NARS Cosmetics challenged JD to help grow sales of their core product line of lip pencils (Velvet Matte Lip Pencils or VMLP) while simultaneously creating brand awareness and reinforcing their leadership in the lip category. To create newness around a legacy product, NARS and JD formulated a paid strategy that would imitate a viral campaign that earned 5X the earned value of spend and grew sales by nearly 50% YoY.



We ideated an article to be published with a content partner titled “The Internet Can’t Get Enough of This New Lip Collection” and put forth a plan to push it out to enough outlets that our customer base couldn’t ignore it.

In order to accomplish a viral nature we needed to partner with the right people to make the article and the need to have the product have clout. Selecting 42 influencers by hand to create content on our behalf, we included their posts in the article as proof of this concept that “the internet couldn’t get enough of it”. 

We precisely timed posts by influencers such as Disney star Dove Cameron (16.2mm followers) and travel blogger Nicole Issacs (204k followers) to slowly go live prior to the article posting so that social media influencers would start to ramp up the buzz. Two weeks after the first post, our viral article went live with examples of posts from influencers AND links to shoppable pieces of content based on the influencer posts.

Finally, to push the article to the maximum number of people as possible, we syndicated the article and pushed it across native programmatic platforms to align next to relevant content and make the distribution extremely targeted and mass against our target audience.



Over achieving all success metrics, the initial Instagram campaign and subsequent custom content led to a highly targeted and engaged audience for an extremely efficient spend.  

  • Drove EMV 5x greater than spend (including distribution rights)
  • 164k page views of custom content vs. 13k average/benchmark
  • 1.83% CTR of custom content vs. 0.10% benchmark with new visitors remaining on site for an average of :30s
  • 0.51% CTR of custom content amplification (5x average)
  • CPE of $.13 outperforming goal of $.45) by nearly 3x

“NARS was looking to support one of its iconic lip products in an innovative way to break through the clutter of the lip category. By partnering with January Digital, we were able to collaborate and devise a solution that ultimately allowed us to achieve results beyond our initial goals. Together, we created a buzzworthy program that allowed us to align the right influencers with our desired audience and generate extremely strong results!”
- Alexandra Dennett, NARS Digital Manager