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COVERGIRL: Celebrating the Diversity of Beauty

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COVERGIRL was drowning in a ‘sea of sameness’ among the mass cosmetics competitive set. The mascara segment is pivotal for the brand to win, but the industry is saturated with new product launches and innovation– how can COVERGIRL stand out, separate itself from the competition and resonate with consumers? 

COVERGIRL has always believed that EVERYONE is a COVERGIRL, and it has the products for every consumers’ unique beauty needs. In order to show that it stands for equal opportunity beauty, it created the first universal mascara that works for all lash types.   

Big, bold lashes are a universal need in the mascara category but consumers aren’t sure which product will work for their lashes. At the same time, the cosmetics industry has a history of exclusivity, and many consumers haven’t seen themselves reflected in mass media. Today, it’s impossible to give one definition of beauty – because beauty shouldn’t belong to any one type of person, it has to include everybody. As personal freedoms, gender norms, and individuality continue to be at the forefront of debate in this country, young Americans are standing up for equality and are looking for brands that are inclusive, showcasing authentic diversity. 


COVERGIRL is the only cosmetics brand in the market that stands for beauty equality, continuously emphasising that no matter your background or what you look like, you are a COVERGIRL. It has time-honored positioning through a wide range of products and shades, as well as by featuring a range of diverse, unconventional beauties like Queen Latifah, Sofia Vergara, Katy Perry and Ellen DegeneresAs the world of beauty continues to evolve, with more people looking to influencers and celebrities to get the latest beauty tips, COVERGIRL decided to redefine yet again what being a ‘COVERGIRL’ really means. 

COVERGIRL created the world’s first equal opportunity mascara with an innovative wand tip that delivers bold, dramatic lashes for all lash types. To accurately showcase the versatility of this revolutionary product, Zenith required a diverse set of spokespeople to represent the new face of beauty in this country. The So Lashy! launch leveraged a diverse set of influencer talent that spanned race, religion, and gender to create buzz and re-establish COVERGIRL as a leader in beauty. The agency brought this strategy to life by launching the first ever male COVERGIRL, James Charles; Muslim beauty influencer Nura Afia; Asian lifestyle influencer Amy Pham; and Gen Z duo Chloe x Halle, bringing the spirit of inclusivity and equality to mass media.  


While shooting this new campaign, COVERGIRL received intel that its top competitor planned to launch a male influencer of their own that week, recognising the changing face of beauty. COVERGIRL, with its commitment to diversity and equality, knew it had the right to beat them to the punch….  

Within 24 hours, the team had Katy Perry post a welcome message on Instagram introducing James which was quickly followed with a post to James and COVERGIRLs’ fan bases, reaching over 62 million people in just under one hour. 

Given the authentic extension of COVERGIRL’s existing equity and breaking beauty norms, the news about the first ever male beauty spokesperson travelled far and fast. COVERGIRL quickly became a trending topic both online and off throughout mid-October, securing coverage from the New York Times, Allure and the Today Show among many, many others. 

To continue the momentum for the So Lashy! launch, COVERGIRL set its sights on the intersection of the world at Times Square. Leveraging a key retail partner’s flagship store, COVERGIRL announced the full talent roster for the launch through a Facebook Live event, allowing fans to meet and greet their favorite influencers. 

Throughout October and early November, Zenith continued to leverage the voices and audiences of the COVERGIRLs, influencers and press partners to drive buzz and awareness. Paid media quickly turned on to amplify the most successful press coverage allowing it to garner a strong SOV against competition without the required spend.  


• So Lashy! was the #1 mass Mascara launch in 2016 by wide margins (Nielsen xAOC week ending 12/24/16) - In the final week of December, dollar sales were a 218 index to L’Oreal Feline (vs. their launch in August) and 206 index to Maybelline Push Up Angel (vs. their launch in September). 

• The authentic partnership with James, Nura, Amy and the So Lashy! gang earned 2.8 billion free, earned impressions for COVERGIRL including coverage on Ellen, Good Morning America, ABC News, Daily Mail, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, Refinery29, Allure, Huffington Post, Ad Age and many, many more. 

• Set an industry trend and beat its lead competitor to the punch when they followed in COVERGIRL’s footsteps and officially announced their first male influencer three months later, in January 2017. 

• Content featuring So Lashy! influencers broke benchmarks with native digital partner Sharethrough for the highest engagement rate ever. 

• Paid Facebook/Instagram campaign featuring James Charles and other So Lashy influencers moved ad recall by 18 points (Facebook Health & Beauty benchmark for Ad Recall is 7.25 point).

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Cover Girl
Brand Owner:
Coty Inc.
United States
October - December 2016
Zenith Media
Media Channel:
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