Seeking love, finding acne patches.
Josh Metz, Tinder’s former director of marketing, is now the chief marketing officer of ZitSticka, a new direct-to-consumer acne brand that is set to launch Thursday. The brand’s hero product, The Killa, $29 for a box of eight, is a transdermal patch containing freeze-dried microdarts that help ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and salicylic acid penetrate the skin to help clear acne cysts in the early stages. The product also contains a gentle peptide meant to help kill acne-causing bacteria.
ZitSticka, which is aimed at Millennial and Gen Z consumers, was cofounded by Robbie Miller and Daniel Kaplan — friends of Metz’s from his native Australia, who sought Metz’s creative savvy to “beautify” the antiacne skin-care space with a marketing campaign in the minimalist style that has become ubiquitous amongst brands targeted at Millennials.
“When you look at the packaging on acne brands over the last 20 years, [from a design standpoint], it’s almost scary,” Metz said. “Our packaging normalizes acne treatment — it’s beautiful and you can leave it out on your shelf or your bathroom cabinet.”
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The Killa is packaged in a sleek white box accented with peach font. A paid social and digital campaign features trendy-looking young men and women sporting their acne patches.
“We want these patches to be the new fashion accessories,” Metz said. “Topics like “self care” and “empowerment” are trending — we want people to be proud to show [their acne patches] off.”
It turns out that selling acne products is similar to marketing a dating app — for starters, the core consumer is the same. “Getting that young female consumer who is very vocal on social media is incredibly important,” Metz said.
Acne patches are experiencing a surge in popularity in the U.S. thanks to the rise of K-beauty — brands like CosRX and Peach Slices have popularized the idea of applying hydrocolloid patches to treat acne wounds. ZitSticka’s differentiating claim is that its freeze-dried microdart technology is designed to help clear acne in its early stages, rather than simply help to heal it after an eruption.
“When I saw how [well] the product worked, I was sold,” Metz said. “It’s similar to how I felt when I was holding the beta version of Tinder in my hand — here’s a simple, effective product that worked.”