MAC Cosmetics: A Digital Storyteller

At WWD's Digital Forum, Woozae Kim shared some of the philosophies and strategies that have digitally driven the makeup brand.

Woozae Kim, vice president of global consumer marketing and artist relations for MAC Cosmetics, shared some of the philosophies and strategies that have digitally driven the makeup brand, sparking global chatter — and sales — among its international fan base.

This story first appeared in the October 19, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Our focus is on content and storytelling,” said Kim about MAC’s visuals and seasonal collections. “It’s not just selling products, it’s about taking you to a whole [new] world.”

Boasting more than 3.2 million fans since joining Facebook in 2008, Kim said the brand is focused on speaking directly to its consumer, one who “constantly talks to us anyway” through social networking sites.

“Facebook allows us to target the world,” said Kim. “We don’t do a lot of promotion, so [it’s crucial] we maximize communication.” Kim used the example of MAC’s “MAC Me Over” campaign, which debuted in early August. The five-week contest offered more than 6,000 participants — who uploaded pictures and videos to the MAC Web site — the opportunity to become the face of a fall 2011 campaign. Six winners were flown to New York and given Flip cameras to record the experience (which included a professional photo shoot and a dramatic MAC makeover). Each personal video was also uploaded to the MAC Web site, helping to generate more than 225,000 hits.

“The winners represented diversity of the brand,” said Kim, referencing MAC’s inclusive “all ages, all races, all sexes” philosophy. “This [initiative] allowed us to celebrate our fan base and bring them into the brand.”

As another example of digital marketing aimed at consumer engagement, Kim cited the launch of the spring Quite Cute collection, which was inspired by beauty in Asia. For this campaign, MAC created an interactive “cute” pinball game through Facebook, which allowed Facebook friends to compete against each other, with winners named on MAC’s Facebook wall. The application resulted in an average playing time of over nine minutes, said Kim, who added that a mobile version was also launched to accommodate Asian consumers in markets where Facebook isn’t as popular.

Kim also discussed how MAC digitally leverages its lead makeup artists, using the launch of its Matchmaster foundation with its highly skin-specific colors, as an example.

“[We have a] consumer hungry to learn how to use these fantastic products we put out,” said Kim.

To that end, the brand, to complement the foundation’s launch, posted step-by-step tutorials and beauty tips from MAC lead artists, who were also available for question-and-answer sessions via live chat.

“Our senior artists are the celebrities of the brand,” said Kim. “Education and artistry are at the heart of what we do.”