How an insight from search data sparked a beauty brand’s multicultural video campaign

Ekaterina Petrova Feb 2018

It’s not often that an insight revealed in search data is the spark of inspiration for a video campaign to drive brand awareness. But that’s exactly the story of beauty brand Make Up For Ever’s recent endeavor to better reach its diverse multicultural audience. The results proved the brand was definitely onto something with a 44% lift in brand recall, an 18% lift in product searches, and an 11% increase in subscribers to its YouTube channel.1

This story is a lesson in extracting consumer insights—and identifying category opportunities for the taking—from search data.

The driving insight: There was opportunity hiding in plain sight

Make Up For Ever was digging into Google Search data to help identify launch strategies for its new Ultra HD foundation product campaign when it uncovered a surprising insight. By comparing two different kinds of consumer searches, the brand saw an opportunity hiding in plain sight.

According to the data, 70% of general complexion queries (like “best concealer”) are related to a particular brand, while only 33% of complexion-specific queries (like “best concealer for dark skin”) are related to a brand.2

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“This was eye-popping information for us,” said Laure de Metz, Make Up For Ever’s General Manager for the Americas. “We took the discrepancy to mean that beauty brands haven’t been speaking to multicultural audiences in a way that has made a difference with them. With our upcoming Ultra HD ‘Icon’ campaign, we wanted to make sure we did a better job directly speaking to all the diverse audiences actively seeking what we offer.”

The team knew this would require more than diverse and inclusive creative—it would require advanced targeting too.

The approach: A full-funnel campaign built and targeted for a diverse audience

Make Up For Ever created a full-funnel campaign to reach a diverse, multicultural audience from awareness to purchase consideration.

The brand team used a Trueview in-stream hero video to drive awareness and “how-to” TrueView discovery videos—with a celebrity make-up artist known for creating looks on a variety of skin tones—to educate and drive consideration. They created six-second bumper ads to build frequency, and they retargeted Google Display Network ads to drive people all the way to Make Up For Ever’s site once they’d seen its ad, but had left YouTube.

“But the key to this campaign was really in the targeting,” said de Metz. “To reach multicultural audiences specifically, we targeted consumers who were actively searching for dark and medium shade-related complexion information on both YouTube and Google.” This allowed Make Up For Ever to answer the call that was already there.

The result: Proof that the insight was fruitful and lessons learned for the future

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In terms of the multicultural advertising campaign’s results, Make Up For Ever saw a 44% lift in brand recall and an 18% lift in product searches. Make Up For Ever’s YouTube channel subscriber count also increased by 11% in one month, driven largely by the tutorial videos.

De Metz said, “The results confirmed what we saw in the search data that sparked this campaign: there was opportunity for us to more effectively reach multicultural audiences who’ve been underserved by brands historically. The experience taught us just how important it is to keep checking in with how well you’re really reaching all of the audiences you care about. There’s always room to grow and tools to help.”

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