How Avon True Makeup Marathon leveraged influencers to transform consumers to brand advocates

Case study by Avon India for Avon True Makeup Marathon that engaged with beauty consumers across 20 key cities, submitted under the category: ‘Best Use of User Generated Content’ for LI Content Marketing Awards 2017

The Brand


Problem Statement

Avon Beauty Products India was launching their new makeup range Avon True. Being a direct selling brand, Avon India had a very low brand recall amongst millennials, the core user segment for beauty products dominated by players like Lakme, L’Oréal Paris and Maybelline NY. This posed a number of challenges and objectives for the brand:

  1. How do we create buzz and relevance for Avon India amongst beauty consumers?
  2. Revival of the Color Category for Avon with a focus to increase brand penetration and sales.
  3. How do we create conversations, brand relevance, trials and sales amongst the Indian beauty consumer for the Avon True making the brand part of their daily conversations?
  4. How do we integrate opinion leaders and digital influencers to recommend Avon True creating brand advocacy through an organic approach?

 Identified Objectives

  1. Increase share of voice from lowest in category to top two
  2. Increase engagement across social platforms
  3. Get minimum of 20 leading bloggers to try product/review the brand organically
  4. Generate 2000 plus photo entries for the look book
  5. Have at least 5 of the top beauty, fashion, lifestyle publications to cover Avon True as a makeup range or the brand campaign

The Strategy/Execution

“Involve the consumer to be an intricate part of the Avon True promise & experience. Transform a beauty user from a consumer to a brand advocate for their social influence making them opinion leaders and advocates for the Avon True promise”

The Indian beauty brand social media experience is highly dominated by lifestyle and fashion bloggers who are not only the voice for many brands but also influence the purchase decision for millennials. While influencers always get to experience a beauty product first hand, consumers often rely on their advice as the voice of the brand and experience the product post purchase basis these reviews.

The Avon India team wanted to change the role of consumers beyond trial and sales and give women across India a change to be the face of Avon True by engaging with them on their social media handles and extending this experience to on ground trials driven by social media. The brand decided to move beyond bloggers and reach out to women across different strata and cities and integrate their journey and beauty experience as part of the brand promise.

Avon India launched an 8-week social media campaign leveraging on their owned assets – The Avon True Make Up marathon culminating in an event celebrating beauty of women from different walks of life with the launch of a Beauty Look Book featuring consumers who had recreated our looks and shared with us.

Phase I used Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to create anticipation for the brand launch using the brand Ambassador, on-ground Representatives as well as key mainline and lifestyle media. The brand made use of FB formats such as videos, blogs, Gifs to create engagement and consumer conversations as well as personalised illustrations and tweets to influencers and consumers celebrating how each of them were Avon True Women. Key days like Valentine’s Day, Lip events had special posts across platforms to engage with consumers through topical content using gifs.

Phase 2 extended the brand experience to consumers inviting women from all strata across the country to be the face of Avon True through a 20- city makeup marathon resulting in where leading bloggers who were our guest editors, celebrity makeup expert Renuka Pillai launched the Avon True look book at Phoenix City Mall, Mumbai and over 900 consumers from Mumbai experienced the Avon True promise through makeovers.

Avon sourced 4 looks for consumers to experiment with and upload their pictures on the brand social handles. The consumers were invited through FB contests and the makeup marathon generated over 4000 entries for the look book across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

FB Live, Instagram stories and Twitter Periscope were used to launch the look book and give consumers across India a real-time glimpse into Avon True Makeovers and engage in a masterclass with our Celebrity makeup expert Renuka Pillai. The launch was amplified on social media through leading bloggers present at the event through their respective handles.

This unique initiative was executed with a strong social media presence on all owned social platforms. Avon India held a number of contests, used content formats like FB Live, Gifs, carousals to create engaging conversations with #AvonTrue across platforms.


“The brand grew to a number 1 share of SOV for the campaign period striking a chord with consumers, media and influencers who not only believed in but participated and advocated the brand promise and experience across social platforms”

  • SOV increase from 7% to over 53% making us the top in completion and overtaking Maybelline, L’Oréal, Lakme and Colorbar
  • Reach of 16 million
  • 28 million impressions across platforms
  • A 114% increase in sales
  • PR value of USD 250,000
  • 500% increase in Instagram engagement
  • #2 all India Trend on Twitter with #AvonTrue and a Mumbai trend
  • Over 4000 entries for look book across platforms with looks created by the consumers and bloggers which were shared across social media
  • Named the top 20 most engaging Twitter handles by Campaign India and Unmetric during the campaign launch
  • Named the top 20 most engaging FB posts by campaign India and Unmetric for look book contest
  • Over 30 leading beauty bloggers tried product, gave organic reviews, covered the event using their social handles or participated in the look book

  • Aditi Rao Hydari’s launch FB live generated 108000 organic views
  • FB engagement grew by 300%
  • The FB live with Aditi Rao Hydari allowed over 10000 of our representatives to directly interact with Aditi Rao Hydari, the BA from across the country. For a FB page with 3 lakh fans, the FB live managed to engaged 108000 unique consumers and their Twitter questions helped us trend at #2 in India with #AvonTrue during the FB live
  • On field masterclasses generated 3000 makeovers. The launch event saw 900 additional makeovers in a single day with people driven through social media
  • Avon True and campaign exposures in leading media. Avon had been a media dark company and for the launch FB live with Aditi Rao Hydari coverage Harper’s Bazaar, TOI, Livemint, Cosmopolitan India, The Snob Journal, Little Black Book to name a few


  1. Use personalised content to recruit and engage with bloggers. Personalised sketches tweeted to leading bloggers with personalised messaging got them to engage with the brand and today they work with us seamlessly.
  2. The role and definition of your influencer is changing. A direct selling brand needs to create influencers out of consumers who should also have a first right of product reveal and usage normally limited to bloggers.
  3. On field Masterclasses and makeovers as ground events can see a sharp turnaround by using social traffic and buzz and converting it to actual footfalls, sales and trials.
  4. Content strategy should differ for each medium on social media yet keep the campaign DNA intact.