Maybelline New York: Maybelline Empowers Gen Z With Daring Makeup Transformations


Campaign Summary

The "Lì 2.0: Empowering Gen Z with Daring Makeup Transformations" campaign by Maybelline New York utilized the power of key opinion consumers (KOCs) on TikTok to transition from awareness to conversion, resulting in significant sales uplift, brand engagement, and a strengthened association with daring makeup among generation Z consumers.



In 2022, the makeup category experienced a decline in buyers. Alongside pandemic-related restrictions, this downturn was influenced by increased levels of self-acceptance among young people. Makeup was no longer the top choice for enhancing self-confidence. As the leading makeup brand for the youth, Maybelline New York (MNY) faced the challenge of redefining the role of makeup in the lives of younger consumers.

Building upon the success of the breakthrough campaign in 2021, MNY established the "Lì" (daring) platform among the generation Z. For the second wave of the campaign in 2022, Maybelline aimed to elevate the mission with the following objectives:


  • Provide daring generation Z with a new and lasting motivation to use makeup, thus regaining their engagement.
  • Establish "long-wear" as a key differentiator and a meaningful aspect of the brand compared to its competitors through the "Lì" platform.
  • Successfully launch the HyperSharp 36H Liner as a key product driver.

Secondary (long-term):

  • Enhance the brand's meaningfulness through three essential brand associations: "Brand that I trust," "Brand that shows me how to apply makeup," and "Brand that delivers long-lasting results."

Target Audience:

To effectively reach generation Z, the brand identified crucial and intriguing connections with its consumers.

Firstly, the consumers are high-life aspirers who work hard, play hard, and drive change. They are known as "Mấy Bé Lì," resilient in life and extreme in style. Generation Z is digitally aware and savvy right from the start. Therefore, to keep up with this fast-paced generation, the brand needed to be prompt and proactive.

Secondly, according to research, generation Z prefers micro-influencers or key opinion consumers (KOCs) who can fit into their "social bubble" and provide authentic reviews that they can trust.

Creative Strategy:

Maybelline now had a clear path to win over generation Z. Generation Z represents a multi-dimensional generation with diverse roles, passions, styles, and professions. They reject an everyday makeup look that defines them. Instead, they seek multiple appearances to express their chosen identities. This is the essence of their daring nature. Capitalizing on this unique insight, MNY offered experimental beauty options that are as instant, diverse, and daring as generation Z desires.

With the primary objective of "winning back generation Z's usage," the brand recognized the advantages of KOC marketing over key opinion leader (KOL) marketing. Although most KOCs may not have a large fan base, they play a crucial role in influencing consumers' buying decisions. Therefore, to have a significant impact, the brand chose to implement a KOC-focused hyper funnel strategy on TikTok.


The "Lì" platform had been well-established in 2021 through the breakthrough campaign "Mấy Bé Lì," effectively showcasing its dominant long-lasting unique selling proposition (USP) and aligning it with generation Z's daring attitude, setting it apart from other makeup brands. In 2022, the campaign continued to leverage the "Lì" story to empower generation Z's new "Multiple Shades" lifestyle.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Unlike typical awareness-only TikTok campaigns, the brand decided to leverage key opinion consumers (KOCs) as the primary strategy to transition from awareness to conversion on TikTok.

In the top funnel of awareness, the brand utilized generation Z's favorite content, music, combined with striking visuals and the influential presence of four representative figures of generation Z: the viral factor (Mỹ Anh), the embodiment of generation Z (Nân), the advocate for girls' beauty (Low G), and the face of makeup (Bling Baby). Bling Baby, a popular KOC, served as a brand ambassador in the key asset for the first time. Collectively, these KOCs had a combined social media following of 1.892 million. The campaign began with a full music video on YouTube and then extended to TikTok with short-form content.

The KOC-focused hyper funnel strategy was instrumental in maximizing the power of KOCs on TikTok. Bling Baby, as an ambassador and a leading KOC, inspired and recruited over 300 KOCs to spread the campaign's thematic message through TikTok transformation videos using the sound from the music video.

Furthermore, Bling Baby continued to lead more then 300 KOCs in creating "product extreme test" content to drive conversions. These product test videos always directed users to the brand's ecommerce site, enticing them with irresistible bundles and promotions to encourage product trials and purchases.

