L'Oreal Paris: Owning Winged Eye

2014 | Carat Melbourne


The Winged Eye is one of today’s most iconic makeup looks, but not so long ago, it was nothing more than a twinkle in the eye of trendsetters. L’Oréal Paris (LOP)set out to take ownership of the Winged Eye look locally, and establish themselves as the experts in executing it. The belief was that if we could own ‘Winged Eye’, we would also own the associated sales opportunity. 

$ #1 Selling Mascara In its first week of launch, L'Oreal Paris Butterfly Wings was the #1 selling Mascara at Priceline.

The brief:

LOP had two new products to launch – False Lash Butterfly Wings mascara and Superliner Blackbuster eyeliner – that together, made the ultimate Winged Eye kit. A dual launch like this was unprecedented, however with competitors becoming increasingly aggressive with their own new product launches, bold moves were deemed necessary. 

Our target audience was identified as women 18-39, style-savvy and hungry for new trends. The challenge was breaking their habit around buying only on promotion, particularly for mascara – there needed to be a deeper level of product engagement to give them a reason to choose L’Oréal. 

Success would be nothing short of:

  • # 1 Liner & #1 Mascara in Priceline;
  • Launch and ownership of the Winged Eye look.


We identified that our style-savvy audience took their makeup trend cues from a variety of key verticals outside beauty, namely entertainment, lifestyle, and in particular, fashion. In order to infiltrate their ‘trend agenda’, we would need to spread our wings (geddit?) outside the beauty category and establish influence across these other key verticals.

For that reason, we decided to take cues from the way fashion brands behave in market, particularly the way they market a lifestyle, as much their particular product – think, the iconic Burberry Trench. We knew we needed to make Winged Eye about more than just a product or process; it needed to be a fashion statement.

But fashion is fickle, and qualitative research unearthed a new challenge – our target audience was intimidated by the prospect of experimenting with Winged Eye, given the perceived margin for error. They were simply not confident they could execute the dramatic look – including selecting the right products – let alone pull it off. There was an education piece to be done before we could expect the look to take off.

Our strategy was to use our L’Oréal products and assets – including ambassadors – to show trend-hunters how to ‘unlock the look’ and execute a flawless finish, knowing that if they learned with LOP, they would likely shop with LOP; affinity through education.

At the core of the campaign would be a ‘how-to’ video featuring LOP Ambassador Megan Gale, LOP Makeup Director Elsa Morgan and Beauty Vlogger Chloe Morello.

Staying true to our strategy of treating Winged Eye as a fashion statement, we opted to launch it as the official look of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF). Knowing this would likely drive strong earned media support, we set about implementing a comprehensive, highly integrated paid and owned strategy to maximise our impact. 


Early Association with Key Influencers:

Given their resonance with our target market and continued influence in the fashion, celebrity, and lifestyle sectors, we identified magazines as our ‘screen of choice’, and moved to engage publishers early on as launch partners. Winged Eye was introduced to consumers via editorial in the lead up to VAMFF; editors became advocates, educating readers on how to execute the look using the new LOP products.

VAMFF Beauty Partnership and Look of the Festival:

In a festival first, the Winged Eye was declared the ‘Look of the Festival’ and was worn consistently across all labels involved in the festival. Media captured content backstage showing how the look was created for each catwalk, including the all-important media first – a makeup tutorial with LOP Makeup Director Elsa Morgan, filmed using Google Glass and pushed out via LOP’s owned and earned assets. 

LOP ambassadors Eva Longoria and Megan Gale were announced as official celebrity guests at VAMFF, sitting front row and rocking the Winged Eye – content was then captured and extended through magazines and online. 

Owning the Trend:

All media support was geared toward driving views of the LOP how-to video.Anywhere that a product or brand message was displayed, we ensured there was an extension in place to drive traffic back to the how-to video. We utilised Shazam on product TVC’s, Viewa on magazine ad content and companion banners on Catch Up TV to ensure the how-to video was consumed as complementary content to all activity.

The video was also seeded out through beauty blogs, social, and YouTube, with particular focus on mobile, leveraging the relationship between personal digital devices and their use in the bathroom when getting ready. 

Given our accountability to sales objectives, ‘Click to Buy’ annotations were run during the how-to tutorial, encouraging the consumers to click through to Priceline site and purchase the complete look.

Consumer Promotion:

We created a consumer promotion that encouraged trial of Winged Eye (and our products). #mywingedeye invited consumers to hashtag a photo of themselves rocking a Winged Eye for the chance to a product prize pack. 



In its first week of media activity, LOP Butterfly Wings was the #1 Mascara (Priceline), smashing the benchmark set by the client, who gave us a month to accomplish this target.

The combined look (Mascara and Liner) was the #1 makeup product in Priceline during the period of media activity, doubling our ambitious sales targets and making Blackbuster Eyeliner the #1 LOP liner launch on record.

The How-To tutorial video delivered a massive 602,807 views, and was among the Top 10 Most Watched videos on YouTube in 2014 (w/c 28th April).

By engaging media early in the process, we were able to garner enormous editorial support to the value of over $300K, and dominate the influencer conversation required to launch and own the Winged Eye trend.

The L’Oréal Paris Winged Eye launch surpassed client expectations and delivered results that set a benchmark for the brand, and indeed the category moving forward.


$ #1 Selling Mascara In its first week of launch, L'Oreal Paris Butterfly Wings was the #1 selling Mascara at Priceline.
U #1 Make Up Product in Priceline The combined look (Mascara and Liner) was the #1 makeup product in Priceline during the period of media activity.
v 602,807 How-To video Views The How-To Video Tutorial was among the Top 10 Most Watched videos on YouTube in 2014 (w/c 28th April).
A $300K Editorial Support Value By engaging media early in the process, we were able to garner enormous bonus editorial support, in both print and online.

“Beyond its obvious sales success, the Winged Eye shifted the media culture for our brand. Fully integrated, with the consumer at the core, the campaign fundamentally shifted the way we have approached all key campaigns since.”

Cameron Woods LOP Marketing Director
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