Delivering an effective personalisation campaign for Clarins Hydra-Essentiel

The challenge

Prestige skincare brand Clarins wanted to raise brand awareness, drive footfall to their in-store counters while also encouraging digital audiences to search online for the new Hydra-Essentiel range. To achieve these goals, their launch campaign needed to connect with three focused target groups: mothers of young children, female professionals and women who go to the gym. They also wanted to reinforce messaging about the products’ special formulations for day and night. In addition to press and digital video advertising formats, Clarins and their media agency harnessed the power of connected TV (CTV) and dynamic digital audio to leverage first-party data and achieve more precise audience targeting.

To maximise effectiveness, the multichannel campaign would require a large number of assets tailored to the unique specifications of the automated performance marketing platforms. As longstanding integrated advertising production partners to Clarins, LEAP was well placed to meet the challenge. Our beauty account directors ensured a smooth-running workflow by working closely with our studio and post-production teams as well as stakeholders including brand managers and account managers at the media agency and playout platform partners.

New Hydra-Essentiel [HA2] Clarins skincare packshot

Video localisation

To prepare for the video campaign, Clarins provided LEAP with their 30-second creative in the usual aspect ratio for TV broadcast and streaming. This needed British localisation, adaptation and delivery to meet the specifications of the UK media plan. Our post-production team created the UK masters, a range of cutdowns and bumpers as well as versions adapted to suit the vertical and square formats of digital, social and social ecommerce platforms plus the online counterparts to national women’s magazine publications – 36 versions in total. Our editors provided quality assurance and broadcast compliance checks including Harding (PSE) tests to ensure that everything was to the correct specifications for CTV and other playouts. All video ads would show the end card graphics encouraging viewers to search for Hydra-Essentiel to drive online sales.

Dynamic digital audio

The dynamic audio campaign required a somewhat different approach to traditional radio advertising, so a great deal of coordination, collaboration and attention to detail were key. In addition to the main core scripts, multiple additional lines needed to be recorded and delivered as pre-mixed elements with precise labelling. This would enable the automated decisioning engine to draw upon the bank of recorded script options and traffic them as seamless, platform-intelligent playouts. The personalised ads could then tie-in with target audience demographics, location, time of day or even weather conditions.

On cold evenings, the campaign could speak about moisture replenishing night creams to women who wanted their skin to feel better after a busy workday. And on school run mornings, it could deliver the reassurance that it doesn’t take much time to help mums feel their best even after a sleepless night. As well as the personalised messaging, all Hydra-Essentiel campaign listeners would hear the call to action to visit the nearest Clarins counter for a complimentary sample.

To make it all come together, LEAP’s producers took care of British voiceover artist casting, usage negotiations and the arranging of VO recording and audio post-production. We obtained Radiocentre clearance for the five main dynamic audio scripts and also submitted the relevant substantiations which upheld the results of the highly favourable consumer testing claims made in the ads. As the scripts continued to be refined throughout the production process, our team needed to react quickly to ensure timely approvals.

Finishing touches

For added peace of mind, we facilitated client-attended voiceover and editing sessions. And for the traditional, yet nonetheless important, press campaign, our reprographics experts took care of colour mastering, proofing and supplying to publishers.

Clarins Hydra-Essentiel with Hyaluronic acid power complex, 60 seconds to plumper skin


It has been exciting to work with Clarins and their media agency partners as they introduce innovative approaches to their marketing mix. Moreover, it’s been gratifying to hear that the Hydra-Essentiel campaign performed well.

The digital audio completion rate achieved 97.29% and there was a particularly strong number of impressions among the target audience of mothers. Social ecommerce saw a huge ROAS (return on ad spend) and uplift in sales of 71% compared to planned. Other social and online video platforms saw strong click through ratios. Efficiency reigned alongside campaign effectiveness as the cost per mille (CPM) turned out to be lower than expected across the marketing channels. Even as we celebrate the success of this launch, we’re already looking forward to partnering with Clarins on their next campaign.

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