Staff Reporters
Nov 15, 2017

CASE STUDY: How Innisfree got Malaysians to try beauty serum

Looking to make waves in the skincare industry, Innisfree turned to VML to launch a social media campaign for its new product that was both engaging and educational.

CASE STUDY: How Innisfree got Malaysians to try beauty serum

Background and aim

Korean skincare and cosmetics brand, Innisfree, wanted to build and champion the Serum category in Malaysia’s skincare industry. While the country’s beauty industry had grown more competitive over the years, the sub-category was still in its infancy. In research conducted by VML Malaysia for Innisfree’s The Green Tea Seed Serum (GTSS), the majority of respondents asked what a serum was.

As Innisfree’s social media agency of record, VML’s role was to bring the brand’s vision to life using digital to drive inspiration, engagement and brand preference. In the case of Innisfree’s GTSS, the aim was to increase familiarity and affinity with both existing and new customers.

Keeping this in mind, further consumer research by VML Malaysia uncovered two significant discoveries: 

  1. Social media impressions influence how beauty is defined today, with popularity measured by likes and comments.
  2. Overwhelmed by the beauty products available, consumers desire simplified, natural beauty consumption through reliable ingredients like those in Korean skincare and beauty products, which must be used in the right ‘Korean way’.

These insights helped shape the communication strategy around the GTSS product launch, which would educate consumers on how to use it correctly while demonstrating its benefits. The launch campaign ran April 4 through 30.  


The campaign was executed in two phases:

Phase 1: Establishing the functional superiority of GTSS

Observation: Consumers are looking for K-beauty products and the correct Korean way of using it to achieve higher efficacy.

Opportunity: Introducing GTSS as Innisfree’s No.1 serum with over 10 million bottles sold worldwide, and explaining the right way of using GTSS as a “first step” after cleansing to lock in moisture.

Facebook Canvas ad

To achieve the intended outcomes, VML leveraged Facebook Canvas, a new Facebook ad format which allowed several folds within the canvas to share the Innisfree Story, and benefits of the product with a ‘Sampling Activity’—in the form of a sampling redemption form—as a call-to-action at the end of the canvas. The canvas was then targeted to non-Innisfree users. Facebook Canvas was selected over other ad formats as it allowed the brand to tell a better product story and delivered a better mobile experience.

On top of this, the content on Facebook Canvas was gamified to ensure consumers were engaging with the ad. 

Phase 2: Building an emotional connection with the core target

Observation: Consumers want to feel “a sense of belonging” in a visually driven Instagram and Facebook world.

Opportunity: Innisfree can be the brand that creates a sense of love and belonging amongst consumers by using its No.1 serum to bring out the No.1 in them. 

These messages, intended to be a form of encouragement for those who needed it most, not only established Innisfree’s GTSS as the brand’s No.1 serum, but also connected with consumers on a deeper level. For this stage, a mobile site was created so users could dedicate an array of pre-set Facebook 360 Panorama messages to their loved ones and friends (i.e. thanks for bringing out the No.1 in me).

These messages, intended to be a form of encouragement for those who needed it most, not only established Innisfree’s GTSS as the brand’s No.1 serum, but also connected with consumers on a deeper level. 


Innisfree Malaysia observed tremendous fan growth on its social pages, in particular new audiences, according to figures from Socialbakers:

  • Fan growth: 5,218 Paid, 2,554 Organic (Total 7,772)
  • Interactions: 17,212 Interactions (74% Reactions, 20.5% Comments, 5.5% Shares)
  • Engagement rate: 10.71%
  • Fan engagement rate: 10.19%

Engagement aside, VML also elevated awareness of the brand among both passive and captive audiences, within the month-long campaign period:

  • 20,386 users visited the page: 66% from the results as shown were “new visitors” and 34% were “returning visitors”.
  • The main source of traffic was social networks: Facebook (13,154) and Instagram (353), which made up the majority of media spend, besides influencers’ content/EDM/ Google Adword (Keyword SEM) / Facebook & Instagram buys.
  • The campaign garnered 161,089 pageviews within the campaign period. Each visitor spent an average of 3 minutes on site with minimum bounce rate of 1.19%.
  • 5,620 participants took part in 360 preset Panorama messages.
  • 6,706 Panorama messages were shared on Facebook within 14-day campaign period.
  • 23,293 messages were generated in 13 days, an average of 1,792 messages per day.

Most importantly, engagement on the Facebook Canvas Ads (175, 734 clicks in total) translated into demand for product sampling, with a total of 2,800 GTSS 5-Day Trial Kits fully reserved within the first 12 days of the campaign period across seven Innisfree outlets.

All the sampling kits were fully redeemed by 23 April 2017. 


Jessica Teoh, client solutions manager
Chow Kok Quin, art director
Lee Kar Men, designer
Vivien Tan, senior social writer
Winnie Soon, senior planning manager
Innisfree Malaysia
Peggy Low, assistant marketing & PR manager


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