Adrian Peter Tse
Jan 14, 2015

Clinique campaign uses social media to inspire people to ‘start better’

AUSTRALIA – Armed with an ‘inspirational video’ that asks you to ‘start better’ and a real-time ‘powder room control centre’, a new Clinique campaign focuses on live interaction with fans via social media and creating personalised content in order to build brand equity. The celebration of ‘universal human truths’ also comes into play.

Client: Clinique Australia

Agency: OMD Australia

Market: Australia

Campaign scope: Digital, social media

Background: The key concept and hashtag for the campaign is #StartBetter. The idea is that everyone deserves to "start better" whether they are “graduating college, starting a new job, beginning a new relationship, moving to a new city, or looking for a positive outlook on a new day.” The campaign invites users on Facebook to share what they’ll ‘start better’. From there, a social media and content team consisting of eight people based out of OMD’s Sydney office, is responding to fans with customised content.


The #StartBetter campaign in action

Press release quote: Agnes Landau, SVP global marketing, Clinique: “This is a campaign celebrating fresh starts, new beginnings and bold steps forward. Clinique stands for more than great products; we stand for the right to be the best version of oneself, inside and out. Anyone can join us in making a commitment to starting better right here, right now.”

Campaign Asia-Pacific’s comments: Yes, please. I’ll start right here. I’ll start right now. The concept for the campaign slots in well for the start of the year, when everyone is still scrambling to put together a New Year resolutions list.

The video however, is yet another graphic design 101 lecture, featuring the usual visual communication building blocks of point, line, shadow, shape, symmetry and proportion. With plenty of moving lines to “lead the eye” from one generic vector-based visual to the next, the video is sprinkled with inspirational wording and typography. I recall that a wise netizen once said that “inspiration and ideas” are cheap in today's information age; it takes less than 10 seconds to find a motivational quote and about another 20 seconds to paste that same quote onto a photo and upload it to your inspiration-starved friends.

The soft, milky, generic female voiceover doesn’t further the cause, either. The problem with this kind of voice is that it doesn’t sound human. In order to encompass the brand, the voice actor adopts a tone that is so neutral and painfully serene that you wish they’d have a blowout or hiccup or something.

The bottom line is that we need to question what ‘inspiration’ really is, what it’s worth, and what it takes for a brand to create it in the heart and mind of a person. The concept of “universal human truth” is familiar to any good storyteller, as are the risks.

On the plus side, the campaigns strongest point seems to be the live interaction and the effort it’s putting in to engage with active fans using custom visuals. It’s a simple albeit laborious way to build a personalised interaction. For those that Clinique has managed to engage, it could certainly pay off.


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