Guerlain ‘Everchanging Looks’ Lip campaign

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Campaign Details

CAMPAIGN TITLE “Ever Changing Looks” Guerlain Lips
BRAND Guerlain
TEAM MEMBERS               Jonathan Romano, Deputy Managing Director, Zenith (Lead Account Director)
Javier Xu, Associate Planning Director, Zenith
Vivian Sheng, Planning Manager, Zenith
Eva Li, Senior Planner, Zenith






Summary: How did you drive growth for your client?

Every client wants awareness, engagement, social buzz and ultimately incremental sales. But very seldomly does a single campaign deliver all of these objectives. In Guerlain’s latest lip campaign, we developed a highly integrated strategy built around a famous celebrity aligning all the campaign elements across ATL/BTL, social media, PR, instore and online sales channels-  resulting in historically high consumer engagement and driving growth with a younger target group segment for the first time with a 200% YoY sales increase and 300% vs. two years ago.

What was the challenge?

Guerlain is currently perceived as an exclusive luxury brand for “older” people which was a significant barrier to expand its market share. At the same time, it was hard for Guerlain to compete with mainstream and well-established luxury brands who had much greater levels of advertising investment.

As Guerlain wanted to expand their consumer base with their latest lip stick line – KissKiss and LPRN, they challenged Zenith Media to develop a strategy that would appeal to a younger audience – Chinese Millennial females aged 18-35.

What were the insights that led to your idea?

The consumer journey of Millennials’ to purchase lip stick is relatively different from other beauty products. The process is much shorter (sometimes on impulse) and highly influenced by social media especially if the product is endorsed by celebrities. As personal styles are increasingly more individualistic, the choice of lipstick has to be relevant with the ever-changing looks they wish to project in society.  The current generation of Chinese Millennial women  are more open-minded and aggressive in their relationships and regard lipstick as not just a beauty/style companion, but as a WEAPON to attract the opposite sex. In other words, they want to be seen to have a stylish and “kissable” lips all the time!

Moreover, we also faced a further challenge with Millenials. According to the latest China Market and Media Survey, more and more millennials regard advertising negatively. 42% of them think that “Advertising is more of manipulating rather than providing information” and “Some of the Ads are annoying “(vs 39% last year). Moreover, our proprietary tool Touchpoints shows that TV is becoming less and less influential and being replaced by “family and friends recommendation” and “seeing others with the brand”.

So using these insights, we collaborated with the client, creative agencies and media publishers to implement a campaign that provided a seamless engagement experience to Millienails via content that reflects their passions and that would inspired them to connect with Guerlain and eventually triggered their sales conversion.                                                                                                 

What was your organizing idea?

Riding on the trend of “fresh meat”, which means “young good-looking male idol”, we developed an organizing idea called “BAI BIAN YANG ZHUANG” (Bai Bian in English means ever-changing, while Yang Zhuang means fantastic makeup looks and Yang represents Guerlain’s ambassador Yang Yang, the popular Chinese drama actor, known for his handsome looks and boy-friend charisma). We wanted our communications to establish a strong link with our lipstick’s rational benefit (i.e. complement your looks and make you kissable), with their emotional trigger  (strong affinity with good looking male celebrities).   

The media strategy was tailor-made to make full use of brand ambassador’s popularity with Digital, without doubt, as the core touchpoint to reach and engage our target audience. We partnered with Elle, WeChat, and China’s top online video platform Youku to co-create and drive content surrounding Yang Yang in different scenarios of looks in different occasions, triggering consumer imagination of being his date and noticing her kissable lips. Instead of the highly cluttered February 14 Valentine’s Day, we timely launched the campaign in line with “Chinese” Valentine’s Day season in August (Chinese V-Day or “Qixi” is an occasion separate from February 14 Valentine’s Day which happens on 7th day of 7th month on the Chinese lunar calendar). This was further amplified with traditional media, below the line, PR and in-store initiatives- making it a true omni-channel experience for our target audience.

How did you execute your strategy?

The campaign kicked-off during Chinese Valentine’s Day with a native content co-created with Elle, the global authoritative fashion publisher and one of the leading style resource for Millenial women in China. With Yang Yang as the cover of Elle Magazine’s August issue, we created various looks for Yang Yang based on the different characteristic styles inspired by KissKiss and LPRN lip sticks.

We then created a campaign microsite, encouraging consumers to choose their favourite style from Yang Yang and upload a look to match up and a chance win a date with him to to be broadcasted live on T-mall, China’s biggest e-commerce platform. To drive participation and buzz, we seeded the campaign using leading Key Opinion Leaders in Fashion and Beauty on WeChat the biggest social platform in China. A total of 40 KOLs from fashion verticals led the engagement by uploading their own looks which further stirred up the competition online.

But the biggest highlight of our execution is on how we successfully leveraged the the much talked-about drama of the season “A Smile is Beautiful” – a romance drama adapted from a popular novel starred by Yang Yang himself. With Youku as our key media partner, we employed impactful formats and innovative ad positions to enhance the visibility of the 2 Guerlain lip sticks and extend the campaign peak along with the drama.

Finally at the end of the campaign, Yang Yang picked out his date to attend the brand offline event live-broadcasted on the T-mall and Youku. To catch the momentum and close the loop, Guerlain also announced the official launch of it’s e-boutique on TMALL, leading to the fast growing sales from hereon. 

Results: how did your work drive growth for the client?

Through the combination of localized content, relevant platforms and seamless engagement experience, we have helped Guerlain to win among the millennials. 

Engagement on digital platform were incredible and even set records.

• 16% feeds ad impression on WeChat (a rare for a luxury brand campaign) generated interaction or buzz with the brand; Traffic and engagement mostly came from females aged 18-35 years old;

• Campaign site generrated 599 photo uploads and 25,387 voting throughout the campaign period;

• Live broadcasting platforms garnered a total of 4,550,000 likes and 43,000 comments during the live event period which created a new record among T-mall beauty brands.

Most importantly, Guerlain achieved an historical high on both brand search volume (tripled average brand performance) and sales revenue cross channel, especially live broadcasting period, more than 10,000 pieces of lipstick were sold- a sales increase of 200% YOY and 300% vs. two years ago.