Hyper Sharp Liner – Maybelline New York

AMEC Awards WinnerCategory: Most innovative use of measurement in a digital campaign
Client/Entering Company: Maybelline New York
Campaign title: Hyper Sharp Liner
Company Name: iSentia Brandtology


Maybelline New York is an American cosmetics brand, which markets its products around the world. The company launched its Hyper Sharp Liner in Hong Kong and the product quickly became the brand’s No.1 liner. But Hong Kong’s cosmetics market had become increasingly competitive, with the emergence of new players offering comparable products, as well as competition from many other international cosmetics brands.

Maybelline decided to relaunch the Hyper Sharp Liner, through a one-month integrated campaign, that would aim to leverage the increasing use of social media by the product’s target audience. The campaign’s objectives were to push further Hyper Sharp’s position as “star liner,” and encourage more consumers to use the product, to encourage the Liner Art Trend in Hong Kong, and to deliver the “No.1 Liner” message consistently across different promotional tools. Maybelline New York approached iSentia Brandtology to help it:

  • Understand the effectiveness of the launch and clearly identify Maybelline’s position by gauging changes in the amount of social media buzz about the Hyper Sharp Liner
  • Evaluate Maybelline’s buzz share before and after the product’s launch, and in comparison to competitors’ buzz shares
  • Identify the sources of buzz about the Hyper Sharp Liner during the campaign and the level of online influence of these sources
  • Measure brand awareness and product perception across different promotional channels


Maybelline’s digital team undertook traditional research (offline) and social media research (online), before agreeing on the ideas and tactics that were crucial to the outcomes to ensure that the objectives were not only specific and measureable, but also attainable and relevant.

Primary Research (Offline) – At the start of the communication planning, Maybelline conducted focus groups with potential candidates about their views on eye liner, including perceptions and opinions. The Maybelline team brainstormed a list of questions and collected responses about issues such as liner design, usage and knowledge.

Social Media Research (Online) – Working with iSentia Brandtology, Maybelline used the 1-Social digital monitoring system to conduct retrospective research across social discussions of cosmetic products on major forums, blogs, Social Network Services, microblogs, and video and review sites. This research was used to refine the questions that came out of Maybelline’s team brainstorming and help the team with its decisions about campaign strategy.


Maybelline built a model to interlink the two types of research that would enable the team to draw solid conclusions and make impactful recommendations. Key findings of the research were anchored to three pillars:

Insight one – INSPIRATION
– Consumers are conservative and reluctant to try dramatic makeup looks, but they want to be inspired and to learn

Insight two – EDUCATION
– Consumers are not knowledgeable about how to create a personalised liner look without references and education

Insight three – ACTIVATION
– Consumers like to follow trends, but are reluctant to try because they don’t see lots of people around them wearing liner art. They want to be unique, but are afraid of getting too much attention when they look different

Market Trends Review for Idea Formulation

iSentia Brandtology monitored the topics discussed in social media, to allow Maybelline better to understand the target audience’s interests, and to make comparisons about the topics discussed from month-to-month. This research revealed that ‘Eye Liner’ had been a consistently hot topic, not only in in social media discussions relating to Maybelline, but also in discussions about competitors, which confirmed the market’s interest in and potential openness to Maybelline’s product.

Channel Research to Communicate Effectively

iSentia Brandtology filtered the credible sources from various social media channels, by using Alexa ranking and preliminary research on each channels’ buzz volume, to locate the most influential platforms for Maybelline to leverage.

Set KPI for Blogger Selections

We also compiled a list of bloggers by searching for keywords such as ‘eye liner’ and ‘cosmetic review’ on various blogs and video channels, including She.com, theZtyle.com and YouTube. iSentia Brandtology then created a number of social KPIs – including post engagement, post views and number of followers – to measure the bloggers who received the highest engagement from their recent blogs or vlogs. In response to this, Maybelline engaged with the top-ranking bloggers by asking them to participate in an exclusive product launch. After the event, all candidates were invited to share about the launch of the Hyper Sharp Liner in detail, and to actively interact with the social audience. The thinking behind this tactic was to activate consumers on usage and experience.

Putting Insights into Action

With the insights observed, Maybelline used Facebook to promote a “Liner Art Show” that featured 15 different liner art looks. These ranged in complexity from easy to sophisticated. The company also added tutorial posts and videos that stepped consumers through creating Liner Art to a Facebook tab and to YouTube, alongside the Blogger events. These aimed to inspire consumers and create all-round communications with Maybelline’s target audiences.


The campaign was a remarkable milestone for Maybelline. The company’s share of voice increased, as did interest in the product, demonstrating how social media measurement can be leveraged to optimise a campaign.

Achieved Social Engagement and Online Coverage
With the use of social media growing rapidly, iSentia Brandtology’s monitoring of verified social media channels significantly contributed to the evolution of Maybelline’s communications plan. The sales records achieved through the campaign proved the success of transiting consumers from online to offline.
As the cosmetics industry becomes ever more challenging, this methodology has created opportunities for Maybelline’s ongoing branding activities.

Name of contact: Natalie Cheung
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +852 9727 1451

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