German cosmetic brand, Essence, created their company to reach an inclusive audience of beginner beauty fans with a line of innovative, trend-based and high-quality products that were to be sold at affordable prices. Their aim was to appeal to the young girl in every beauty lover by giving them the incentive to have fun and play with their make up again.
Essence wanted to use an interactive Instagram and Facebook campaign that reinforced its “pink and proud” brand message and reached an audience of young German-speaking consumers. They used Augmented Reality ads and Facebook poll ads to encourage their target audience to join together in order to create an innovative community-generated augmented reality filter.
The brand had a strong following on Facebook and Instagram, on which it regularly engages with its consumers. They wanted to build on this success and encourage their demographic to engage even more deeply with the brand. To do this Essence decided to pioneer the first community-built AR filter. This filter was designed to be a fun cosmetic-inspired “mask” that celebrated individuality and confidence within their audience.
To kick start the campaign, the cosmetic brand began by targeting teens in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with polls in which they were asked; which of their own characteristics and features they were the proudest of. This question was also featured in ads alongside illustrations by artist Ada Bucholtz and the #pinkandproud hashtag. These ads were shown on Facebook News Feeds, Instagram feeds and in Stories.
Essence, along with leading AR creator Ines Alpha, then used the comments from the posts to generate three initial mask designs, that their community was able to see and decide on in poll ads across Facebook and Instagram. The interactive method provided a way for Essence to immediately understand how their audience was responding to the idea and what they wanted to see in the final design. Which then prompted them to share daily progress versions of the mask based on each days’ community feedback.
The final mask was eventually revealed in Augmented Reality ads on Facebook and Instagram, targeted at beauty fans between the ages of 13–34 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
In pioneering the reality mask campaign, Essence was able to capture the imaginations of, and successfully engage with, millions of teens. The campaign ran from January–February 2020, and resulted in:
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