M.A.C. COSMETICS AUSTRALIA
Established makeup business M.A.C. Cosmetics used Instagram branded content ads to reach a younger demographic and gain new customers, which lifted product awareness by 11 points and purchase intent by 8.5 points.
Founded in Canada in 1984 and now part of the Estée Lauder Companies, M.A.C. Cosmetics is a beauty business with retailers, stockists and ambassadors across the globe. Known for its bright, bold colors, M.A.C. is one of the world's foremost professional brands with a long-standing reputation for makeup artistry.
lift in product awareness for M.A.C. Studio Radiance
lift in purchase intent among 18- to 34-year-olds
of incremental sales came from females aged 18–44
Younger generations are increasingly important in the beauty category, so M.A.C. wanted to connect with this growing cohort. The primary campaign goal was to increase consideration for its Studio Radiance range and gain new customers among Australian females aged 18–44.
To connect with younger audiences, M.A.C. needed to be present where they are actively seeking inspiration, information and interactive brand engagement. Instagram is currently the most-watched video destination among online platforms (and even TV) for beauty, fashion and style in Australia, so M.A.C. determined that Facebook platforms would be key to engaging this audience.
M.A.C. adopted a “full-funnel” strategy: one that targets ads to people at different stages of the purchase journey. Part of that strategy included using the Facebook Discovery Commerce system to help guide customers from discovery to purchase. This marketing system framework brings Facebook’s advertising and shopping solutions together to match products to people—so people can easily discover and buy the things they are most likely to love.
All of M.A.C.’s campaign layers worked together by using consistent messaging, with paid media investments and optimizations focused on increasing mid-funnel outcomes, measured as purchase intent. The layers included:
Awareness: Augmented Reality ads to allow people to virtually try on the foundation with the M.A.C. glow filter
Consideration: branded content ads to amplify influential Creator content and Instant Experiences to guide customers to a full-screen, immersive, in-platform experience where they could order a product sample
Conversion: Ads featured the products, alongside a strong call to action, and encouraged purchase with a free accompanying gift.
Research has revealed that 55% of Australians (especially younger generations) think it’s important for brands to post real “unphotoshopped” content. M.A.C. therefore made branded content ads central to the consideration layer of this campaign, amplifying the authentic, trusted content of its well-established network of creators. The ads predominantly featured real, unedited images of people using products in the Studio Radiance range. Without editing or filters, beauty influencers demonstrated product samples and provided “first looks” to the target audience. The raw, unedited photos made an impact on online audiences, who praised the brand's move away from over-produced photos.
M.A.C.’s full-funnel approach and impactful branded content ads successfully connected with younger audiences and gave strong results. Following the Studio Radiance campaign, M.A.C. Cosmetics measured the following results with Facebook brand lift and conversion lift studies:
11-point lift in product awareness for M.A.C. Studio Radiance
8.5-point lift in purchase intent among 18- to 34-year-olds
79% of incremental sales came from females aged 18–44