written by: Fong Tsz Ching

Sephora, a cosmetics chain store selling various brands of beauty products, launches the #Neverstop digital campaign in February 2017. The campaign conveys the message of inclusivity by featuring women from a wide variety of age, race and background.

Beauty Encircles Everyone
The retail brand launches a series of vignettes on its Facebook and Instagram, featuring five women and their individual beauty stories [1]. Cosmetics retailers like Sephora need to address a wide variety of target customers with the diverse brand names it carries. For example, Prada and Hermès are high-end brands that target affluent women aged 30 or above, while brands like Tony Moly and Manic Panic are targeting to much younger customers. Sephora is making every effort to reach all of them under one umbrella concept of inclusivity.

The five women featured include Caucasian, black, young, old and transgender. Each of them is a representation of a different target customer group that may vary in their choice of cosmetics and skin care products. The campaign is released worldwide for maximum global reach to target customers in different regions where Sephora has a retail presence.

Brand Attitude on Social Values
Like some other major cosmetic brands (Johnson & Johnson – Clean and Clear [2]), Sephora is willing to be more outspoken on sensitive social issue with the inclusion of a transgender woman in the campaign series. The video of transgender woman can attract the attention of LGBT group and its supporters. Transgender is a heated issue, yet still a controversial one. There is a risk that potential consumers residing in more conservative regions may have lower acceptance to the campaign and develops negative impression towards Sephora.

Timing to Launch a Campaign of Relevance on Inclusivity
One interesting point to note of the campaign is timing of launch. The campaign is launched on 1 February, a few days after the US president Donald Trump signed the executive order to denied entry to citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries on 28 Jan. Although the campaign may not be intended for political implications, the core message is worth noting at this particular point of time.

The #NeverStop digital campaign can show the personality and attitude of Sephora. The promotion campaigns before are more neutral in its generic beauty enhancing messages. I figure communication campaigns nowadays tend to show the brands’ personality and stance to social issues, even sometimes political issue. This is to let consumers know that the brands are not just concerning business but also care about the world and the environment they operated in.

[1] (From left) The pictures are from https://www.facebook.com/sephora/photos/a.72908389404.73006.16453004404/10154507836344405/?type=3&theater ;
https://www.facebook.com/sephora/photos/a.72908389404.73006.16453004404/10154510386684405/?type=3&theater ;
https://www.facebook.com/sephora/photos/a.72908389404.73006.16453004404/10154516439184405/?type=3&theater ;
https://www.facebook.com/sephora/photos/a.72908389404.73006.16453004404/10154518790704405/?type=3&theater and

[2] Clean & Clear #SeeTheRealMe ad features transgender teen http://www.campaignlive.com/article/clean-clear-seetherealme-ad-features-transgender-teen/1338390#FFPmmZJu7FWzVTEB.99
Sephora Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sephora/?fref=ts
Sephora Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/sephora/
5 videos in the campaign and 1 promotion video of the campaign: http://www.tynessajue.com/sephora-neverstop/