Over the past year, Too Faced has relied on influencers to help it produce campaign photoshoots, adding a new dimension to its broader partnership strategy.
Before Covid-19, Too Faced, like many other beauty brands, developed a photoshoot based on a campaign idea and hired models, makeup artists, hairstylists and photographers to execute that vision, said Somer Tejwani, Too Faced vice president of marketing. In this scenario, the influencers acted like megaphones by sharing the product and the story on their own channels. But when the pandemic necessitated the closure of Too Faced’s internal studio, the brand turned to its influencer partners to produce 100% of the campaigns for the first time.
For the brand’s latest launch, titled Teddy Bare Collection, launched in April and expanded in May, Too Faced tapped Militza Yovanka (@militzayovanka), who has 1.2 million Instagram followers. Too Faced shared the images and videos from their campaign on their social media, website and business partners like Sephora.
“We had to trust and collaborate with different influencers and social stars, not just visually, but creatively,” said Jerrod Blandino, co-founder and creative director of Too Faced. “We had to rely on them to do their own photographs, to do their own makeup and lighting, and to help us create a story.”
For the Teddy Bare collection, Too Faced sent Yovanka dozens of different teddy bears from across the United States and Europe. Yovanka’s husband served as a photographer. Blandino said the campaign aimed to infuse “pageantry, glamor of life and celebration” into beauty looks. Tejwani said the costs between each campaign are variable and were not a “primary consideration” of brand strategy.
Too Faced wasn’t the only brand developing rambling methods of producing content during the pandemic. Innisfree and Kérastase have turned to unused material from previous campaigns, recutting them into new pieces of content. And fashion brands like Good American and Storq have looked at either doing photoshoots through Zoom or communicating with their social communities for user-generated content.
In addition to Yovanka, Too Faced recently worked with Shantania Beckford, Megs Cahill, Joyjah Estrada and Krish Kreations to produce campaign images and videos for their four mini eye shadow palettes launched in March. Each of them served as a model for a specific palette. Tejwani said Too Faced works with an unknown number of content creators each year, reaching “hundreds” and runs campaign sessions for each product collection. Tejwani declined to cite specific performance metrics for influencer-produced campaigns, but said they exceeded all of the brand’s benchmarks. Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara and Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper were recently top-selling in their categories from April 2020 to March 2021, according to NPD Sales data of the group’s US prestige beauty makeup products.
“As we come out of this pandemic, there are a lot of these new ways of working that are going to stay,” Tejwani said. “This time gave us a break to reassess and see how we can be more creative.”
Another example of this participatory hub is Too Faced’s TikTok channel. The brand had produced content in-house for TikTok since launching its account in March 2019, but it now relies on content creation partners. Tejwani said Too Faced is aimed at people who produce the most “compelling” videos, rather than those with many followers. Too Faced has 433,000 TikTok subscribers and currently posts one video per day, often exceeding one million views.
“It’s good to pivot, and it’s good to fluctuate,” said Blandino. “[Brands] Today, you need to stay as authentic as possible at all times and build relationships with content creators who match your vision. “