Digital Marketing for Beauty Brands of Hindustan Unilever


Hindustan Unilever (HUL) used to work with multiple digital agencies and some of their brands had a retainer relationship with this boutique social media agency called Windchimes. I inherited these brands when I joined the agency in 2013 and took over the strategic ideation for social media. Some of the best work done for HUL is summarized here.

More Footfalls for Lakmé Salon

At that time, most customers visited Lakmé Salon only for haircuts, while other services were merely upsold to such customers. The brand aspired to have customers who would walk in for a hair spa or facial, but research revealed that most customers preferred low-cost alternatives for regular services like waxing, hair-care or facials. So, the agreed solution was to launch a services package called The Runway Range, which grouped Chocolate Wax, Cysteine Infusion, Youth Facial and Nail Art into an attractively priced offering.

We supported this with a social media campaign called #RunwayReady where the official pages of Lakmé Salon ran contests, publicized these services and roped-in influencers to spread the word by offering them free experientials. The reach was further amplified by integrating in-salon promotions where customers were asked to share their #RunwayReady selfies after the service. Overall, the campaign resulted in a spike in appointment requests originating from social media sources, which then translated into actual footfalls.

Besides this, we used to promote bridal packages during the wedding season in North India by running localized digital and mobile campaigns to promote specific salons offering these services. We also capitalized on offline events like Lakmé Fashion Week to highlight the runway expertise and strengthen the brand.

Special campaigns were executed for new salon launches, engaging fashion and lifestyle bloggers that had a readership from those cities. The most iconic was the launch of Lakmé Absolute Salon at Bandra, Mumbai where celebrities were invited for experientials and the entire launch was heavily publicized on social media.

More Website Traffic for BeBeautiful

BeBeautiful is an online magazine that talks about beauty, makeup, lifestyle, hair and skin care, fitness and diet etc. to target a readership of women. HUL used to subtly integrate their own products in beauty regimens and makeup tutorials, using BeBeautiful as a brand promotion asset. As their agency, we were tasked with driving relevant traffic to the website from social media. Facebook and Twitter had a moderate contribution to referral traffic but we were able to exceed expectations with Pinterest, which was quite popular in India at that time and clickable pins made referrals easier.

More Social Media Chatter for Ponds

I started working on Ponds with unifying multiple Facebook pages that had been incoherently created for different product lines into a single brand page and streamlining share of voice for all product lines by creating monthly content schedules. The brand managers agreed to focus on anti-ageing products, followed by face washes and body lotions.

We had executed a social media campaign called Queen of Hearts to leverage the partnership of Ponds Body Lotion with the movie Ramleela, by creating a version of Candy Crush, which was a rage at that time. Our version of the game on Facebook had native product integration and a leaderboard for the campaign duration. The highest scorer stood to win Deepika Padukone’s ghaghra from the movie and other top-scorers would win personalized merchandise autographed by Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. The campaign recorded better engagement than the Ponds Femina Miss India campaign, probably because girls really wanted to win the ghaghra.