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The challenge

Benefit Cosmetics is a world leader in the beauty industry and is available in an extensive collection of brick-and-mortar outlets. When the UK’s lockdown closed the doors of all non-essential retailers, this then meant the temporary shut-down of the cosmetic company’s traditional sales and experiential model. A pretty big setback, especially when you have a brand-new product to introduce to the market. Our challenge was to launch Benefit’s They’re Real! Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara to Benefit’s ‘BeneBabes’ in a way that would seamlessly drive online sales whilst building that all-important brand love.

The idea

A makeover of the sales strategy and a brand-new engagement journey was needed. But to appeal to a bored, frustrated audience that were practically living online, the communication needed to have a thumb-stopping wow factor that would effortlessly encourage trial and ultimately sales. To do this we used a pioneering new technology, Virtual Atoms (VA) - a form of NFTs, to create a ‘lashtastic’ virtual-media campaign with real-life results.

The solution

We built a bespoke Benefit Cosmetics Virtual Atoms-powered platform that housed the full multi-channel campaign. Social media ads encouraged fans to register on Benefit’s VA platform. Once signed up, the platform launched a Covid-safe, at-home experience for the ‘BeneBabes’ that used gamification to reward them for engaging, and then drove them directly to purchase the new magic Mascara.

Here’s how it worked:

Once registered, the player was asked to drop a pin to share their location. Then through the magic of Augmented Reality, they were able to use their phone camera to view and collect Benefit’s ‘magnetic surprises’ that were revealed in their physical space.



Once these digital tokens were collected, they were stored in their Virtual Atoms’ wallet and could then be used to spin-and-win some “powerfully attractive” instant prizes such as virtual beauty consultations, full-size and mini mascaras, and product discounts. Winners were driven to Benefit’s online store in order to collect their prizes and use their discount codes when making a purchase.

The platform also housed exclusive content from carefully chosen beauty influencers that showcased the product and promoted the campaign with the combined 1.4 million strong Instagram community.



Despite budget constraints, shorter production timelines, and Covid-challenges, the innovative use of Virtual Atoms helped create an omni-channel campaign that seamlessly bridged a fun digital experience with attractive online retail results. All the targets were crushed, including the conversion rate of 55.4% (versus the engagement target of 46%) and a CTR rate of 39.4% from registration to the platform (the target was 35%). The average gamification dwell time was 2 minutes and 22 seconds, 29,870 new users were registered (data-capture gold), and 16,534 prizes were collected!

The Virtual Atoms platform allowed Benefit to connect with customers in their homes in a creative, engaging and COVID-safe way. But most importantly the digital asset worked as a sales driver, virtual redemption solution, communications channel, and a gamification platform creating a seamless “lashtastic” campaign that turned heads and resulted in sales whilst doing so.

Are you ready to use some thumb-stopping wow factor and apply a marketing makeover on your next campaign? We’d love to hear from you.

Because are experience makers, brand activators and content creators.
For almost 30 years, our pioneering campaigns have connected people with brands in extraordinary ways, changing beliefs and actions.