Evolus leads with beauty, not pharma, in direct-to-millennial strategy for upstart Jeuveau

Evolus is forgoing pharma for beauty in its recently announced strategy for neurotoxin Jeuveau. The company is directly targeting millennials, a key emerging aesthetic sector, with a beauty-first approach.

Jeuveau is the first new neurotoxin in almost 10 years and Evolus’ only product, approved last February and launched in May. Allergan's Botox is the well-established market leader, but Evolus plans to catapult into the No. 2 spot with a data-and-analytics-driven beauty strategy designed to capture the 24-to-39 crowd.

“We view ourselves as a performance beauty company. We’re aesthetic only, and we don’t have any links to therapeutic products,” Evolus CEO David Moatazedi said. “Therefore we operate more like a beauty type of company, thinking about the retail setting these products are sold in as much as we do the pharmaceutical side in how we’re regulated by the FDA and all of the compliance policies that apply.”

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In seven months on the market, Jeuveau is already No. 3 in neurotoxins, notching sales of $34.9 million for the partial 2019. Its launch was driven by a #NewTox digital campaign meant to draw attention to the new option in town. Now, Evolus is advancing the brand’s all-digital marketing with emphasis on the med as a “modern-made tox.” The campaign “Is your toxin modern made?” rolled out in January.

Along with the marketing, Evolus created the Evolux healthcare professional program, which functions as a traditional volume pricing tool but also adds a marketing element. Depending on the Evolux tier a practice achieves, Evolus will co-promote the practitioner—with stylized images it has taken—in targeted ads. The top tier, for instance, earns $24,000 in digital advertising.

The goal is to help them build Jeaveau practices with millennials and make it easier for consumers to get into aesthetics.

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“Most of these doctors have done a great job of building practice with older baby boomers, but when you ask them what their plan is to bring these millennials into their practice, they don’t have one,” Moatazedi said. “Our goal is to eliminate friction in this market and actively pursue the consumers sitting on the sideline. We believe by investing in personalization for the doctor what we’re doing is shifting the paradigm from what traditional pharma does in direct-to-consumer mass media and print to personalization.”

While Evolus is confident in its modern marketing approach, at least one of its efforts has already raised eyebrows. A Jeuveau pre-launch meeting with medical aesthetics experts in Cancun, Mexico, that resulted in a series of favorable social media posts had some critics calling ethics into question.