Iconic takeover: Shiseido’s NARS digital campaign in China travel retail outperforms sales expectations by double-digits

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Digital campaign by Shiseido Travel Retail has drives sales of NARS in China. ©NARS/Shiseido
Digital campaign by Shiseido Travel Retail has drives sales of NARS in China. ©NARS/Shiseido

Related tags Shiseido Travel retail China

An extensive digital campaign by Shiseido Travel Retail has helped to drives sales of NARS Cosmetics products in the Chinese duty-free market.

The company partnered with China Duty Free Group (CDFG) for the worldwide launch the NARS ICONS animation at the Sanya International Duty-Free Shopping Complex, Haitang Bay, in June.

Building on NARS’ growing presence in China, this collaboration helped to drive further engagement with Chinese domestic travellers, a key consumer demographic for the company.

The campaign was boosted by a 360-degree omnichannel marketing program, centred around the Chinese consumer and spanned across multiple digital platforms and interactive in-store experiences.

This launch also marked the first time the brand launched an augmented reality-powered (AR) game.

These efforts resulted in a combined online reach of 35.9 million and exceeded the brand’s sales expectations by 26%.

“The animation was a bold expression of NARS’ modern, audacious and iconic style, and its engaging digital and in-store elements were a testament to our dedication to creating captivating and exciting experiences for the ever-changing consumer,”​ said Elisabeth Jouguelet, vice president of marketing & innovation, Shiseido Travel Retail.

She added that the results signalled the appeal of NARS in the Chinese market.

“Together with CDFG, we implemented a thrilling online-to-offline consumer journey for all visitors as they resumed their travel plans within China, and the results affirm the appeal of NARS and lay a blueprint of success for future initiatives.”

The pop-up was designed as a modern take on a camera obscura – the earliest predecessor of the photographic camera – as a homage to NARS Founder François Nars’ passion for photography.

The outpost took consumers through several interactive ‘phygital’ elements, allowing them to discover the brand’s beauty icons and a series of NARS x CDF-exclusive sets.

Consumers began their journey by scanning a QR code and playing the AR game which challenged customers to virtually click on as many NARS lipsticks possible within a 25-second time limit to receive a free product sample.

Making their way through the pop-up, consumers are invited to explore various digital touchpoints and such as the digital make-up tutorials, which allowed consumers to safely learn make-up artistry tips on an iPad without the need for beauty demonstrations.

As an added element of engagement, consumers could vote for their favourite NARS Icons products to receive exclusive gifts to conclude their experience.

Star power

The NARS ICONS digital campaign, which targeted visitors to Sanya, was designed to drive online conversions within CDFG’s e-commerce platform and promote consumer footfall to the pop-up.

To do this, NARS utilised “highly targeted programmatic” ​advertising to engage consumers and drive traffic to the NARS dedicated page on the CDFG website, where they could make their purchases and self-collect at the pop-up.

Additionally, the brand partnered with Chinese actress Wang Ou to amplify the launch on their Weibo accounts.

Wang, who has a following of 12.6 million on social media platform Weibo, helped create video content introducing CDFG’s exclusive set and promoting the animation to drive awareness and conversion.

Terry Chua, vice president of the central merchandising division, China Duty Free Group, ​concluded: “Shiseido Travel Retail is a longstanding partner with a strong track record in consumer experience, digital engagement and retail-tainment, and this was reflected in our exclusive collaboration with NARS, which brought a high level of excitement as we welcomed consumers back to our store."

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more


Beauty 4.0 Podcast