- L’Oréal’s Maybelline New York launched a new digital campaign, coined “Ugly Cry, Perfect Liner,” to promote its new Tattoo Studio Ink Pen Eyeliner, according to a press release.
- Key to the effort is a tie-up with Saturday Night Live actor Chloe Fineman, who stars in a comedic, ‘90s-inspired music video meant to promote the eyeliner’s 24-hour wear and “cry-proof” abilities.
- The campaign sees Maybelline pairing humor and nostalgia as a means to promote the product’s durability and follows a series of other major marketing plays by the brand as of late, mainly targeted at Gen Z.
Maybelline’s latest marketing play sees the beauty retailer playfully addressing one of makeup’s biggest rivals — water — by enlisting SNL’s Fineman to put its eyeliner through the ringer. Fineman’s humor has become a marketing asset as of late, with the actor having recently starred in multiple comedic ads for Anheuser-Busch InBev brand Nütrl Vodka Seltzer.
An old TV and ‘90s bedroom serve as the launch point for the “Ugly Cry, Perfect Liner” music video, with a plethora of Polaroid photos and posters on the wall elevating Fineman to pop-star status. As the focus pulls to the TV screen, Fineman is seen wearing the Tattoo Studio Ink product while singing, crying and dancing in a copious amount of rain, with the eyeliner ultimately coming out on top. The cheeky video has strong ties to cringe-worthy music videos of the past, seeing the brand become one of the latest to intertwine nostalgia and entertainment into its marketing.
Maybelline certainly isn’t the first to opt for an original song in pursuit of virality. Others have recently leveraged the same strategy, including E.l.f. Cosmetics. which has now created three original songs, its latest made in partnership with American Eagle and tied to a TikTok social media challenge. Others include Applebee’s, which celebrated National Wing Day with its “Taste My Face” tune, and McDonald’s, which created an original beat promoting the Sprite dispensed from its machines.
Maybelline’s latest campaign rides on the heels of other innovative marketing plays by the brand, mainly targeted at Gen Z. In February, the brand announced it would enlist its first-ever digital avatar, named May, timed to the launch of its Surreal Extensions Mascara. Last year, the brand launched some of its products into the metaverse through a partnership with cross-game avatar platform Ready Player Me. Also last year, the beauty brand partnered with video game developer Zynga to create an in-game playable ad called “Maybelline Mascara Merge.”
Others in the makeup and skincare space have also been vying for the younger demographic. For example, Clinique this week announced its “Protect Your Glow” summer campaign that includes an out-of-home activation timed to Coachella and tie-ups with college brand ambassadors. Neutrogena has also pursued Gen Z, taking to TikTok for a “Hydro House” content series that parodied popular reality dating shows.