Case Study


Maybelline worked with Isentia’s Insights team on the relaunch of their Hyper Sharp Liner with a one-month integrated campaign that aimed to leverage off the increasing use of social media by the product’s target audience.

Maybelline - Insights Analysis View the Case Study on AMEC
2014 AMEC Award Winner

Relaunch of Hyper Sharp Eye Liner

Maybelline New York is an American cosmetic brand, which markets its products around the world. Maybelline launched its Hyper Sharp Liner in Hong Kong in July 2011, and the product quickly became the brand’s No.1 liner. By 2013, the cosmetics market in Hong Kong had become increasingly competitive, with the emergence of new players with comparable products as well as competition from many other international cosmetics brands.

The Challenge

With the emergence of new players with comparable products as well as competition from many other international cosmetics brands, Maybelline decided to relaunch the Hyper Sharp Liner with a one-month integrated campaign that aimed to leverage off the increasing use of social media by the product’s target audience (15- to 25-year-old females).

They wanted to:

  • Understand the launch effectiveness and clearly identify Maybelline’s position by gauging the changes in the amount of buzz in social media about the Hyper Sharp Liner;
  • Evaluate Maybelline’s buzz share before and after the product’s launch, and in comparison to competitors buzz shares;
  • Identify the sources of buzz about the Hyper Sharp Liner during the campaign and the level of online influence of these sources;
  • Measure brand awareness and product perception across different promotional channels.

The Solution

To ensure the objectives were not only specific and measureable but also attainable and relevant, Maybelline’s digital team undertook traditional research (offline) and social media research (online) before agreeing on the ideas and tactics that were crucial to the outcomes.

Primary Research (Offline) – At the start of the communication planning, Maybelline conducted focus groups with potential candidates about their perceptions, opinions and beliefs about eye liner. The Maybelline team brainstormed a list of questions and collected responses about issues such as liner design, usage and knowledge.

Social Media Research (Online) – Working with Isentia, Maybelline used the 1-Social digital monitoring system to conduct retrospective research across social discussions of cosmetic products on major forums, blogs, Social Network Services, microblogs, and video and review sites. This research was used to refine the questions that came out of Maybelline’s team brainstorming and help the team with its decisions about campaign strategy.

Actionable Insights

  • Insight one – INSPIRATION Consumers are conservative and reluctant to try dramatic makeup looks, but they want to be inspired and to learn
  • Insight two – EDUCATION Consumers are not knowledgeable about how to create a personalised liner look without references and education
  • Insight three – ACTIVATION Consumers like to follow trends, but are reluctant to try because they don’t see lots of people around them wearing liner art. They want to be unique but are afraid of getting too much attention when they look different

The Verdict

The campaign was a remarkable milestone for Maybelline. The company’s share of voice increased, as did interest in the product, demonstrating how social media measurement can be leveraged to optimise a campaign. The qualitative and quantitative outcomes included the following:

1. Record Breaking Sell-Out:

Through the one-month communication campaign, Maybelline achieved a projected sell out of units. The number sold was dramatically higher than the number of units sold at the first launch of the Hyper Sharp Liner, and also a significant increase against the average number of unit sold in 2012.

2. Strong Purchase Intent:

After the Hyper Sharp Integrated Marketing Communication campaign, the majority of research candidates declared they had already purchased the product, or expressed an intention to purchase it.

3. Strong Campaign Awareness:

A significant majority of the research candidates stated that their perception of Hyper Sharp Liner’s performance in creating liner art improved after the campaign launch. A much higher proportion of Maybelline’s buzz on social media related to Hyper Sharp Liner, with the product positively described as “easy to use” and “waterproof”.

4. Strong Consumer Receptiveness:

The number of consumers who said they thought Hyper Sharp was ‘very good or good’ after the launch, and the volume of consumer posts about the product on social media also rose.

5. Achieved Social Engagement and Online Coverage

With the use of social media evolving at an increasing pace, Isentia monitoring on verified social media channels significantly contributed to the evolution of Maybelline’s communication plan. The sales records achieved through the campaign proved the success of transiting consumers from online to offline. The cosmetic industry will become even more challenging in the near future, and this methodology has created opportunities for Maybelline’s ongoing branding activities.


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