Cosmetics brand wet n wild has always offered a colorful array of products at super-low prices, but the brand had been pigeonholed as "cheap" and "generic" by consumers and retailers alike. The Steal the Look campaign repositioned them as the brand that brings women access to all the high-fashion, high-cost looks they love.

With a teeny-tiny budget, this challenger brand couldn't afford to run TV more than a handful of times. But that was OK. A spot–directed by iconic high-fashion director David LaChapelle–immediately elevated the brand in the eyes of retailers and launched the lynchpin of the campaign: the Steal the Look app. The app was a first-of-its-kind tool which gave women the power to steal any makeup look they love, from anywhere at all. See how it worked in the video above.


Leveraging Influencers
To gain credibility quickly, we partnered with influencers throughout the campaign. The app and TV spot featured a well-known beauty blogger and the campaign site used tips by a "makeup artist to the stars."

A Focus on Social Media
We concentrated our efforts where our target lives. Using a newsroom approach, we were able to efficiently create content that served various purposes: sometimes product-focused, sometimes the deeper activations that cement brand loyalty and acquire new fans. And it paid off. In just a few months, positive sentiment for the brand increased by more than 25%.

Stealing the Look of Starlets and Pop Princesses
We consistently delivered on our brand promise of giving women access to any makeup look they love. For the Grammy's, we found out precisely what time each commercial break was scheduled. Knowing our target would be looking to their cell phones at these moments, we created the #InstaGrammys, posting real-time "steals" of the looks celebs were wearing on stage. 

Keep scrolling to see one of my favorite wet n wild Social Activations.



#WildAboutYou
"All women need to hear they're amazing."
Those are the words of Joey Schleicher, who overheard a woman gossiping about her and wrote an open letter on the Huffington Post that went viral. We agreed and jumped on this opportunity for real-time engagement, asking Joey to join us in a social push we called #WildAboutYou.

The compliments
In the week leading up to National Compliment Day, we began to post compliments to influencers, bloggers and especially "regular gals" on behalf of Joey. Around 200 per day, actually. And we created "compliment cards" that women could share with each other.

The results
This week-long activation earned 4.4 million media impressions, including the one here (from Bustle). Engagement on our social media platforms went through the roof, with our Facebook following alone increasing by 600%. And the goodwill was palpable. All for an idea that cost around $500.


The campaign was a massive success for the brand.
The sales lift was nearly immediate in a time when cosmetics sales were flat. And after my partner and I joined our clients on cross-country presentations to their top retailers, we achieved major sell-in. Walmart placed our brand in 500 more stores, Target awarded wet n wild full chain distribution and Rite Aid followed suit--- at the expense of our biggest competitor, NYC. All of which meant over $18 million in shelf presence and a very, very happy team.