Take Your Pick: Kate Moss or the Girl Next Door? — The Effectiveness of Cosmetics Advertising

Michael Antioco

EMLYON Business School

Dirk Smeesters

Rotterdam School of Management

Aline Le Boedec


Management slant

  • Using a "girl next door," or nonidealized, model in cosmetics ads is perceived as more trustworthy than an idealized model, for example the supermodel Kate Moss. Moreover, the closer a woman lives to an urban area, the less she finds an idealized model trustworthy. Independently from the portrayed model, the more trustworthy a model is, the higher the purchase intention is.
  • No matter how beautiful women feel, their self-esteem will be higher after exposure to the "girl next door" on cosmetics ads compared to an idealized model.
  • For women with low self-esteem, the "girl next door" on cosmetics ads leads to a higher purchase intention than an idealized model; especially because the "girl next door" is also seen as more trustworthy.
  • For women with high self-esteem (35 to 44-year-old women and urban women), an idealized model on cosmetics ads leads to higher purchase intention than the "girl next door."