CVS Shoppers Obsess Over New Essie Loyalty Program

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CVS Shoppers Obsess Over New Essie Loyalty Program

By Jacqueline Barba - 07/02/2018

CVS/pharmacy teamed with L‘Oreal USA’s Essie to launch a loyalty program for ExtraCare Beauty Club members dubbed “Obsessie” in conjunction with the debut of an exclusive, limited-edition royal wedding-themed nail polish collection.

Launched on April 15 to kick off wedding season, Obsessie offers CVS loyalty cardholders who make a cumulative purchase of four Essie nail polishes the fifth SKU for free. The drugstore chain stocks roughly 218 Essie nail polishes.

The loyalty program was initially intended to run through July 14, but due to wide popularity, CVS will re-launch Obsessie on July 15, this time for a full calendar year (through July 15, 2019), CVS Health vice president of beauty Maly Bernstein told the Path to Purchase Institute. Current members will have to re-enroll to continue earning the freebies.

Bernstein also noted that support for the program's initial rollout included social media updates, public relations outreach, digital marketing, in-store signage and circular features.

“As for future support … we will continue promoting hero features in [emails to registered subscribers] through the duration of the program,” she added.

The duo also curated a royal wedding collection ahead of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s high-profile May 19 wedding, comprising 10 core “wedding-worthy” Essie shades such as Eternal Optimist, Ladylike, Minimalistic and Queen Elizabeth II’s rumored favorite shade, Ballet Slippers. The exclusive collection hit stores April 29, just after Obsessie launched, and was available through May 23.

“This was an exclusive in-store activation featuring a collection of Essie shades that the royals have previously worn, in addition to the most popular Essie wedding shades, brought together on displays only found in CVS/pharmacy stores. As a result of combined marketing efforts between CVS and Essie, the launch exceeded our expectations. The activation was extremely successful, with the week of the royal wedding turning out to be Essie’s biggest week ever at CVS/pharmacy,” Bernstein said.

Support for the royal wedding collection spanned Twitter and Instagram updates from CVS and Essie, a dedicated "Royal Wedding" web page within (which is now no longer live) as well as circular features.

In addition, CVS has ramped up in-store support for all Essie SKUs. Endcaps, in-line and aisle displays stock the nail polish in store beauty departments, while shelf trays and signs spotlight new collections and shades such as Essie’s new limited-edition, six-piece Gel Couture wedding collection by bridal designer Reem Acra.

Online, Essie directs shoppers to its brand shop with a paid Google search ad. The brand also takes over the site’s “Hello Trends” web page. Essie’s e-commerce product pages within are loaded with in-depth product descriptions, best practices, step-by-step painting systems, and images and videos.

CVS also published four “Nail Art” videos on its YouTube channel (and within on June 1 highlighting different Essie shades and delivering nail tips such as “the trick to painting your other hand” (view below) and “color combos for color phobes.” The videos were produced through a partnership between Essie and digital media company PureWow and were originally published to Essie’s YouTube channel on April 16 and in August 2017.

The move comes about a year after CVS launched a hair color loyalty program for ExtraCare members highlighting L'Oreal USA, which is still live and frequently plugged in stores and in circulars.  

The new program also preceded an overall revamp to CVS' ExtraCare Beauty Club to offer new benefits such as free samples, birthday gifts, early access to new launches, exclusive deals and in-store events.