Simple is the UK's #1 skincare range, but has yet to achieve that "breakthrough" moment in America. And for many U.S. consumers, it's not even in their consideration set. Simple's objective was, in a word, simple: to break through in feed, then break through in America
There's a unique consumer segment in the skincare space: the beauty nerd. She's research-driven, enjoys informed experimentation, and rides the bleeding edge of trends.
But she's being given so many different messages at once...it's hard for her to know what's best. She's being told to go bare-faced, go full-faced, love makeup, love her natural skin...as if makeup and skincare were mutually exclusive! But Simple wanted to let the beauty nerd know: you can love makeup and love your skin.
Today, the beauty nerd is into "mega makeup" – a heavily designed look inspired by YouTube tutorials. She's contoured, she's strobed. She's recreated her favorite influencer's signature cat eye. We love her dedication to exploration, but her skin…does not.
And that's how we struck upon the insight for our campaign: "Make Up For Makeup."
We created a range of creative that empathized the trials and tribulations of the makeup-addict, and showed her how she could put the "good" back into her skincare routine. Simple's message was: you can love your makeup, and love your skin.
But, with limited dollars, we wanted to ensure we were only talking to our target when she was most engaged with her Twitter feed – and thus, most likely to see our ads. We partnered with Twitter, becoming one of the first brands on platform to utilize their "Adaptive Creative" functionality – AI-driven targeting that serves consumers contextually-relevant ads on a moment-to-moment basis. With Twitter being the platform for "moments", we knew we could leverage their technology to integrate our brand when trends occur.
First, we identified skin-punishing events tied to makeup and skincare our consumer might encounter – like a freak blizzard. When these events occurred, Twitter's Adaptive Creative served our target predetermined ads about the specific skincare needs of the moment, ensuring that the right people got the right message at the right time.
And that's not a hypothetical. When the New York Blizzard of 2017 hit, our AI launched ads about cold-weather skincare, geo-targeted at NYC itself. Kardashians trending? Our AI deployed ads about how Simple can help fix that #lipkit fail.
In addition to contextual hyper-targeting, we also took a moonshot on mass awareness. We became the first brand to use Twitter's "First View" functionality, which ensured that every Twitter user in North America saw our ad atop their feed the first time they opened the app.
And what better day to launch our "First View" ad than on the "scariest day for skin" – a.k.a Halloween. On this day, we knew that all consumers – regardless of gender, age, or location – would be experimenting with Halloween makeup. We wanted to be the catalyst to get their skin back to glowing, with a spate of ads helping consumers cleanse away their costume.
Twitter allowed us to truly breakthrough with benchmark-smashing, engaging content. With the help of First View and Adaptive Creative we went mass, and we went niche; hitting two key audiences and building the Simple brand one tweet at a time.
We had particularly high hopes and KPIs for this campaign, but the results blew our even generous expectations out of the water. Multiple pieces of our Halloween creative hit an engagement rate of between 40-50%.
In an industry whose engagement benchmarks range from 1-5%, this is a significant increase in consumer response.
Across the entire campaign, top performing creative hit engagement rates ranging from 10-25%, with view rates ranging as high as 21%.
The beauty nerd spends hours honing her craft, but makes it look Simple. And to the rest of the beauty industry...so did we.
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