Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

From Catwalk to Sidewalk: Check out how this beauty brand’s campaign took the red carpet to the road! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

April 7, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson:

If you’re looking for fun, interesting, and unconventional marketing strategies to connect with your target market and interact with them, we have a recommendation for you: 

Guerrilla Marketing! 

Campaigns of this type help you look beyond the traditional ways of advertising and enable you to level up your promotional tactics to not only make an impact on consumers but also stick to their minds. 

Today, let’s talk about a guerrilla marketing campaign that took the red carpet to the road. 

Keep reading to know how this cosmetics brand’s experiential makeover helped build loyalty that’s beyond skin deep. Enjoy! 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

Maybelline New York is one of the world’s most recognizable cosmetics brands. 

With a century of history and distribution in over 129 countries around the world, the brand is viewed by many consumers as a beauty mainstay. 

However, the beauty industry is constantly evolving and customer interest is driven by the latest and hottest makeup trends. While it’s true that Maybelline is a leading brand, it is also sometimes seen as tradition-bound and susceptible to challenger brands. 

So, to keep its image perception fresh, the brand enlisted the services of advertising firm AMP Agency in February 2010. 

Together, they created the… 

“Experiential Makeover” campaign

The goal of the campaign was to encourage women―and even men―to explore new looks by taking trends and colors from the catwalk to the sidewalk. 

By leveraging Maybelline’s long-standing connection to the fashion industry, the campaign team created events that evoked an experience of glamour and exclusivity among ordinary consumers. 

Here’s how the brand attracted customers’ attention through an on-the-road beauty consultation: 

New York Fashion Week 

To deliver the exclusive vibe of New York’s high fashion world to consumers, Maybelline introduced the Color Studio, giving visitors an unforgettable VIP experience. 


By providing custom on-site makeovers and makeup consultations, exclusive Fashion Week content, free product trials, and coupons! 

The Color Studio also gave consumers who are not attending the Fashion Week a glimpse into the allure of the event and provided interactive Maybelline vending machines. 

What’s more? 

British fashion icon and Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour made appearances in the studio and distributed branded Fashion Week T-shirts and other VIP giveaways! 

Walgreens’ Integration 

Maybelline’s campaign team also created an exclusive Color Studio experience that was specifically built for Walgreens. This transformed the pharmacy store’s in-store beauty sections into a replica of the Fashion Week’s backstage. 

Additionally, by setting up monitors that ran footage of live runway shows, the brand gave consumers a memorable experience while being treated to on-site makeovers from professional stylists. 

Talk about literally taking the red carpet to the road! 

Shecky’s Girls Night Out’s Integration 

To establish reach on a broader scale, Maybelline also partnered with nationwide promoter Shecky’s Girls Night Out to bring the Color Studio to its events. 

The studio at Shecky’s events included an on-site retail partnership with department store company Target. This allowed consumers to purchase Maybelline products on the spot. 

A custom-built runway also enabled event attendees to flaunt their new look and share it with their friends via social media. 

College Campus Tour 

Last but not the least! 

Maybelline’s Color Studio went on campus tours in colleges in New York City. The campaign team provided tips, tricks, and makeovers that students can use during their school’s fashion weeks. 

This tactic not only raised awareness about the brand’s new products among an influential female demographic in schools, but also created a lasting bond with a new wave of brand loyalists: Millennials. 

Wow… what an awesome way to reinforce your position as a leading brand in the fashion and cosmetics industry, Maybelline! 


The campaign started in mid-February 2010 and lasted through late June 2010. 

Was Maybelline’s “Experiential Makeover” campaign effective? 

Maybelline’s guerrilla marketing campaign helped extend the brand’s reach online and offline. Additionally, the marketing tactic amplified brand awareness in desired demographics, encouraged product trials, and compelled consumers to buy Maybelline products on the spot. 

Here are the results of the campaign: 

  • After the duration of the campaign, Maybelline’s “Experiential Makeover” garnered a combined 315 million media impressions on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 
  • The “Experiential Makeover” campaign became a finalist at the 2010 Shorty Awards under the Fashion, Beauty, and Luxury category. 
  • Maybelline’s guerrilla marketing campaign became a trending topic in the beauty industry and was featured in various articles from Marketing Dive, ReferralCandy, EventMarketer.com, and more. 
  • Conducting professional makeovers at Walgreens contributed to consumers’ positive impression on Maybelline, even compelling them to buy the brand’s beauty products. This helped the brand increase its Q2 2010 sales by 33%. 
  • In a post-campaign survey, 62% of respondents said they would make a Maybelline purchase in the future because of the guerrilla marketing tactic. 

Clearly, these figures show that the cosmetics brand’s campaign became a hit and resonated well with a large group of consumers! 

According to Serena Giovi, former Vice President of Marketing at Maybelline New York, 

“As the beauty sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, we help create the looks that can define a season. Beauty and fashion go hand-in-hand and can be accessible to everyone. Color Studio allows us to bring our backstage expertise and color authority to our consumers and let them recreate these looks with our line-up of colorful and innovative products.” 

Great job in conducting this campaign, Maybelline and AMP Agency! 


According to AMP Agency’s report on the guerrilla marketing campaign, the beauty and cosmetics categories are packed with thousands of brands offering similar products―all fighting for the attention of consumers. 

That’s why the advertising agency conceptualized an unconventional marketing tactic with Maybelline’s campaign team. Their aim was to prevent the cosmetics brand from being viewed as traditional and unable to keep up with the ever-changing beauty industry. 

By using Maybelline’s many years of sponsorship at the Fashion Week, AMP Agency came up with a campaign that helped a legacy brand stay on top. 

This sparked positive reactions from consumers, encouraged them to try the brand’s beauty products, and compelled them to talk about their experiences with their peers both online and offline. 

Get inspired with Maybelline’s “Experiential Makeover” campaign! 

With a fun and engaging brand activation that’s based on what appeals to your target market, you’ll create a memorable experience for them and build a loyal customer base that’s beyond skin deep. 😉

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Friday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
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