Hair-care brand Amika, which means “friends” in the international language Esperanto, is shaking up its marketing playbook. Its new goal is to make the brand a household name by the end of 2022.
On March 1, Amika launched a brand awareness campaign called “Love All Your Hair Days.” Designed to celebrate self-expression, the campaign serves as the basis for Amika’s new media investment mix strategy. The new strategy expands beyond Amika’s traditional marketing toolkit of editorial placement, public relations and a focus on professional stylists. For example, Amika is using the campaign the test out-of-home and connected TV ads. Throughout 2022, Amika plans to also increase its investments in influencer marketing, paid social ads and sampling through subscription beauty boxes.
This isn’t the company’s first major marketing overhaul. In Dec. 2020, Amika debuted a new communication strategy in a campaign called “All Hair is Welcome” to denote a community-centric and inclusive tone. Love All Your Hair Days is a continuation of the new approach, to show consumers that anyone can use Amika products.
“The Love All Your Hair Days campaign is phase one of our ramped-up awareness strategies in 2022,” said Kelley Martin, svp of Amika. “Our [marketing] used to be a bit more grassroots. There was awareness, but it was through lower budget tactics, and our paid media was mid- and lower-funnel to drive sales to the site. In 2022, we’re putting a heavier, incremental investment in paid awareness media to drive eyeballs onto the brand.”
Amika partnered with Brooklyn-based advertising agency RXM Creative for the campaign concept and production. Since launching, “Love All Your Hair Days” has seen placement on connected Hulu TV ads, paid social ads and out-of-home ads. The latter was through a series of static and video billboards in Los Angeles shopping center The Grove — a first for the brand outside of New York City. Amika has seven placements within the shopping center and expects 2.6 million impressions between March 1 and April 15, said Martin. The campaign aims to convey a relatable approach to the emotional aspect of hair care and styling by featuring a diverse cast of models and also messaging that speaks to relatable “hair day” scenarios. For example, one message states “3 Days No Wash Hair Day,” while referencing Amika’s hero product Perk Up Dry Shampoo.
Amika has doubled its marketing and advertising budget for 2022, with 80% of the budget directed to video-first platforms like TikTok and YouTube and connected Hulu TV ads. In 2021, Amika experienced a 500% increase in TikTok video impressions, which inspired the move to further invest in video. Amika is investing the remaining 20% of its campaign budget to out-of-home ads in Los Angeles, said Martin.
A 2018 consumer study Amika performed with 8,000 people revealed that, although people recognized Amika by its packaging, there was a disconnect between its branding, products and aesthetics. Martin said a different study from the summer of 2021 with over 5,000 people found there was only 31% aided brand awareness from the consumer study, indicating Amika was not top of mind for consumers. But Chelsea Riggs, president of Amika, said Amika’s existing customers understood the brand well, which was a positive survey outcome demonstrating that the All Hair is Welcome campaign was successful.
“Love All Your Hair Days is certainly inspired by the mission and purpose of the brand but is less overt [than All Hair is Welcome]. It’s more based on insight from our consumers and the prestige hair consumer and [what] good hair days [mean to them],” said Riggs.
Moving forward, Amika’s year-long investments include tripling its sampling program in 2022, including 52,000 samples in the April Allure beauty box. There are also three in-person influencer events planned throughout 2022. One campaign on the scale of Love All Your Hair Days, which Martin called a “brand equity moment,” will take place in mid-2022. Two smaller product-focused campaigns will occur throughout the year, including a mid-March and April hashtag campaign on Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest called #perksofperkup about the dry shampoo. The #perksofperkup campaign is also Amika’s first paid TikTok campaign. The brand enlisted 20 TikTokers with followings between 400,000 and 9 million people, and it paid to boost the videos’ reach.