Part of my job as a purveyor of an unending range of beauty products is not only to evaluate the formulas that come inside a jar, tube, or palette, but to also pay attention to packaging. You know, packaging? That all too important element that helps brands sell us on their newest wares. Case in point COVERGIRL.
With the advent of COVERGIRL’s new inclusivity, authenticity, and women’s empowerment message that screams feel powerful when you use their products without apology – the #IAmWhatIMakeup campaign, I looked at my Melting Pout Metallics and Melting Pout Gel Liquid Lipstick and noticed something different – the graphics. From stylized to minimalist graphic fonts, looks like COVERGIRL has done something very millenial. To offer some insight on the brand’s simple in design creative shift, I reached out to business design expert, Gabriel Shaoolian for his perspective.
What inspired this creative shift for Covergirl’s visuals?
COVERGIRL has been around since the 1960’s. For any brand, that kind of longevity can be both a blessing and a curse. They benefit from the instant name recognition, of course, but they also risk being perceived as an old and tired at the same time – especially with so many competitive new beauty lines springing up.
COVERGIRL has changed artistic direction many times over the years. It’s nothing new for them. But they’ve hit the mark with this creative shift because it’s inspired by an important and substantial new movement – the movement away from the single beauty ideal, and towards women defining for themselves their own multiple beauty ideals. What pretty much started with Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, which features women of all types embracing their identities and defining their beauty, has blossomed into a significant market-wide game changer.
This is what’s inspired the COVERGIRL change and their simple visuals reflect the empowerment women now have with their make-up. The consumer defines beauty now, on their own terms – not the brand or its packaging.
There is this element uber-simple in everything beauty right now…how long do you think this trend will last?
I think this trend will last for a while, only because the concepts it’s based on — inclusivity, diversity, body positivity and personal empowerment – aren’t passing fads. They’re part of the modern human fabric and here to stay. COVERGIRL’s #IAmWhatIMakeUp campaign was born out of these concepts, so I don’t see them changing anytime soon.
The simple, uncluttered package design welcomes the user to bring their personality and design elements to the product. The simple elements are also precisely on trend with what millennials want to see in packaging… candid messaging and not a lot of fluff.
What has been the response to the new Covergirl?
I think the campaign has been very effective and impactful simply because it covers such a broad swath of the demographic universe. The #IAmWhatIMakeUp videos feature everyone from web show creator-turned-HBO star Issa Rae to Elon Musk’s mom, [Maye Musk]. That reaches a number of consumer segments with their new message — consumers who are already aware of, and have embraced, the beauty self-empowerment movement.
The no-makeup makeup look is trending, so I think the timing of their campaign couldn’t be better. Consumer beauty continues to be a strong revenue stream for Coty, Inc. – the group that purchased COVERGIRL from Proctor & Gamble. They don’t release individual brand sales numbers, but judging from the overall numbers, the response has been strong, with Coty reporting a 14% increase in their consumer beauty lines.
How long has this pivot been in the works?
The actual campaign was in the works in 2017 and launched in October when design agency Droga5 dropped using the iconic “Easy Breezy Beautiful CoverGirl” tagline – but I’m going to guess Coty has been looking to upgrade the brand since purchasing it from P&G in 2016.
It’s a pivot that works because it’s based on a cultural movement, not just an arbitrary design whim, and those are the types of shifts that have real staying power with consumers.
Why You’ll Love Them
And since we’re on the subject of COVERGIRL, checkout Melting Pout Matte Lipstick – a high-impact, creamy rich color designed with nourishing ingredients that easily glides on for a lightweight, airbrushed matte finish available in 12 shades. Formulated to be worn comfortably for up to 24 hours.
Got a beauty question? Tweet me @HueKnewIt with the hashtag #AskGregorie