iSentia Brandtology helped Maybelline Hong Kong to provide award-winning insights into a digital campaign

iSentia's insights help Maybelline Hong Kong learn from the success of the Hyper Sharp Liner's digital campaign. 

iSentia Brandtology recently won a Gold Award at the international Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication awards for the `Most Innovative Use of Measurement in a Digital Campaign’ for Maybelline New York – Hyper Sharp Liner.

When Maybelline launched its Hyper Sharp Liner in Hong Kong in July 2011, it quickly became the brand’s No.1 liner. By 2013, the cosmetics market in Hong Kong had become increasingly competitive, with the emergence of new players with comparable products as well as competition from many other international cosmetics brands. Maybelline decided to relaunch the Hyper Sharp Liner with a one month integrated campaign that aimed to leverage off the increasing use of social media by the product’s target audience (15- to 25-year-old females).

The goals of the campaign were to reinforce Hyper Sharp’s position as “star liner” and encourage more consumers to use the product, to encourage the Liner Art Trend in Hong Kong, and to consistently deliver the “No.1 Liner” message across different promotional tools. Maybelline New York approached iSentia Brandtology to help the company to:

  1. Understand the launch effectiveness and clearly identify Maybelline’s position by gauging the changes in the amount of buzz in social media about the Hyper Sharp Liner.
  2. Evaluate Maybelline’s buzz share before and after the product’s launch, and in comparison to competitors buzz shares.
  3.  Identify the sources of buzz about the Hyper Sharp Liner during the campaign and the level of online influence of these sources.
  4. Measure brand awareness and product perception across different promotional channels.

The campaign was a remarkable milestone for Maybelline. The company’s share of voice increased, as did interest in the product, demonstrating how social media measurement can be leveraged to optimise a campaign.

Key findings of the research undertaken by iSentia were anchored on three pillars:

  1. Inspiration – Consumers are conservative and reluctant to try dramatic makeup looks, but they want to be inspired and to learn.
  2. Education – Consumers are not knowledgeable about how to create a personalised liner look without references and education.
  3. Activation – Consumers like to follow trends, but are reluctant to try to because they don’t see lots of people around them wearing liner art. They want to be unique, but are afraid of getting too much attention when they look different.

    Learn more about our media analysis and the insights we offer by visiting

The results of the campaign were:

a) Market Trends Review for Idea Formulation 
iSentia Brandtology monitored and analysed the topics discussed in social media, to allow Maybelline to better understand the target audience’s interests, and to make comparisons about the topics discussed from month-to-month. This research revealed that ‘Eye Liner’ had been a consistently hot topic not only in in social media discussions that related to Maybelline, but also in discussions about competitors, which confirmed the market’s interest in and potential openness to Maybelline’s product.

b) Channel Research to Effectively Communicate 
iSentia Brandtology filtered the credible sources from various social media channels, by using Alexa ranking and preliminary research on each channels’ buzz volume, to locate the most influential platforms for Maybelline to leverage.

c) Set KPI for Blogger Selections 
We also compiled a list of bloggers by searching for keywords such as ‘eye liner’ and ‘cosmetic review’ on various blogs and video channels, including, and YouTube. iSentia Brandtology then created a number of social KPIs – including post engagement, post views and number of followers – to measure the bloggers who received the highest engagement from their recent blogs or vlogs. In response to this, Maybelline engaged with the top-ranking bloggers by asking them to participate in an exclusive product launch. After the event, all candidates were invited to share about the launch of the Hyper Sharp Liner in detail, and to actively interact with the social audience.

d) Putting Insights in Action 
With the insights observed, Maybelline used Facebook to promote a “Liner Art Show” that featured 15 different liner art looks that ranged in complexity from easy to sophisticated. The company also added tutorial posts and videos that stepped consumers through creating Liner Art to a Facebook tab and to YouTube alongside the Blogger events. These aimed to inspire consumers and create all-round communications with Maybelline’s target audiences.

Overall the campaign was a remarkable milestone for Maybelline. The company’s share of voice increased, as did interest in the product, demonstrating how social media measurement can be leveraged to optimise a campaign. The qualitative and quantitative outcomes included the following:

1. Record-breaking Sales: 
Through the one-month communication campaign, Maybelline achieved a projected sell out of units. The number sold was dramatically higher than the number of units sold at the first launch of the Hyper Sharp Liner, and also a significant increase against the average number of unit sold in 2012.

2. Strong Purchase Intent: 
After the Hyper Sharp Integrated Marketing Communication campaign, the majority of research candidates declared they had already purchased the product, or expressed an intention to purchase it.

3. Strong Campaign Awareness: 
A significant majority of the research candidates stated that their perception of Hyper Sharp Liner’s performance in creating liner art improved after the campaign launch. A much higher proportion of Maybelline’s buzz on social media related to Hyper Sharp Liner, with the product positively described as “easy to use” and “waterproof”.

4. Strong Consumer Receptiveness: 
The number of consumers who said they thought Hyper Sharp was ‘very good or good’ after the launch, and the volume of consumer posts about the product on social media also rose.

5. Achieved Social Engagement and Online Coverage 
With the use of social media evolving at an increasing pace, iSentia Brandtology’s monitoring on verified social media channels significantly contributed to the evolution of Maybelline’s communication plan. The sales records achieved through the campaign proved the success of transiting consumers from online to offline. The cosmetic industry will become even more challenging in the near future, and this methodology has created opportunities for Maybelline’s ongoing branding activities.

This has been an exciting campaign to be involved in and measure. This year iSentia won three Gold and two Silver in the AMEC Awards.


by John Chalmers
Executive Director, Communications and Marketing in Special.

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