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Why Fenty Beauty took inspiration from ‘ghost kitchens’ for its fragrance launch


By Awards Analyst, writer

December 9, 2022 | 5 min read

Barbarian won the Fashion, Health, Beauty or Luxury at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries and Best New Product or Launch at The Drum Awards for Content 2022 for its work with Fenty Beauty and the launch of its first fragrance. Here, we find out more about what went into this successful project.


Fenty Eau De Parfum was launched DTC via an exclusive online shop

Fenty has become a frequent disruptor in the $532 Billion global fashion and beauty industry, frequently producing products that address the needs of people of color as well as male customers. In 2021, Fenty Beauty launched its first fragrance — a natural step in the broadening of its offering in the beauty marketplace.

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The brief

For the launch of its first fragrance, Fenty Eau De Parfum, Fenty Beauty aimed to establish a direct relationship with fans by launching it direct-to-consumer through an exclusive online drop. For an audience that had never smelled the perfume before, however, this presented a challenge.

The idea

Inspired by ’ghost kitchens’ (delivery-only services that don’t require physical addresses), Barbarian created five secret Fenty ghost stores: online-only e-commerce platforms hidden in locations central to the scent’s creation on Google Maps.

Building on top of Google Maps’ API meant the ghost stores could be accessed globally, disrupting typical API use by online retailers forced to display physical store locations.

With a very modest budget, over five days Barbarian teased the existence of the stores on Fenty’s social channels – launching one every day, driving anticipation and fervor online.


Each store allowed fans to scroll through a multi-sensory diary of the scent’s creation, featuring intimate memories from the creator, Rihanna. Interactive tap-and-hold candlelight audio moments whisper the story of the scent into the ear of listeners.

The hype of the hunt – paired with the detailed, authentic storytelling – broke the need-for-trial barrier, with each ghost store selling out of its limited-edition stock within hours.

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The results

This campaign ignited interest from the press to social, resulting in selling out within hours of launch.

Fenty Beauty also saw record signups for future communications: email signups increased 800% and text opt-ins lifted 40%, continuing long after the launch. These rare and valuable touchpoints will allow Fenty Beauty to make new connections with its customers' long term.

Earlier this year, Barbarian also won the ’Best Sell-Side Innovation’ category at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising 2022 for this campaign. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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