Reversa Side Effects

Reversa, the skin care product range from Dermtek, Canada, is featured as the answer to long lasting sex appeal in See More Side Effects, an interactive microsite which has just won a Gold Cyber Lion at Cannes International Advertising Festival. The Reversa Side Effects campaign was aimed at boomer women, (40 – 60 years) financially and mentally very independent, sexually active and often not in a stable relationship. These ‘cougars’ refuse to become socially invisible just because they are getting older.

Shot from Reversa Side Effects campaign

The Reversa campaign was promoted with a print advertisement featuring an elegant, mature woman sitting on a couch with a handsome, young, naked man sprawled out beside her. The provocative ad invited women to visit a microsite, or to learn more about Reversa’s products and their positive side effects. A print campaign ran in several women’s consumer magazines in Canada. Postcards were distributed to women as inserts in gift packages; they were also sent to dermatologists, cosmeticians and journalists across the country. Classified ads in newspapers were also part of the campaign where young men boldly sought mature, beautiful women. All initiatives led to the Web site to see “more side effects”.

Print ad from Reversa Side Effects campaign

Print ad from Reversa Side Effects campaign

“Reversa offers skin care products to women that change the way their skin looks, and by extension how they feel. The women who use our products feel attractive and empowered. The campaign plays on this and provides a forum for women to experience it first-hand,” said Robert Lavoie, president and chief executive officer, Dermtek Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Reversa. “The ad is sexy and, addresses women in a bold, consumer-focused manner, as opposed to the science and chemistry angle favoured by other skin care companies. This campaign focuses on the real benefits of Reversa on women—sex appeal.”

Upon entering the site — the entrance to which is a woman’s living room — women are asked to choose from one of four Reversa anti-aging products: UV Anti-Wrinkle Cream, UV Anti-Spot Lightening Cream, Skin Smoothing Cream, and Corrective Night Cream. Each product has a character assigned to it, a plumber, fireman, gardener and chef, all, of whom of course, are young and good-looking. She is presented with an option, for example, the gardener has just finished trimming the bushes, she then is able to choose another function for him to perform, such as clean the windows, mow the lawn or recite a poem. Her choice is followed by a short video featuring the attractive man performing the selected action.

Kitchen scene from Reversa Microsite

Print ad from Reversa Side Effects site

Women who wished to experience Reversa’s side effects for real had the chance to bid on Reversa products on eBay along with a weekend of pampering spent in the company of a personable, younger man. The eBay auction ran for a two-week period from September 18th to October 2nd 2006. All funds collected went to the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. The top bidder, Dr. Karen Breeck from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, paid $2,500 for a dream weekend in Montreal along with her friend Sharon Singleton and the seductive young Reversa man. This prize weekend, a value of approximately $6,000, included transportation, the services of a limousine for the entire stay, an afternoon at a spa where Karen and Sharon were pampered with Reversa products, a shopping spree (accompanied by a professional shopper), a photo shoot worthy of a top model, an elegant dinner in a chic restaurant, and accommodations in a boutique hotel suite, Friday and Saturday night.

“Wish I could give out a prescription for everyone to spend a weekend like this in Montreal. I had forgotten what a wonderful gem of Canada, Montreal is. I hope that ‘Reversa weekends’ are here to stay and that these auctions continue so that more people can live the ‘Reversa experience’ and concurrently help support breast cancer research,” said Dr. Karen Breeck.


The Reversa See More Side Effects campaign was developed at Taxi Canada, Montreal by vice president/creative director Stéphane Charier, creative director/design/interactive Dominique Trudeau, art directors Patrick Chaubet and Roberto Baibich, copywriters Élyse Noël de Tilly and Brian Gill, planner Anne-Marie Leclair, account director Audrey Lefebvre, agency producer Émilie Trudeau-Rabinowicz.

“Reversa wanted to communicate the image and personality of its brand, and underline the side effects experienced by women who use their anti-aging products, namely, a sex appeal that triggers a boost of confidence for the woman who is in control, and who looks and feels younger than her years,” said Stéphane Charier, Creative Director, TAXI Montreal. “Really the creative is a spin-off of an old favourite, with a bit of a twist, and implies an interesting by-product of usage of Reversa products – the attraction of younger men.”

“We are really excited about this campaign and the message of empowerment it will send to mature women across Canada,” added Lavoie. “We invite them to view the ad and visit the microsite to see how Reversa can impact their life.”

The twelve videos for the Side Effects campaign were directed by Etienne Tallard via La Fabrique d`Images, Montreal. The microsite was designed by Mecano Web Production. Sound was designed by Audio Z, Montreal.

Filed under: Cosmetics, Film, Interactive, Print