MAC Cosmetics U.K. and Ireland is banking on the resurgence of makeup sales, as lockdown restrictions in Europe ease and people return to their usual summer activities.
On Wednesday, MAC debuted a six-week-long digital and out-of-home campaign across TikTok, Spotify, Snapchat and billboard advertising in the U.K. and Ireland. It’s focusing on cities like London, Liverpool, Cardiff, Dublin and Aberdeen. The campaign, called “Love Me,” targets Gen Z and millennials to promote the brand’s new Love Me Liquid Lipcolour. It’s inspired by popular self-empowerment and mood-boosting trends that have taken off on TikTok and Spotify. For example, the hashtags #selflove and #bodypositivity on TikTok have earned 19.2 billion and 11.3 billion views, respectively. The total media campaign is predicted to reach 43% of all women in the U.K., approximately 11.4 million people.
“This is a great opportunity for us to come back with a bit of a bang, [after] the pandemic had stopped many of us from wearing lipstick while being at home,” said Fiona Sainty, vp and gm at MAC Cosmetic U.K. and Ireland. “We’re hoping that Love Me is a nice opportunity to talk to about our new innovation, but also to come back and solidify our position as the No.1 prestige lipstick brand.”
Sainty declined to state specific sales figures but said that sales of eye makeup, foundation and concealer had remained strong during the primary lockdown period. So far, lip pencils have begun to see “phenomenal growth” in 2021, she said.
MAC worked with Spotify to create three different mood-boosting playlists, called “Confidence Boost,” “Feelin’ Myself” and “Mood Booster.” The playlists also feature MAC audio ads for those who listen to Spotify for free. In addition, MAC is employing augmented reality filters on both Snapchat and TikTok. The AR filters allow users to virtually try-on four Liquid Lipcolor shades while offering affirmations of self-love. MAC is the first brand to use Snapchat’s shade-matching lens and color recognition technology. A Snap QR code has been added to MAC gondolas in-store, as well.
On TikTok, MAC is using the platform’s TopView ad format, which will make it the first video everyone sees when they open the app in the U.K. and Ireland. MAC declined to share its total campaign investment, but Bloomberg reported in June that a TopView ad costs $2 million in the U.S. Meanwhile, The Verge previously reported that Snapchat-sponsored lenses can call between $450,000-$750,000 per day. Additional paid media has been allocated to Facebook and Instagram digital ads.
“This is an opportunity to tell the MAC story to the [young] people who haven’t been brought up with MAC,” said Sainty. “Moving more into the digital space and being more prominent on some of these platforms will enable that understanding.”
MAC Cosmetics spent the past year updating both its e-commerce technologies and product portfolio to maintain that relevancy. In May 2020, the brand expanded its AR capabilities, and in April it began updating its products to offer lighter-feeling makeup and seize upon the “glow-y” skin trend. In July, MAC Cosmetics U.K. and Ireland will begin a “Trend Tuesday” digital campaign to emphasize how its portfolio of products can address any trend du jour. Melina Kacherou-Carage, MAC Cosmetic U.K. and Ireland director of marketing, said that the Love Me campaign helps MAC stay highly relevant for a rapidly evolving customer base.
“This is not a campaign that we would have developed the same way if we [had not gone through] lockdown,” said Kacherou-Carage. “So this campaign is incredibly important for the relevancy and engagement with our consumers. We are dialing up some key trends and brand pillars that we feel are important to consumers.”