Kat Von D Beauty: launching a cosmetic line in the UK

Kat Von D Beauty: launching a cosmetic line in the UK

1000heads won an award at The Drum Content Awards 2017 for its work on the product launch of Kat Von D Beauty in the UK. Here, the agency explains how it secured the award-winning title and the challenges faced throughout.

Executive Summary

Kat Von D is a talented tattoo artist, model and entrepreneur from America who is best known for her appearance in shows like Miami Ink and LA Ink.

In 2008, Von D launched her own cosmetics company in the US, Kat Von D Beauty. Over the course of eight years the brand, and Von D herself, did very well establishing something that attracted fans from all over the world. Unfortunately, her products were only available in the US.

In 2016, Kat Von D Beauty approached 1000heads to discuss how it could launch the brand here in the UK. An exciting first step into the European market, and an incredible opportunity to do something big and bold.

The mission was to launch Kat Von D (KVD) Beauty in the UK and drive people to store. Our creative campaign was called: The big kiss.

We launched with Instagram teaser content and covered central London with clean graffiti. Next, a gigantic ‘studded kiss’ lipstick landed at Kings Cross where Kat and a Snapchat Geofilter joined the party for PR impact. People could also ‘selfie for a sample’ and each selfie was pulled onto a giant selfie screen at Debenhams.


  • Help launch Kat Von D Beauty in the UK – raise awareness among core Kat Von D fans
  • Put samples in people’s hands
  • Drive people to the Debenhams store


The thinking an strategy behind our experiential launch was formed from a simple insight: Von D fans were incredibly active on Instagram & Snapchat, and weren’t shy about sharing selfies.

Armed with this knowledge we created an experiential launch event that gave Kat Von D Beauty fans a ‘reason’ to take an awesome selfie. We then looked at innovative ways to display that content and how we could help drive people directly into the Debenhams flagship store.

Two days before the launch event we used Instagram teaser videos to introduce the #KVDxDebenhams hashtag. One day before launch clean graffiti art appeared on the streets within a two-mile radius of the flagship Debenhams store. Then, overnight, a giant five-foot 'studded kiss' lipstick was installed at King’s Cross station. The installation made for an incredible backdrop and fans would receive a free ‘studded kiss’ lipstick sample whenever they took a selfie in front of it.

We also created a bespoke Kat Von D Snapchat geofilter so fans could submit their selfies through their social media channel of choice. The final piece of the puzzle was what to do with all those amazing #KVDxDebenhams selfies Working with Debenhams we installed a large digital screen in their flagship store window which pulled all #KVDxDebenhams content from Instagram and Twitter and displayed the selfies for thousands of passers-by to see.


As a direct result of the campaign:

  • KVD Beauty was the best-selling premium cosmetics brand at Debenhams for two months following the launch
  • 40% of total conversation mentioning the 'Big Kiss' campaign also came from our target audience (ie. People who call themselves fashionistas and beauty addicts)
  • Hashtag mentions - 17,611
  • Total earned media reach - 57.4 million
  • 3,000+ email sign-ups
  • 18,000 brand mentions were sparked and 63 million people reached.
  • KVD Beauty was the best-selling premium cosmetics brand at Debenhams for two months

The promotional video from the campaign can be found here:

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.