face of Neutrogena’s acne treatment line of Skin iD (yep its a little “i” in “iD” because its for the iPod generation). These spots direct you to go to the website to find out your Skin iD based on a series of questions. The Skin iD relates to a trio of products that become your treatment regime. The core of this is that it is customized to your skin type, activity level and even where you live. I mean who wants anything off the shelf these days?! I’m too unique for Proactiv and I’m too independent for Clean & Clear.

The site is streamlined and clean, easy to navigate and the questionnaire is simple. Plus you can create a login (because you’re special) and it has a forum area to learn more and discuss your acne stories.

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