NEW YORK — A beautiful model without a stitch of makeup is the cornerstone of a beauty retailer’s latest efforts to sell more cosmetics.
The campaign from Ulta pairs a before-and-after image of a model as the focal point of new advertising that not only directs shoppers to Ulta’s 300-plus stores via coupons, but also encourages women to view a how-to video on Ulta’s Web site and its Facebook page to learn how to achieve the “after” look.
“The campaign goes back to the original vision of Ulta,” said Ulta president and chief executive officer Lyn Kirby. “This is a fresh and innovative extension of finding ways to deliver education, entertainment and, now, empowerment. We want our customer to know she can put on makeup and obtain a look.”
Kirby added that Ulta is all about an “approachable” experience and that’s reflected in the campaign as well as in stores where Ulta’s well-trained consultants advise shoppers on all brands across the store — mass and class.
“By featuring our model au natural, Ulta had the opportunity to demonstrate simple steps to achieve the most updated looks,” said Kirby. “We can all get the after look if we have the know how.”
The print advertising will appear in March issues of Vanity Fair, InStyle and Allure. Ulta will continue to roll out new looks in the April and May issues of other national magazines. Each new look will be paired with a corresponding how-to video on ulta.com and the beauty retailer’s Facebook page. Tweets on Twitter will update followers about new looks.
The ad has a $5 off any purchase of $10 or more coupon that can be used in-store or online. Ulta has featured similar coupons in its other national advertising, which has been in place for about five years. This, however, is Ulta’s biggest push to date.
Getting a model brave enough to pose without any makeup was a challenge. Ulta’s advertising agency, LaSpata, embraced it, as did the fresh-faced model selected. “The thought of appearing makeup-free in Vanity Fair was unnerving,” said the campaign’s model, Mona Johannesson. “I was up to the challenge because I wanted to be a part of a project that teaches women how to look and feel runway ready, with the help of small makeup modifications. Even as a professional model, I find myself looking for accessible makeup application tips,” she said. “I’m excited to share with women the simple steps it takes in order to achieve your own model makeover.”
Kirby is especially excited about the positive message the campaign sends to younger girls who can see how to achieve a makeup artist look by themselves. Teen Vogue will run the April advertisements.
An unnamed makeup artist performs the makeovers using a wide array of items at varying price points sold at Ulta. Currently the company is sticking to items sold throughout the entire chain, which eliminates the use of Clinique since it is only offered in limited doors.Kirby called the videos a “constant evolution,” and she hopes instant feedback from viewers can be used to fine-tune future how-to efforts.
The items and shades are named to make it easy for consumers to buy what they need. Visitors to ulta.com and the Ulta page on Facebook will be able to print out the instruction and a shopping list. At this time, there are no sponsorships from manufacturers; the items used are what the makeup artist believes achieve the look. The debut application is what Kirby describes as a “fun and flirty look” that should work on any facial shape and complexion.
There will be three more makeup videos offered over the next several months using the same model. “What’s neat is that you can see how very different the same model can look with makeup,” said Kirby.
While print has always offered avenues for makeover tips, Kirby says the added dimension of video assists women, especially because they can pause and rewind to learn a trick. Kirby loves the power of print, but says that social and digital avenues are helping support Ulta’s overall marketing message. The first how-to video goes live today, the company said.
Subsequent how-to looks will be supplemented with in-store signage and the spring print campaign is built entirely around the before-and-after strategy.
Ulta is riding high in the beauty world, a testament to its merger of mass and class brands in an environment that is welcoming. The company continues to entice new brands to its roster, such as Benefit, while continuing to be a launch pad for thriving brands, such as its role in building fans for Bare Escentuals.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews