Consonant asks if your skin feels like concrete

The natural skincare brand used the imperfect surfaces of the neighbourhood to promote its new flagship store.


To launch its third bricks-and-mortar store, a flagship along one of Toronto’s trendiest neighbourhoods, Consonant Skincare capitalized on the area’s imperfect surfaces to make a statement on the power of its skin care products.

The natural skincare brand began by unveiling pixelated, multi-layered boarding at the storefront on Queen West. Passersby could peel off skin-tone coupons, revealing a much sharper image of a woman underneath. The removal of the coupons also uncovered an invitation for customers to redeem their offers at the store’s official opening on June 30.

Shortly after the hoarding was put up, Consonant began rolling out a series of ambient coupons and wild postings that accentuated the grittiness of various surfaces in the area, including brick, dry wood and cracked cement. Each posting contained a cut-out that revealed the texture of the surface on which the ad has been placed, representing the different types of skin challenges that people face.

Creative shop Zulu Alpha Kilo developed the concept and activation, while Rock-it Promotions managed PR.


When Consonant opened its first store in Toronto seven years ago, it did so on a shoestring budget, says William Baker, president and founder of Consonant Skincare. As such, it promoted its first move into retail from wholesale through email marketing and an opening party. When it opened its second store in the city’s downtown core, it took more of an influencer and outreach approach.

Baker says it felt like a good time to invest in a broader campaign now that the brand is better known, especially in Toronto, and has more resources to draw on.

“When it came time to do the campaign, we really wanted to focus on something that was true for our customers,” he says, “and that is the discovery of their best skin.”

Not only did the activation help the brand get noticed, but taking over one of the city’s trendiest neighbourhoods also played right into Consonant’s positioning in the marketplace.

Whereas a lot of beauty companies offer the promise of flawless skin – which Baker says “tends to be an empty promise for most consumers” – Consonant helps customers achieve the best skin they can have. Sometimes, that means helping someone temper a long-term skin condition through products that are entirely natural and also high performing, says Baker.