Little known fact: I love makeup!
Actually that’s a lie: this is one of the most widely known facts on the planet. My Instagram feed is populated by posts from international beauty brands, to product reviewers, to MUAs (makeup artists, you pleb), to dupe-hunters. I own about 6 different kinds of lip products that, even to my eagle-eyed design team, are all the same colour. Sometimes I feel I am the only person in the room who can tell apart a blue from an orange undertone, a matte from a velvet finish, burgundy from a blood red, or coral from siren red.
Which is why when a leading Indian beauty brand, Rangbahar (name changed), asked us to pitch to work on their social media strategy, I had a personal hallelujah! Moment. These were MY people!
It couldn’t have been more perfect. Sitting on their office rooftop, talking about makeup, and realising that, unsurprisingly, that I was a part of their target audience. Rangbahar is the brand for the contemporary, independent city girl.
Rangbahar for the woman who’s always on the go and who doesn’t have time to stop by her house to get changed and made up before heading out for a drink (or more) with the crew. I always have one of their lippies in my bag, and for me Rangbahar is a brand for the woman who’s always ready to go.
And that’s how the idea for the campaign came about.
While I follow a lot of makeup brands on Instagram, Rangbahar is not one of them. I asked myself why, and the answer was that I found I couldn’t relate to the posts, most of which were straight-up product posts with no degree of personalisation to them. Unlike other brands which have their own visual and tonal identity, Rangbahar’s presence seemed dull and unappealing to me. I wanted us to do something fun, stylish and relatable.
That’s why the campaign and message behind #ReadyToGo was tailored to fit into the lifestyle of its target audiences. While we usually define a social media strategy based on a problem statement, here we define a solution for a situation which few of us consciously regard as a problem. Some of us – myself included – never think of adding a swipe of lipstick or a flick of eyeliner before we heading out from work to play, but it makes all the difference when we do. Rangbahar defines the always-active woman, and that was the core message in all our creatives.
While most makeup brands feature real people (models, makeup artists, bloggers) to demonstrate their product – and swatches and blogger engagement is an essential part of any beauty brand’s strategy, we wanted to use Rangbahar’s social media spaces as a place to also showcase a unique art and design aesthetic that we wanted to come to represent the brand’s own style statement or design identity.
We used a combination of illustration, watercolour and pop-art to come up with the graphics for the campaign. The art, typography and copy ultimately reflected the stylishness, elegance and independence of our lead character’s (and target audience’s) lifestyle.
While Rangbahar did not choose to change its existing social media strategy (which led to me wallowing in disappointment for a few days), this pitch was easily one of the most enjoyable I had ever worked on.