At Ulta Beauty, we believe beauty should help us realize our possibilities, not diminish them. Yet, the category is rife with messages and imagery that make people feel excluded from the definition and conversation around beauty.
So, as part of Ulta Beauty’s 2022 campaign, we launched a visual podcast to spark conversations that widen the perspective of beauty, examining topics in the spaces of diversity, inclusion, physical and mental wellbeing.
Our goals for the podcast were:
There are plenty of beauty podcasts that delve into products, hacks, tips and tricks, new launches, etc. But we had much loftier goals for The Beauty Of… Our vision was to examine culturally topical themes like gender, body image, social justice, parenting, relationships, and even gaming, through our ever-widening beauty lens.
We opted to produce a visual podcast over more traditional communication channels because it allowed us to show the unique and often unexpected beauty of our fascinating guests. From activists to advocates, artists to influencers, guests shared their own stories, perspectives, hopes and dreams – some more familiar, others foreign.
From the start, we knew not everyone would agree, and we did receive a decent amount of blowback. But we knew that having in-depth, potentially polarizing discussions was a risk that we needed to take if we were going to help everyone feel included and heard.
Widening the lens of beauty means taking risks and standing behind them. Inviting guests like trans TikToker Dylan Mulvaney garnered national attention, and led to many hateful social media comments, news articles, video responses, and even a trending “boycott ulta” hashtag. And while it was clear that there was a very vocal group who did not agree that beauty is for all, we didn't back down.
Instead, we used this opportunity to reinforce that hate has no home on their channels. We continued to embrace diversity and made space for more meaningful conversations. As a result, Ulta Beauty expanded their audience with new supporters and lifelong fans who declared that, after the ethos we showed, they would only shop at Ulta Beauty for their products.
With limited paid support, we organically garnered over 4 million listens and views, nearly 2,500 comments, countless tweets and articles. Through word of mouth, we ignited meaningful conversations that shined a light on important themes that intersect beauty. The Beauty Of… now gearing up for the launch of its third season, is not slowing down anytime soon.
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