Maybelline New York’s dedicated Ramadan web series “Ramadan Stars with Noor Stars” is the winner of YouTube’s The Lantern Award 2019

Lynn Hazim, Angela Hundal August 2019

A star is born in the digital world

Maybelline New York Middle East’s dedicated Ramadan web series, “Ramadan Stars with Noor Stars” – in partnership with Ykone Middle East and UM MENA – is the winner of YouTube’s The Lantern Award 2019. It is the first-ever CPG brand to win the award.

Maybelline New York created the award-winning Ramadan series thanks to its original Maybelline New York Makyaj wa Banat web series that the brand’s GCC team showcased in 2016. Seeing rising indie beauty brands competing to capture millennials’ and Gen Zs’ attention at the time, Maybelline New York made the bold decision to move away from traditional communication entirely in an effort to engage and connect with global consumers. Departing from TV around the world, the brand went 100% digital with its pioneering and hugely successful year-round YouTube show, Maybelline New York "Makyaj wa Banat".

Serving the Middle East’s digital-savvy consumer, the weekly web series showcased five-to-ten-minute-long YouTube videos starring famous regional YouTube creators chatting about makeup, trends, and fashion.

The successful Maybelline New York “Makyaj wa Banat” series followed the following format:

- Collaboration with YouTube creators: The show invited top YouTube creators as guests and encouraged them to express their authentic identity and style during unscripted episodes.

- Agile Hub Content: In line with top digital trends and Always-On moments throughout the year, the show evolved and adapted to the latest trends, seasons and searches.

- Makeup and products: Beauty products were at the core of the show, with tutorials and how-to guides being key features helping bring the brand pillars to life in a fun way.

- Subscriber strategy: A well-considered subscribers strategy centered around users’ subscription messaging ensured the show’s commercial success.

Ramadan with Noor Stars

Another game-changing move

For Ramadan 2019, Maybelline New York co-created a special edition of the Maybelline New York "Makyaj wa Banat" show with Noor Stars, one of MENA’s biggest YouTube creators (12.5M subscribers). Maybelline New York filmed 8 episodes based on searched, data-driven trends that bridged Ramadan and beauty. The show, called “Ramadan Stars with Noor Stars” (450K subscribers) or “Nojoom Ramadan ma3 Noor Stars” in Arabic, was a major hit, with views already equal to 44 years and 146 days of watch time. That’s 6.4M views, out of which 64% have been organic. YouTube comments also reveal impressive audience engagement, with over 250K comments on the Ramadan series alone. The new web series helped Maybelline New York elevate its subscriber strategy, with over 100K subscribing to the Maybelline New York Middle East channel in 4 weeks.

Data shows that content was key to the show’s success:

- Web series are popular, especially during Ramadan

Multi-part stories, web series, or what we call ‘hub’ content on YouTube is incredibly popular, especially during Ramadan, the biggest moment of the year in the Middle East. Since Ramadan takes place over a month, brands have an ideal opportunity to expand their stories and content beyond repetitive 30-second spots. Maybelline New York “Ramadan Stars with Noor Stars”, for example, posted 2 videos on average per week during Ramadan, with makeup forming the core of each episode and Noor Stars inviting guest creators to take part in fun challenges, pranks, games, and educational how-to’ guides.

- During Ramadan, long-form content is king

YouTube offers brands increased flexibility when it comes to telling their stories online, with 6-second bumper ads or 8-minute-long videos, for example, being just two of many options. Our research shows that, during Ramadan, people are especially in the mood for stories and tend to watch longer content. Knowing that, brands can adapt their content and storytelling styles. Our Top 10 Ramadan Leaderboard shows that, on average, ad length in 2019 was 25% longer than average ad length on the top 10 ads in 2018. During Ramadan, Maybelline New York’s videos were 8 to 11 minutes long, giving the brand ample time to share stories with an engaged audience.

- YouTube creators are experts at warming up the crowd

YouTube creators are great at crafting authentic, non-scripted content that resonates with their audiences. They know what tone to take, what topics people want to discuss, and the perfect moments to chime in – and they do all of the above with their own followings every day. By collaborating with Noor Stars for its Ramadan show, Maybelline New York struck a chord with targeted, brand-relevant online audiences. It kept people engaged episode after episode by giving regional YouTube creators, from Asrar to Rozzah, the chance to guest star and express their identity and style. On top of that, the brand engaged directly with its consumers through fun and interactive competitions.