AbbVie taps 25 real consumers of Botox Cosmetic in 'See Yourself' campaign as rivals stack up

AbbVie’s Allergan Aesthetics unit earlier this year had its first-ever open casting call as it looked for a new Botox campaign that would comprise real people using its product as a cosmetic and boy, did it get noticed.

The pharma was inundated by nearly 20,000 submissions but has now whittled those down to just 25 real people “of all forms, genders, ethnicities and backgrounds,” it said in a press release. These 25 people are now the central part of AbbVie’s new "See Yourself" campaign for the cosmetic use of blockbuster Botox.

This campaign, run as a video series, is made up of intimate accounts from people speaking candidly about how they see themselves and their motivation for using Botox to help reduce frown lines. The newly released content includes testimonial footage and interviews with cast members before and after treatment (which are on YouTube), behind-the-scenes footage and self-filmed treatment diaries.

AbbVie found in a survey the pharma undertook last year that 83% of those who are considering using an aesthetic neurotoxin like Botox went on to use the product within a year, something that AbbVie saw as showing “people are curious about aesthetic treatments and want to learn more,” it said in the release.

So, in addition to sharing their stories, the cast also answered the 10 most common questions about Botox that people search online in what is called a “special content series” that will also appear online in the future.

“We were thrilled by the huge influx of responses we received to our open casting call in January of this year,” said Carrie Strom, senior vice president at AbbVie and president of Global Allergan Aesthetics, in the release.

“It was moving to see how Botox Cosmetic continues to impact so many lives across the country. Our mission continues to be rooted in showing up authentically, sharing candid, sincere stories and content highlighting our real patients' reasons for getting treated and how they feel about treatment.”

AbbVie nabbed Allergan and Botox in a $63 billion merger that was signed off on back in 2020.

The Big Pharma's latest campaign comes amid an upsurge in Botox marketing and a growing list of rivals that want to take a bite out of this market, which Botox currently leads. It made $5.3 billion in sales last year, though Botox also has several medical approvals.

Among AbbVie's competitors is Evolus, which got anti-wrinkle treatment Jeuveau approved in 2019. Analysts see Jeuveau as a $2 billion-a-year product at peak. Evolus revealed its campaign—“Switch Your Tox and Love Evolus Forever”—in July, with a focus on getting consumers to move from Botox to its product, which marks the first new neurotoxin approved for cosmetic purposes in 12 years.

There is also similar rival drug in the form of Revance’s daxibotulinumtoxinA. But the company has been hit with not one but two manufacturing citations, the latest coming just last month; however, it got a swift and surprising FDA approval in this month under the brand name Daxxify.