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Entered in Beauty, Brand Awareness Campaign, Multi-Platform Partnership


MAC was long known as a brand on the pulse of prestige beauty and pop culture - winning its fans’ hearts and shaping the trends of tomorrow. Mention MAC to anyone who grew up in the 90s and you’d hear a nostalgic story about it being their first makeup brand – its iconic inclusive approach to beauty resonated strongly with diverse communities. But when MAC set out to modernize its brand, if you mentioned it to younger adults, the emotional connection varied significantly both generationally and demographically, and they particularly saw an opportunity to increase brand awareness and relevancy with Gen Z.

To engage and capture consumers from this younger generation, we set out to meet them where they are – with influencers who resonate with them – to reinsert the brand into pop culture and beauty conversations.

Armed with the confidence that Gen Z are invested in the lives of influencers and regard them as celebrities, the brand was focused on finetuning its influencer marketing partners and execution. In 2020, only 5.6M organic impressions were from influencers (per starpower’s FY20 Influencer Brand Analysis).​

MAC partnered with starpower to build and grow a Crew – its first long-term influencer program– with focus on making the brand more relevant with target consumers. Over three years, they identified, recruited, and managed culturally relevant talent that built brand clout with influencers and its followers. Most importantly, in Fiscal Year 23, brand achieved positive growth and the Crew program was a key contributing factor.


MAC commissioned starpower to analyze its previous paid and earned influencer content. It also evaluated the types of influencers the brand had worked with, the size of their following and the topics they cover. Learnings:

MAC partnerships with influencers were limited, and where they did exist, they were mainly product based. To spark attention with its target audience, increase brand awareness and drive sales, the brand had to reinforce its inherent inclusive values that made it a staple with loyal consumers, through a new group of diverse ambassadors who could translate this to a younger generation. It had to build long-term relationships with the right influencers across diverse communities in culturally relevant and engaging ways. 

Cultivate a diverse community of brand ambassadors for long & short-term partnerships, dubbed the Crew, to:

MAC partnered with starpower to create the Crew, its first long-term influencer ambassador program, in 2020. Over three years it cultivated, retained, and expanded relationships with influencers to help elevate the brand’s relevancy and reinforce its inherent values of diversity, individuality, self-expression, social impact, and more, with a diverse new generation of younger Gen Z consumers through relevant and authentic ways with influencers.

Each influencer created ongoing social content featuring products tied to the brand’s marketing calendar in a way that helped them show up authentically/relevantly within culture and grab Gen Z’s attention.

Strategic performance analyses helped evolve the approach:


Expanded reach and supported growth.  In FY23 (ending June 30, 2023) MAC experienced high single-digit growth in the U.S., and the Crew was one of many key contributing factors.

MAC rekindled its relevance within the beauty community for a whole new generation and is a top beauty brand that influencers and tastemakers in and out of the beauty community reference and/or use at least one product of.

Increased Gen Z awareness! Unaided awareness among Gen Z increased 14% vs. YAG (source: Estee Lauder North America brand health tracker program).

Exponentially grew impressions, organic influencer content and earned media value:


Video for The M·A·C CREW

Entrant Company / Organization Name

starpower, part of Real Chemistry, M·A·C Cosmetics


Entry Credits