Cannes Lions

Il Makiage Social Campaign

HUGE, New York / IL MAKIAGE / 2019

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Case Film
Presentation Image






Il Makiage is a makeup brand founded on 1970 in New York. After decades of dormancy, the brand set out to relaunch in the U.S. with a major splash. Il Makiage’s proprietary formulations are the foundation of an 800-piece makeup collection created with uncompromising attention to detail and glamour and we wanted our public expression to exemplify the brand ethos. Our target audience was prestige beauty shoppers, online shopping enthusiasts, those that are hyper-knowledgeable about beauty, values quality and convenience and is trendy, but also interested in what’s next.


For the launch of Il Makiage, we decided to go against the minimalism dominating the beauty industry. To do it, we decided to declare the death of minimalism and celebrate all high maintenance women out there, bringing back bold striking looks, with a tone of voice that resonated with bold, sassy, successful, unapologetic women.


In 2018, the US beauty market was living in the era of the “cool girl”: The no makeup, clean face, guys’ girl that dresses in jeans and tees, and can go to a baseball game with the boys to chug beer and eat hotdogs. However, we found out through research that 42% of the millennials have more that 8 steps on their beauty routine, and 46% feel more confident when they spend time on their appearance. So in a world of minimalist, unadorned beauty startups, there was a space for Il Makiage to be defiant, and distinctive. So we set out to disrupt the market and put an end to minimalism, by ushering millennials into a new era of maximalism.


A month before the launch of the campaign, on May 1st, 2018, we published 9 posts on Instagram that together formed a mosaic that read “I guess you can sit with us”, in white typography over a black background. Each post was actually a video that showed the Il Makiage lifestyle, without even revealing the products. Just the bold, sassy, maximalist attitude of the brand. People went nuts for it, flooding the page with comments. On June 1st, we revealed the brand and tap onto some of the most famous beauty influencers in the country to create buzz around the brand, and to kickstart the actual campaign, that included disruptive headlines and captions, with stunning photography by Tony Kelly.


The campaign definitely struck a chord with the audience, who started screen-grabbing and reposting our posts, and even engaging with us to the point of writing new headlines. During the opening of our Soho Pop-Up Shop in NYC, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, lines were around the corner, with an average wait time of 1-hour to get into the store. Within a day of the launch, Il Makiage’s main product, the “Woke Up Like This Foundation”, was sold out online, and about 2M people visited our page. Since the launch the brand was still growing tenfold month to month, and Il Makiage is now one of the top five fastest growing brands online. In the end, Il Makiage single-handedly started a cultural conversation about the comeback of maximalism in beauty, and the need of celebrating confident, successful and independent women who are unapologetically their most extra self.

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