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Ariana Grande Fragrance Launch

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Launching a fragrance in today’s market isn’t as simple as handing out samples in a mall. Increasingly, the young women of this generation shop online without sampling and shop heavily using the one thing they can’t leave the house without – their smartphone.   

This makes it difficult for traditional products like fragrances and their traditional marketing channels. So Starcom MediaVest Group wanted to make sure Ariana Grande’s fragrance – Ari – broke through the mobile malaise to make an impact in the oversaturated celebrity endorsed fragrance market. When shoppers scrolled through endless fragrances associated with the biggest celebrities, what would give young women a connection to Ari? 


The agency knew a few things about the way the young market communicates. They love text messaging and they love using emojis. It wondered if there was a way it could marry Ariana’s unique persona with these condensed caricatures in a way that would dazzle and delight the target… and help spread the word of Ari. 

In the celebrity market, every singer is trying to top the Spotify streaming list and pushing at least one product or several. SMG knew it would take a different approach to get Ariana Grande’s fragrance in front of consumers’ noses. It had to be marketing to them in a digital manner and whatever it proposed, it had to subtly spread itself through social communication channels.  

And what better way to help spread the word than by providing young women a way to text each other? A way for them to be seamlessly connected and spreading the Ari brand at the same time. The solution was sitting right in front of them. And no one had ever done it before. 


SMG conceived and developed the first ever celebrity emoji keyboard that was based on a fun package of Ari’s faces, friends, pets, and favorite trinkets. The emojis represented Ariana’s unique persona and by simply downloading the keyboard, key customers could interact with each other using custom smiley faces to thumbs up signs. This was a perfect way to make young women feel closer to Ariana herself – without interrupting their need to send text messages. It partnered with Kik to tap into the hottest social messaging app for the target with new and exciting ways for them to connect directly with Ariana.  

The campaign invited Kik users to follow the Ariana account and launched a scripted chat bot to engage Kik users and publish exclusive content. The celebrity emoji-keyboard was a way to launch the fragrance and spread the word amongst this market.  

It created valuable currency for Ari’s army of fans, as well as announced the fragrance launch and spread the word in a way that made it feel current, novel, and exciting - and they didn’t have to look up from their devices to do it. Over three million text messages were sent with the Ari by Ariana keyboard with the highest engagement when Ariana Grande shared it out to her fans. 


The campaign hit all the right spots. Within just 24 hours of releasing the Ari by Ariana Grande keyboard, it gained half a million image shares, 21,000 likes, 10,000 retweets and a five-star user rating in the iTunes Store. The keyboard URL was shared 50,000 times, and #AriKeyboard was a trending topic in the key fashion and fragrance markets in New York and Los Angeles.  

Over 60 custom emojis designed over 175K apps downloaded inspired 1.3 million images shared during the campaign. Kik promoted chat resulted in over 2.6 million user replies.  

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Ari by Ariana Grande
Brand Owner:
Luxe Brands
United States
September - December 2015
Starcom Mediavest
Media Channel:
  • FMAs shortlisted

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