Merz Americas is telling women to stop feeling guilty for caring about how they look. And that includes no shame in seeking cosmetic treatments.

Launching today is a novel direct-to-consumer advertising campaign for Xeomin designed to let women know it is OK to take care of themselves. Xeomin is the latest botulinum toxin type A approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to temporarily improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows in adults.

Called Later Haters, the concept encourages women to stop apologizing for caring about how they look while putting an end to feeling shame for opting for procedures to reduce signs of aging. Featured across multiple channels nationwide, a video spot shows women swinging a bat and a hammer at glass walls with words such as frown lines, doubts and regrets. The campaign was created by Frank About Women, a division of Mullen Lowe and represents a “non-pharma” approach from a pharmaceutical company. “We feel it is very unique and disruptive and totally different in its space,” said Christina Meyer, head of Injectables Marketing, Aesthetics, Merz North America. “We believe this is an empowering conversation we are starting.” Later Haters targets an audience of women who have spent the last several years building a career or raising a family. “We call them reclaimers,” Meyer said. “They take care of everyone else first and finally decided it is time to take care of themselves. Or these are women in careers who suddenly feel they are the oldest in the room.”

Merz’s new Later Haters campaign. 

Those composites emerged from unique research groups where Merz took people out of traditional focus group settings and listened to them talking to girlfriends. In the course of these intimate conversations, women revealed how they want to embrace their self-confidence and make choices about looking and feeling their best without guilt or judgment. But some are admitting guilt to seeking treatments and embarrassment in talking about them—a stigma Merz hopes to squash with the campaign. “There were a lot of tears and the fear about being judged and that’s the whole idea behind our campaign…to smash through labels and judgment.”

The campaign also is devised to appeal to a market still on the fence when it comes to surgical or nonsurgical procedures. The highest interest in cosmetic treatments is among younger adults, who have yet to enter middle age. In fact, U.S. adults under 45 are nearly twice as likely as those 45 and older to be considering a surgical or nonsurgical treatment in the next 12 months.

“Traditionally, external judgment has held women back from seeking injections or, if they do, from talking about it, for fear of being labeled as someone who is fake and self-absorbed. Xeomin’s Later Haters campaign takes on a new tone, embracing today’s woman and her right to live her life on her terms, without judgment,” Meyer said. “We want women to know that whether it’s for a meeting in the board room or school drop-off, they should ‘X out’ the doubts and project the confidence they know they have.”

Professionals agree the tides are turning. “More and more women are reclaiming their individuality and coming to see me, ready to invest in their best self, even if that means using an anti-wrinkle treatment such as Xeomin for the first time,” said Dr. Lara Devgan, a New York-based board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. “These are everyday women who want to look like themselves — just a little fresher — and Later Haters tells them it’s OK to take action as part of their self-care routine.”

Later Haters also seeks to inform consumers there are options in the aesthetics toxins market. “Xeomin is the fastest-growing brand in the U.S. aesthetic toxins market and is the only clinically proven anti-wrinkle injection uniquely purified to remove unnecessary proteins,” said Bob Rhatigan, chief executive officer of Merz Americas. “The new campaign for Xeomin is designed to sustain and increase that momentum by connecting with our customers in a way that is timely, relevant and authentic.”

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