To celebrate its 10-year anniversary and bring together its community offline, subscription cosmetics service Ipsy hosted a “Glamiversary” Oct. 9-10 at Hudson Yards in New York City. Featuring activations by more than 15 partnering brands, the experience offered samplings and mini beauty services to a build-your-own Glam Bag station with bags held in an oversized gumball machine. There were also beauty demos, panels, fireside chats and guest appearances by beauty brand leaders, celebrity makeup artists and social media personalities.
“Ipsy is a digital-first company, and experiential strategy for us is about connecting with people in real life and bringing our online creator and member community offline to connect with beauty brands and products in real life,” says Neika Colbourne, vp-creator partnerships and experiential at Ipsy. “The great thing about mobile is that it is outdoors, so COVID-safe with the flexibility to visit more pop-up locations.”
Hudson Yards’ big outdoor screen served as the main stage for a drag show and flash mob. Brand ambassadors handed out Ipsy-branded macaroons to guests as they took photos on a side-by-side swing set and shopped at the Ipsy-branded merch store.
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The outdoor, in-person experience was the culminating event in a series of mobile anniversary activations featuring diverse, immersive beauty experiences. A pink-colored, double decker, double-expandable trailer–with dj mixing beats on the third level–first greeted more than 3,000 beauty fans at The University of Texas in Austin Sept. 29-30 before welcoming more than 4,500 registered guests in New York. The Ipsy bus is next scheduled to visit Miami Dec. 2-5 during (but not in partnership with) Art Basel.
Inside the bus, attendees could explore six different beauty service stations offering mini makeovers, facials, manicures, brow shaping and more. The vehicle also housed a sound proof studio in which guests could create content for the chance to win a trip to the upcoming Ipsy event in Miami. Three different photo opportunities featured oversized makeup product props.
Leading up to the event, Ipsy launched “The Next 10” social media challenge in July to discover the next generation of creators “breaking barriers, dismantling beauty norms and inspiring self-expression.” Ipsy’s social media community named top 10 finalists and awarded each with a paid creator contract and trip to be honored at the event in New York. The top finalist with the most votes at the end of the challenge received an additional $30,000 cash bonus.
Through October, Ipsy honored its community with surprises including $10,000 in cash prizes for 10 customers ($100,000 total), 10 days of deals from brands like Kate Somerville and PMD Beauty, 10 days of giveaways and a 10-year, limited-edition Glamiversary Mystery Bag.
“Beauty is an area where people still desire the ability to touch, feel, play and interact with the product,” says Colbourne. “This setup is great for our brand partners because it is a turnkey solution to experiential. We provide the service and product sampling stations, and produce signage based on their designs. It’s a low-touch, high-return way to get back to events for our beauty brand partners.”
The mobile program is a large part of the company’s marketing strategy that also includes p.r., email and social media efforts by celebrities and other social media influencers and creators. Success will be measured by attendance and attendee satisfaction as well as growth in brand awareness and social impressions. Agencies: In-house (creative); Performance Marketing Group (mobile vehicle build, experiential execution).
Photo credit: Peter Baron