The 14th Annual Shorty Award winners are here! View the full list.

THE 14TH ANNUAL SHORTY AWARDS

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Fenty Beauty Eau De Parfum Ghost Stores Launch

Winner in Globalization

Finalist in Beauty, Creative Use of Technology

Silver Distinction in Multicultural Community Engagement

Bronze Distinction in Storytelling, Digital Pivot

Audience Honor in Globalization

Entered in Community Management

Objective

With the launch of its first ever fragrance, Fenty Eau Du Parfum, Fenty Beauty wanted to disrupt the industry status quo and forge a direct relationship with its fans. 

A pivotal goal was to change how fragrances were marketed, creating inclusivity at its core, breaking gender norms and attracting and engaging a new audience in a way never attempted in industry history. 

Fenty Beauty wanted this new audience to purchase and enjoy the fragrance and share that joy with friends.

Success was achieved, generating record signup for future communication and product drops and ultimately selling out. 

By selling only online, we were challenged in taking consumers on a new purchase journey whose deviation removed trial at time of purchase. 

These challenges were overcome through rich campaign storytelling, bringing our audience closer to the creator and allowing the authenticity of her story to dispel any purchase without trial reservations.

Intimate memories from the creator cascaded like lyrics down the page, crafted so you could smell the words, while interactive tap-and-hold candlelight audio moments whispered the scent’s secrets enchantingly into your ear.

Adapting the idea of a ghost kitchen to DTC fragrance required rethinking site design and architecture, secrecy and coordination. Each launch needed to be able to handle a traffic influx and had to be disabled once stock sold out (in minutes). The “ghost store” concept was new to our audience, so we needed to ensure fans would understand quickly and use them to discover and purchase the fragrance.

Strategy

With the launch of its first fragrance, Fenty Eau De Parfum, Fenty Beauty wanted to shake up the industry and forge a direct relationship with its fans by launching direct-to-consumer. But launching exclusively online to an audience that had never smelled it posed a unique challenge.

Inspired by "ghost kitchens" (delivery-only services that don't require physical addresses), we created 5 secret Fenty ghost stores: online-only e-commerce platforms hidden in locations central to the scent’s creation on Google Maps.

Built on top of Google Maps’ API, this approach, a platform first, meant the ghost stores could be accessed globally, disrupting the typical use of the API by online retailers who are forced to display physical store locations on their website.

With a very modest budget, over 5 days, we teased the existence of the stores on Fenty’s social channels — Launching one every day, driving anticipation and fervor online with each discovery. 

Each post clicked through to coordinates on the map leading to a unique ghost store. Fans were free to explore the map, in hopes of stumbling across another store ahead of announcement.

Each store allowed fans to scroll through a multi-sensory diary of the scent’s creation. 

Results

The hype of the hunt paired with the detailed, authentic storytelling on the digital platform broke the need-for-trial barrier, with each ghost store selling out of its limited-edition stock within hours of discovery. 

This campaign ignited interest from press and on social media, which resulted in fentybeauty.com selling out of all stock within hours of the official launch.

Beyond selling out, Fenty Beauty saw a record signup for future communication and product drops: email signups increased by over 800% and the campaign garnered a 40% lift in text (SMS) opt-ins, continuing long after the launch. These rare and valuable touchpoints will allow Fenty Beauty to make new connections with their customers long term - a result even more valuable than the empty shelves of our ghost stores. 

These rare, valuable touch points will allow Fenty Beauty to make new, long-term connections with its customers — a result even more valuable than empty shelves.

Media

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Barbarian, Fenty Beauty

Link