To conclude, Bling Baby's influential presence was leveraged as a key element for offline activations, alongside collaborations with Shopee and beauty retailers for media activations on Brand Day. These collaborative activities made an impact on makeup buyers, providing them with the opportunity to meet the brand ambassador in person and inspiring them to enhance their makeup skills to shine in their own unique ways.

Mobile Execution:

In 2022, mobile played a central role in the campaign, accounting for 89 percent of the media budget. The brand allocated 25 percent of the investment to YouTube music videos for thematic content and 75 percent to TikTok for product reviews and tutorial content created by influencers.

In the awareness stage, the brand implemented a YouTube strategy with a mix of reach and view optimization. The campaign focused on reaching a large audience during the first week, and the peak day of the campaign was reserved for TikTok Top View ads.

To sustain conversions, the brand employed branded ads on TikTok, targeting consumers who had been reached during the awareness phase. This strategy aimed to establish a viral product launch and encourage users to engage with the brand through user-generated content (UGC).

To complete the conversion loop and drive purchases on Maybelline's ecommerce store, the brand used a combination of retargeting and paid ads, employing diverse touchpoints: For off-site ecommerce traffic visibility, the brand leveraged Facebook CPAS and TikTok conversion ads. Music inspiration and the image of ambassadors were used extensively, while TikTok instant ads were employed to showcase relevant product catalogs, providing convenience for the audience to make purchases. For on-site ecommerce traffic visibility, the brand invested in media visibility banners, CRM, search ads, Shopee channels, and other platforms to reach the target audience.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The makeup category experienced a significant decline in penetration, with a 5.3 percent decrease in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a decrease in generation Z spending, resulting in a loss of long-term motivation. As the number one makeup brand in the mass market, Maybelline needed to lead the recruitment game to regain generation Z's usage. Additionally, following the success of the breakthrough 2021 campaign, the brand sought to further enhance its meaningfulness to generation Z.

Within a short span of two months, the results were transformative:

  • Maybelline achieved notable sales results, attributed to the power of the KOC Hub. In April 2022:
    • Super Stay foundation saw a 7 percent increase compared to January 2022, maintaining its position as the top foundation in the market and top-ranking in face makeup on Shopee.
    • Hyper Sharp Reno, the key eyeliner product, experienced a 12 percent month-on-month increase and became the top-selling eyeliner in the market. It achieved a remarkable 316 percent year-on-year growth, setting a record for the highest monthly sales of a liner on Shopee.
    • Cushion matte gained three times the market share for lip makeup compared to the previous year, becoming a top-five product in the lip makeup category on Shopee.

There was a significant boost in sales for the Super Stay franchise on Offline Brand Day, with a substantial increase of 80 percent in end consumer sales and 51 percent in sales for beauty retailers.

  • The campaign generated substantial brand awareness and engagement on social media:
    • The campaign garnered 8 million views and 523,000 engagements during the awareness phase, and 46 million views and 2 million engagements during the consideration phase.
    • KOC records achieved the highest engagement levels to date, with 54 million views and 9.5 million earned views from the 300 plus KOCs.
    • Orders experienced significant growth, with a four times return on ad spend (ROAS) compared to the norm and a 2.5 times increase in the number of orders.
  • The campaign successfully enhanced the brand's associations:
    • "Brand that shows me how to makeup" increased by one point.
    • "Brand that I trust" increased by five points.
    • "Brand that delivers long-lasting results" increased by seven points.
    • "Lì" (the daring platform) registered a substantial increase of 6.2 points, four times the norm (data from Kantar, July 2022).

Among generation Z, the campaign successfully helped the brand regain usage and reinforce the differentiation associated with the three must-win associations. The campaign also led the beauty mass market with the KOC-focused hyper funnel for the first time, resulting in the following increases:

  • Regular usage increased from 34 percent to 63 percent.
  • The ad recall witnessed a lift of 13.5 percent for the campaign.

YouTube, TikTok, and ecommerce platforms contributed significantly to brand awareness and conversion:

  • YouTube: The campaign reached 60 percent of the generation Z audience, exceeding the target of 40 percent.
  • TikTok: The campaign reached 69 percent of the generation Z audience, surpassing the target of 60 percent.
  • Ecommerce: The campaign achieved a 7.8 percent increase in market share, surpassing the target of 5 percent.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Creator/Influencer Marketing | Awards: X Global Bronze Winner