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Creative Case Study Debenhams

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


By Awards Analyst | writer

November 1, 2017 | 4 min read

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.

Best New Product or Publication Launch


  • 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.

Best New Product or Publication Launch


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
Best New Product or Publication Launch

The promotional video from the campaign can be found here:

Creative Case Study Debenhams

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1000heads is a Social Transformation™ company. We combine expertise in data & analytics, strategy, technology and creativity to help the world’s best businesses build social age brands.

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Kat Von D Beauty

If you had asked me when I was a child, running around barefoot in Mexico with dirt under my fingernails and frogs in my pockets, if I could have foreseen this wild makeup adventure becoming a reality, I probably would have laughed in your face in disbelief!

People often tell me, "Having your own makeup line must be a dream come true!" But the truth is, never in a million years did I ever imagine I’d be here celebrating all these wonderful years of beauty with you all!

Together with my team, we have created something so special and unique in the makeup world. Kat Von D Beauty is a creative outlet for everyone, from beginners to pros (and even to makeup-junkies like myself).

There is no aspect of the makeup line that I have not been creatively involved with, and this is something that I am proud of. I take part in everything from product development, personally testing formulas, naming the shades, packaging design and artwork layout, to the lettering you’ll find on every fixture at Sephora! When I commit to being a part of something, my ultimate goal is to have an intention behind everything.

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