Clinique has a new ambassador.
The Estée Lauder Cos.-owned beauty giant has named Marsai Martin its latest brand ambassador and partner producer, a first-of-its-kind dual role giving her a creative hand in the campaigns she’s fronting.
“We’re introducing with her a new model of brand partnership where she’s collaborating with us, and she’s going to have a significant impact on creative output on all campaigns that feature her,” said Michelle Freyre, president, global brands, Clinique and Origins, at Lauder. “We are looking at it as a pivot from other traditional beauty campaigns to meet her where she is as a more authentic self.”
Martin has had her hands full, recently. For one, her new show, “Saturdays,” just debuted with Disney, and she also has the sequel to the animated film “Paw Patrol” in the works. Beauty plays a role in her post-work winding down, she said.
“My favorite part of beauty is taking everything off, being able to cleanse at the end of the day and just have that moment to myself that’s very comforting and very safe,” Marsai said. “My favorite product is the Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, but at the headquarters, we also talked about Moisture Surge, which has SPF, and I thought that was very clever.”
Martin’s journey with the brand also mimics that of new adopters, Freyre said. “She was familiar with the brand through her mom and dad….It’s been this multigenerational brand immersion for her. Clinique has always been a brand supported by a word of mouth from generation to generation.”
The partnership also gives Clinique an entrypoint to younger shoppers. “We really respect that [Martin] is this voice for a younger generation, and we knew we needed to tap into that creative mind for a younger, new perspective,” Freyre continued.
Martin’s first ad campaign will launch in spring 2024, but the duo is already creating social content, said Kay Hsu, vice president, global creative, digital brand at Clinique. “She’s such a multifaceted talent, she’s bringing a unique perspective, and she’s such a purveyor of cultural and social conversations, and she’s also bringing all of her talents as an actress and a dancer.”
For Martin, bringing all of her skills to the table was part of the appeal. “I usually vary the brands that I work with depending on if I have any background with it, or if there’s any creativity behind it. I like to be outgoing with the brands I collaborate with,” Martin said. “This was a first for me because I’ve worked with brands before in the past, but in this way, I would be a partner. I’m a creator first.”
The partnership also comes at a time of growth for Clinique. Freyre noted that Clinique’s Almost Lipstick Black Honey, which has seen sustained virality on TikTok for the past two years, is the top lipstick shade in the U.S. — ”This has a huge halo on the whole makeup business, which really is on fire,” she said — and Moisture Surge sales remain strong globally.
Clinique’s parent company, Lauder, reported earnings Wednesday that saw net sales decline 12 percent in the quarter ending March 31, with skin care net sales down 17 percent due to the slow recovery of travel retail in Asia.