Sunkissed YouTube video

Tripling revenue with influencer video: how we helped Sunkissed sales glow

Case Study

By Liam Tasker
on 18/7/18

Sunkissed is a multi-award-winning beauty brand, best known for its vibrant range of bronzing and tanning products. They teamed up with Return to create a digital advertising campaign promoting the new Ultra Dark Selfie Ready Tan and new-look Sunkissed collection.


  1. Product promotion

We were tasked with promoting the updated, new-look collection and ensuring that girls in the right demographics knew that Sunkissed had a brand-new look and products. 

Utilising Influencer video, we got creative with cuts and edits, always maintaining a rigorous eye on video engagement, consumption and quality metrics. We made sure that only the most engaging videos were going out to the girls who most wanted to interact with the brand.

  1. Increase on-site and offline purchases

Sunkissed wanted to increase online and offline purchases. We aimed to do this by reaching out to their highest-selling demographics through social and YouTube, ensuring that Sunkissed was always at the front of their minds during the high-demand summer months. 


  1. How to deliver an Organic experience through Sponsored activity

We had to ask ourselves - how do we structure the experience to include suitable branding collateral and increase brand recall to the point where it can positively impact in-store sales? How do we angle copy to provide an authentic, organic-style experience but influence recall and purchase decisions with the efficiency of a paid ad?

Overall, we took the approach of maintaining longer-form but still highly concise copy, with native-style phrasing, language and emoji usage. Utilising in-built CTAs and in-copy links in the style of an organic post, as well as delivering in primarily-organic formats such as IG Stories, helped us find the perfect balance between an organic feel and paid performance.

  1. How do we engage with Gen Z’ers, a famously hard-to-crack audience demographic?

By dayparting across both social and YouTube,  we delivered videos to girls in the morning when doing their makeup, at lunch hours during school, after school before the homework rush and in the evenings and weekends. Delivering on such a defined schedule helped us ensure our ads would only show to girls when they were most likely to engage.

As well, optimizing bids and display placements to run exclusively on mobile, while only appearing in the most-attention grabbing placements (such as IG Feeds, IG Stories) meant that we could always keep in contact with this highly mobile-driven, IG- and YT-focused generation in the moments and spaces where they actually want to hear from us and engage with us.

With video view percentages as high as 51.74% on some of the creatives, Sunkissed’s campaign performed significantly above the industry average of 9.38%. By the end of the campaign, 53.87% of all viewers who watched 3 seconds of any of the campaign videos continued to watch for a minimum of 10 seconds.

Looking at the matrix of engagement, recall, traffic and purchase KPIs across the board, we can see that the campaign was a success in juggling its engagement and commercial requirements. Massively outperforming industry standards across all of these areas, it set a new standard of brand experience across social and YouTube for their vertical. 

The Strategy

The campaign featured some of the UK’s fastest-growing beauty YouTube stars, including Stephanie Toms, Jordan Lipscombe, Amy Rose Walker, and Grace & Grace. Each of the girls created gorgeous, glowy looks using Sunkissed products – showing their own make-up obsessed organic audience the very best of the products, while providing us with great collateral for the paid campaign.

Focusing on paid sponsorship to deliver this high-quality content to audiences outside of the influencers’ and Sunkissed’s own organic reach meant that we could deliver exceptional influencer collateral to new, specifically-targeted audiences as they moved through their journey across social, YouTube, organic and in-store.

We used intimate, native-style content in formats such as Get Ready With Me videos, Instagram Stories and tutorial videos to grab the attention of Millennials and Gen Z-ers in an authentic and engaging way. This ensured that even though we were reaching out to them through paid targeting options, our interactions never felt forced, aggressive or uninteresting. It was our aim to provide an organic and engaging experience to an audience we simply couldn’t reach through organic posting methods.

The Results

  • 9,580,323 impressions across Facebook and Instagram
  • 2,380,605 impressions on YouTube
  • 300% increase in website sales from advertising campaign
  • 1,747,511 social reach
  • 21,288 unique link clicks
  • 3% average video % watched (industry average 9.38%)
  • 415,934 YouTube views
  • 74% average video % watched on YouTube
  • 437 on-site purchases

We’re delighted with the response to our #SunkissedReady campaign, which has already received over 3 million views and significantly impacted sales across all our retail channels.”

- Stephen Sharman, Rainbow’s Managing Director