As consumers call for a more honest and natural approach to beauty, luxury beauty retailer Bluemercury’s raw, personal #showusyourbag campaign, which launched on Thursday, emerges at just the right time.
Running across Bluemercury’s e-commerce website and social channels, Show Us Your Bag contains a series of photos, videos and question-and-answer sets centered on the idea of creating a more honest definition of beauty. The products featured are used by a diverse cast of real people — 13 men and women of various ages. This, along with the company’s integration of the buy-now, pay-later payment option Klarna are meant to appeal to the inclusive and diverse shoppers that make up Gen Z, the top consumer group in 2021.
“Bluemercury has always been focused on a personal connection and [the notion] that beauty is unique to every individual,” said Tracy Kline, Bluemercury’s svp of marketing and merchandising, in reference to the “evergreen” campaign, which will run through the rest of 2021.
Bluemercury launched with Klarna in April, and the feature has been helpful in reaching younger customers, said Jeff Genette, CEO of Macy’s, which owns Bluemercury. It’s seen an overall “higher spend per visit” and increased acquisition of new younger customers (currently, 45% are under age 40), Genette said during the company’s first-quarter 2021 earnings relesase. Likewise, according to Kline, the authentic nature of the campaign appeals to Gen Z. She said that Show Us Your Bag isn’t an ordinary campaign, but instead reflects “a foundational element of the company” that will continue to evolve with new additions to the featured cast.
“Creating that connection with people is something that’s really important,” said Richie Gleason, Bluemercury’s senior creative director. “Our beauty experts have been doing that in-store for years. But if you don’t live by us, or if you haven’t been able to experience that, then you might not know what the company provides.”
The campaign attempts to bridge this gap. “The experience [is] online and completely shippable,” and it captures the philosophy at the core of Bluemercury through photographer Bill Gentle, said Gleason.
Show Us Your Bag isn’t the first digital campaign launched by the beauty retailer since Covid-19. In July of 2020, Bluemercury debuted a social and digital campaign that was crowdsourced from regional in-store associates and customers. Show Us Your Bag extends Bluemercury’s attempts to develop a more authentic relationship with customers, by working with them.
Furthermore, Glossy-exclusive Launchmetrics data revealed that while skin-care conversations grew by 23% in 2020, makeup declined by 10%. These findings are not surprising given the push for beauty looks that appear natural and ultimately help subtly redefine what beauty is within the industry.
The ideologies behind the campaign “go along with a lot of the newer brands you’re seeing emerge,” like Ariane Goldman’s Hatch Mama, a skin-care brand focused on the needs of new moms and moms-to-be. These brands emphasize not just “clean, vegan, cruelty-free” beauty, but also products developed by “real people.” That includes the imperfect but “confident” people showcased in the campaign, said Kline.
“It’s important to have the conversations that beauty is not about covering up or hiding behind something. It’s about celebrating uniqueness,” said Kline.