Cannes Lions

The First Haircut


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By placing real women and their inspirational stories about their ‘first haircut’ post-treatment at its center, the campaign delivered authenticity, emotion and ultimately, engagement, with a strong call-to-action that was directly linked to beauty.

Ulta Beauty’s celebration of the trials and triumphs of these women and its focus on a unique story angle of women fighting this horrible disease, helped the brand cut through the clutter and realize the benefits of true shared value, earning consumer trust and achieving brand differentiation by tackling an important but sensitive social issue.


Ulta Beauty released an emotional video celebrating one woman’s journey from the despair of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment to the triumph and beautiful new beginning that her first haircut symbolized. The video inspired Ulta Beauty customers to support this important cause and engage with the brand through their own ‘UltaPinkOver’. Activations at all 800+ Ulta Beauty in-store beauty salons drove deeper consumer engagement and direct participation in fundraising initiatives.

• The Ellen DeGeneres Show: Official partner for America’s most-watched day-time talk show for all of October. Ulta Beauty featured in a series of guest and celebrity game segments that ended with a donation to BCRF.

• National “UltaPinkOver” Event: Partnered with actress Tiffani Thiessen, whose mother-in-law survived breast cancer, to host an event where seven survivors were invited to a day of beauty.

• #UltaPinkOver: Every UltaPinkOver makeover selfie tagged led to a $1 BCRF donation.


As a result of the campaign, Ulta Beauty drove brand equity and awareness and saw a dramatic increase in both donations and sales.

• 1.5 million people watched the Ulta Beauty’s ‘First Haircut’ video

• 6,535 consumers participated in #UltaPinkOver, posting photos online.

• The campaign generated more than 536 million media impressions in a month.

• From People to E! News and Hollywood Today Live to Bustle, stories featured the campaign and the inspiring stories behind it.

• The campaign contributed to an overall increase in awareness which jumped to 82 percent, a significant improvement compared to 18 months prior

• Contributions to BCRF increased 20 percent from the previous year up to $3.6M

• Same store sales increased 12.8% compared to the same time period in 2014.

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McCANN , New york



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