Effie Case Study: “Beauty Mark”

Marketer: CVS Health

Agency: Digitas

Effie Commerce & Shopper Category: Brand Experience (Finalist)

As a purpose-driven retailer seeking to help customers achieve better health, CVS wanted to create a healthier brand experience for female shoppers. The “CVS Beauty Mark” program challenged the beauty industry to create a healthier representation of the beauty and shopping experience for women.

The CVS Beauty Mark was created to identify model images that have not been airbrushed or digitally altered, with the aspiration to become a recognizable symbol of transparency for the industry.

The program was informed by an insight that the media women and teens look to for beauty and fashion inspiration negatively affects their mental health and self-esteem. In part, that’s because they can never keep up with beauty standards created by false imagery.

CVS designed an orchestrated campaign to ignite and inspire a movement, starting with an in-store activation and a panel featuring CoverGirl spokesperson Ayesha Curry, representatives from Coty and Johnson & Johnson, and a body-image mental health expert.

The campaign spanned print, online digital video, out of home, experiential marketing, paid social, organic social and owned channels. Instagram and Twitter users were invited to show their support using #BeautyUnaltered to share unretouched selfies and promote a healthy self-image. Many influencers participated, including Curry as well as actresses Kerry Washington and Nicole Kidman.

CVS also went to Times Square in New York City to showcase larger-than-life, unretouched images celebrating real beauty. One vertically stacked billboard featured awareness messaging and another displayed unaltered selfies in real time. Every 10 seconds, another consumer’s image joined the cause, and a live YouTube feed also spread the activation nationwide.

Eleven major beauty brands have committed to transparency and roughly 2.4 million brand-produced images have been updated across 8,000 CVS beauty aisles, as well as in media ads. The campaign achieved 104 million #BeautyUnaltered impressions with zero-percent negative sentiment on social. Through a targeted multimedia communications strategy, it also generated more than 3.6 billion earned impressions on a $500,000 media spend.