With its latest marketing campaign, Ipsy moves beyond Facebook and Instagram.
Eight-year-old Ipsy did $500 million in revenue last year and is currently the largest beauty subscription company and the No. 2 ranked subscription business overall after Dollar Shave Club, per to B2B ratings and reviews platform Clutch. Jenna Habayeb, Ipsy’s chief brand officer said its past marketing efforts have focused on lower-funnel tactics like consideration or purchase. However its new campaign, “Discover Yourself,” includes out-of-home billboards in Los Angeles, direct mail and video, and TV will be added later in the year. The campaign is set to come to life at Ipsy Live, which kicks off on October 11 in New York. Ipsy Live is a refresh of the brand’s annual Gen Beauty event with a focus on one-on-one interactions and tutorials.
“We have been thought leaders in the lower to middle funnel and have seen a lot of success through Facebook and Instagram, but we want to diversify that mix,” said Habayeb. “Awareness is a lot more emotional.” Habayeb would not disclose the cost of the “Discover Yourself” campaign, but said that Ipsy is not decreasing Facebook or Instagram social media spend but is instead upping investments in all tactics.
“Discover Yourself” features atypical beauty influencers as part of the new campaign. The nine ambassadors, including singer Ciara, adaptive athlete Misty Diaz, transgender activist Corey Rae and Gabi Fresh of plus-size fashion line Premme, will be on-hand at Live to remind both its 3 million customers and the larger beauty industry of Ipsy’s mission of “unique beauty.”
“Being digital-first has given us a lot of self awareness to navigate and understand what is happening in the industry, but we have been around for eight years, and we recognized we need to up-level our creative, our branding,” said Habayeb. “Our mission hasn’t changed, but we have a huge opportunity externally to advocate for self-expression.”
Rather than Ipsy being a mouthpiece for itself, the aformentioned ambassadors are an attempt to remind the beauty landscape that inclusion and diversity efforts need to push past ethnicity, explained Habayeb. For example, Ciara will be take part in solo meetups at Live with its 300-plus attendees and will be in conversation with her makeup artist Yolonda Frederick, as well as La La Anthony. Curated, community-focused events have increasingly become a focus for Ipsy in 2019.
“Ipsy has been dedicated in creating a beauty platform that allows people to express themselves and create deep connections with others. The “Discover Yourself” campaign is about a path toward self-discovery, encouragement, confidence,” said Jennifer Goldfarb, Ipsy’s cofounder and executive chairwoman.
Following Ipsy Live, the brand will triple its events next year, going to new markets including Atlanta and Toronto. A new modular pop-up will kick off at the end of the first quarter of 2020, allowing Ipsy to engage at existing festivals like Create & Cultivate and start discussions at college campuses.
“We see a very big opportunity with Gen Z at colleges and talking to that new group of customers there,” said Habayeb. “Having this footprint allows us to be more adaptable and nimble.”