AbbVie's Botox rolls out the red carpet for real people in new documentary-style ads

No longer just for celebrities and socialites, Botox is putting real people in the spotlight for its latest campaign.

AbbVie’s new documentary-style Botox campaign switches up previous high-style ads to instead highlight—and connect with—everyday consumers. In the new series of video ads, styled like short films, an interviewer off-camera asks real Botox users how they really see themselves.

The goal for AbbVie's Allergan Aesthetics business? Open up "judgment-free dialogue" about people choosing aesthetic treatment for themselves.

The “See Yourself” campaign spotlights a range of average men and women from 31 to 52 years old and a variety of backgrounds.

Stephen, a 52-year-old makeup artist whose husband died, is a hopeful romantic and ready to find love again, while Monique, 41, is a single mom turning her attention back to herself after years of putting her children first. Yuhua, a 31-year-old drag performer, talks about their struggle to fit in at high school then discovering makeup and costumes and taking confidence from their drag character into the rest of their life.

What all the subjects do have in common is using Botox as a way to take care of themselves.

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Shot by well-known documentarian Errol Morris, the ads open film-style with a "Botox Cosmetic Presents" card. The subjects talk about their lives before Morris asks, “So, what do you see when you look at yourself?”

The prompt inspires each one to talk about who they see in the mirror and what they want for themselves. The TV ads end with a “Still You” reminder on screen.

It's a stark contrast to Botox's previous “Own Your Look” TV ads in early 2019, where vibrant, pretty young women went out on the town partying, exercising, working and living life out loud.

AbbVie started moving toward the real people aesthetic when it refreshed its brand identity back in November, adding diversity and real patients to the website.

“These stories are authentic, honest, and relatable and reflect that a Botox Cosmetic patient is likely someone you know," AbbVie said in a press release.

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“Our goal is that through authentic storytelling, people will connect with the brand and we can continue to foster a supportive, open, and inclusive space that is free from judgment about aesthetic treatment decisions,” said Carrie Strom, AbbVie senior vice president and Allergan Aesthetics global president.

When the pandemic first struck, the aesthetics industry suffered. But spending days staring at Zoom and their own reflections prompted many people to consider aesthetic treatments, creating a boomlet when lockdown restrictions loosened.

Along with Botox, AbbVie's aesthetics portfolio includes dermal filler Juvéderm, chin fat-cell treatment Kybella and fat freezing system CoolSculpting.