Receiving a new brief from Benefit Cosmetics is both an exciting and nerve-wracking time for the team. So when we received the brief to launch of a new, volumising mascara – a first in 3 years for the brand that already owns the UK’s number one selling prestige mascara, They’re Real, we knew that expectations for delivery from us would be high.
The Persuaders have been working with Benefit Cosmetics for close to 4 years now so to say we have an understanding of the brand DNA is an understatement. From our first project, designing and producing the Gabbi’s Head Pub for female fans of the Beautiful Game during the World Cup 2014, to last years, award-winning GlastonBrow beauty drive-thru, we’ve always had fun playing with the beauty brands ‘Laughter Is The Best Cosmetics’ legacy.
Head of Brand Activation of Benefit Cosmetics, Kyra White says ‘we know 88% of women in the UK wear mascara and we currently have no 1 and no 2 (source NPD) and they are currently huge sellers for us proving the demand is there. All the retailers that we spoke to who know all brands launches told us that it would be the biggest beauty launch of the year.’
A product as important to the brand as this, meant we had to keep it under wraps until the last minute. This of course builds anticipation and excitement for die-hard fans but also brings intrigue for potential new customers. We also knew that the product would go on sale at the same time in every market so the impact that the UK launch had on sales would need to have stand-out.
MD and Creative Director of The Persuaders Andy McDonald - ‘We’re very lucky when it comes to Benefit Cosmetics as they always produce the most inspirational marketing tools for their products. These ‘Power Visuals’ let us enter a themed world, filled with characters - from the film-noir inspired Honest Leah, the ‘face’ behind They’re Real to the Bond-esque Spy Gal, the cartoon character that inhabits the Porefessional Primer range, it’s not just traditional product development. The customer buys into this world and the look of the characters. For the launch of BADgalBang! we were given a stunning, retro, space-themed world to play in (the product is made using aero-particles found in spacesuits that makes them lightweight but volumous – a ‘must-have’ in the world of mascara) and as you can imagine we all got very excited with the space themed potential.
Director at The Persuaders, Dominic Franks commented ‘We work closely with both the external PR agency DeVries and the Benefit marketing team to plan the full UK launch campaign, from experiential, through to lifestyle media, digital and social media, which is such a collaborative way to work. Nobody treads on anyone’s toes and in fact ideas find a way to grow and bounce off each other. An idea that started as a digital one could very easily end up being an event.’
Planning for the launch of this new mascara began back in 2017 with budgets allocated to each department, so the teams know what they have to create with and from the very first meeting, pink astronauts were always going to play a big part! Working alongside DeVries Global PR we built a teaser campaign which included pink astronauts roving around London, followed by the ‘big launch moment’ itself and the final part of the campaign would be getting the product into the consumers hands via an experiential UK Tour.
Lara Shapiro, DeVries Global
“The beauty of working with Benefit Cosmetics, is that the brand has a truly collaborative approach. For this launch we were asked to create intrigue and build excitement via press ahead of the top-secret launch, which complemented Benefit’s smart influencer program and digital efforts. We also partnered with The Persuaders to drive footfall to the regional experiences, an aspect that was integral to the campaign and something that helped to create a consistent narrative from press to influencers and finally consumers.”
We also knew that Benefit had to contend with a global product embargo - always a challenge. Knowing that we had to launch at precisely 8pm on the 1st February 2018 meant creating that big moment would be all important. We had to create something theatrical and exciting. A feast for the eyes that everyone would want to share at that precise moment. The Persuaders creative team have always loved and been inspired by Hollywood musicals; the impossibly large dance-numbers, the drama and sparkling lights and we’d always wanted to bring a touch of this magic to a Benefit event. Designing a space ship that could land in a theatre was our big moment… pulling it off was another thing!’
The Persuaders chose the disused Cochrane Theatre in Holborn as the venue for the launch event as it had the capacity to land their silver space pod into the party. The 250 strong guests, made up of Press and Influencers all went live with their social media at the same time, causing #BADGalBang to hit the no.1 spot trending globally on twitter and instagram
Results In terms of media coverage and reach; potential total reach was over 35million, with 45 pieces of coverage, 25 print pieces with a total reach if 2.3m, 14 pieces of national coverage with a combined reach of 31mil and 15 online pieces with a reach of over 34 mil.
The space pod then went on a UK tour of 3 major city centres; London, Cardiff and Manchester, with over 650 consumer consultations leading to direct sales at local Boots counters, with stores in these cities coming in the top 5 highest selling stores during the launch weekend.
It’s been two weeks since launch and we’ve already been notified by NPD that BADGalBang is currently the number one selling mascara in the UK, which as the ultimate goal of our campaign is something that all the teams are very excited about.