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An inside look at how Critical Mass created ‘A New State of Smooth’

June 14, 2023 | 3 min read

The campaign won in the Rebrand/Relaunch category at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023.


Credit: Critical Mass

With ’A New State of Smooth’, Critical Mass sought to reposition the European Wax Center – and body waxing more generally – to appeal to a younger audience.

The Brief

As beauty standards continue to evolve, body waxing is becoming less and less of an expectation. European Wax Center (EWC) – the leading national chain of hair-removal salons – has found itself losing relevance among a modern audience.

In order to drive awareness and elevate the brand, it needed a new narrative around waxing, as well as a new look and feel, that would appeal to this audience – one that was younger, more diverse and new to EWC.

The Idea

Critical Mass discovered that self-care routines have emerged as a means of helping individuals to gain a sense of control during this age of perpetual crisis. So it created a campaign that spoke to both the emotional and the physical benefits of such routines. ’A New State of Smooth’ was our launchpad and a new brand toolkit gradually took form.

It drew inspiration from EWC’s signature purple Comfort Wax. Using this color as a foundation, it created a purple world. Sensorial and empowering language evoked emotion. Framing devices helped reimagine the tools used by experts. Photography told an inclusive and dreamy story of transformation.

The Results

The results speak for themselves: it lifted brand sentiment by 124%, produced a 30% increase in website traffic and generated a massive 275% increase in new customers. By leaning into what makes EWC unique through print, out-of-home, online video advertising, paid and organic social and digital display, it changed the face of EWC and also changed its business.

This campaign won at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023. Find out more about The Drum’s Global Awards program or head to our case studies hub to read more award-winning stories.

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