ChapStick: ChapStick "Beauty Confessions" Quiz


Campaign Summary

ChapStick promoted its new Total Hydration beauty line with an online quiz.


Objective and Context:

ChapStick is one of very few brands that can lay claim to a 135-year-old brand heritage, and its longstanding success is indicative of the brand's commitment to staying relevant as consumer behaviors and preferences change. While the brand has been the longtime lip care market leader, category competition has grown increasingly fierce over the last couple of decades. Simultaneously, consumer demand and sophistication have also increased. Although the lip-care category historically offered classic balms and flavors, there was a burgeoning group of beauty consumers desiring lip products with the moisture inherent to lip balms coupled with beauty and skincare product attributes such as tints, colors, finishes, and trendy ingredients.

In response to this shift, ChapStick launched its Total Hydration (TH) line, targeting new segments and marking the brand's expansion into beauty. With a new audience to appeal to, ChapStick needed to stay on top of beauty trends, such as personalization. While this trend had affected every category, it made an outsized dent in the beauty space, with a slew of direct-to-consumer brands providing fully personalized end-to-end experiences, including the product formulations themselves.

Knowing digital was the best medium for testing the waters quickly, effectively, and efficiently, ChapStick set out to design an insight-driven and mobile-first website quiz delivering personalized TH regimen recommendations to the brand's new beauty-focused segments. ChapStick's quiz objectives included building brand-engaged audiences, generating leads to promote upsell of TH products, increasing consumers' time spent with ChapStick to foster brand love and to reinforce its beauty category relevance, and gleaning actionable consumer insights. Success was measured in terms of:

  • Quiz engagement metrics/time spent
  • The collection of meaningful results
  • TH sales

Target Audience:

The quiz focused on two segments:

  • Status Conveyors: Millennial-skewing, urban-dwelling women with full-time jobs, a love of luxury brands, and a desire to stay on-trend
  • Beauty "Routineists": Women skewing in age toward generation X, often married without children, and focused on their physical appearances and makeup regimens

Both segments were unified by their desire to feel confident about how they looked and felt, their interest in the beauty category, and their strong over-indices on digital media versus the general U.S. population.

Creative Strategy:

When planning the quiz strategy, ChapStick conducted extensive research into the psychology behind why quizzes are so popular online and what makes the best ones effective. The insights and marketing implications that the brand uncovered didn't exist in any comprehensive industry literature.

First, quizzes tap into humans most fundamental psychological needs: social belonging, narrative identity, and social proof. People take quizzes to reaffirm their self-images and take great pride in sharing results with friends, often receiving additional affirmation through comments and reactions. Second, quizzes keep people engaged through a variety of psychological effects, such as the sunk cost fallacy, and willpower depletion. Knowledge of these facts helped inform ChapStick's design of its quiz.

Knowing that 82 percent of consumers have engaged with quizzes seen on social media, ChapStick relied on affinity-targeted and engagement-retargeted Facebook and Instagram paid media support to drive awareness of the quiz over the campaign period, which is still ongoing.


Overall Campaign Execution:

While the campaign is still running, 97 percent of the quiz-driving social media budget between September 2019 and July 2020 supported mobile placements. This allocation of resources was rooted in Chapstick's understanding of the target consumers' media consumption habits, with Status Conveyors and Beauty Routineists being heavy consumers of mobile media.

ChapStick's use of mobile social targeting technologies enabled it to implement a Facebook pixel on the quiz and build an audience optimized for quiz-completions and quiz results, thereby allowing the brand to reach more engaged users with its social content on a rolling basis.

Mobile Execution:

ChapStick knew that:

  • Its consumers believe their lip balm choices are reflections of their personalities.
  • They enjoy engaging with personalized beauty-related content.
  • Interactive content with brand recommendations are 5.5 times as likely to convert consumers than passive content.

Armed with this knowledge, ChapStick was focused on designing an immersive and psychologically-compelling experience for its consumers. The intimate viewing-context that mobile makes possible presented the best opportunity for the brand to achieve its desired impact.

After reviewing a wealth of inspiring quiz examples, ChapStick's designed its quiz to reflect a variety of best practices. For instance, it:

  • Drew consumers in with personalized language and the promise of personalized and shareable beauty product recommendations
  • Called consumers out by name throughout the quiz
  • Incorporated animations and conversational copy to create energy and relatability
  • Aimed for a less than five-minute completion time
  • Structured questions from easy to hard with a quickly accelerating progress bar
  • Capitalized on the sunk cost fallacy and the willpower depletion effect to collect emails more effectively prior to results

Central to generating quiz traffic were a handful of Facebook and Instagram media-supported posts. These ran on a quarterly basis and leveraged some of the same psychologically-driven best practices already noted. These posts featured an easily clickable CTA that immediately opened the quiz experience on Once consumers completed the quiz, they were emailed an exclusive coupon and presented with buy now CTAs that incorporated MikMak's frictionless multi-retailer add-to-cart technology.

Mobile was foundational to this campaign, and ChapStick's intentional creation of immersive and streamlined mobile experiences from social placements to e-commerce conversion produced an activation that effectively engaged the brand's beauty-savvy consumers and drove business results.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Since its launch in July 2019, the quiz has yielded great success and proven the value of grounding creative and media strategies in insightful human psychology and behavioral data. With over 17,000 unique pageviews, a 60 percent start rate and a 50 percent completion rate (despite the quiz taking approximately four minutes to complete), the quiz has resulted in the collection of approximately 5,000 highly-relevant consumer email addresses and a 17 percent conversion rate.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Data/Insights, Lead Generation/DR/Conversion | Awards: NA Gold Winner