M.A.C. Cosmetics celebrates its home-grown roots

The beauty brand highlights its Canadian connections in a new campaign that reaches people of "all ages, all races and all genders."


Celebrating diversity in all its form is the name of the marketing game for beauty brands these days.

The current “M.A.C. Canadian Originals” campaign, which launched May 20 and runs until September, aims to celebrate diversity, as well as its Canadian roots, by putting a range of local celebrities front-and-centre.

The M.A.C Cosmetics campaign features nine “originals,” including: skater Tessa Virtue, artist Vivek Shraya (main image), model/TV personality/humanitarian Stacey McKenzie, entrepreneur/influencer Alyssa Lau, model/influencer Grece Ghanem, model/musician/creative artist Juzar Dean, model Damaris, as well as M.A.C Cosmetics artists Jordynn Bernard and Steve Hansman.

The brand chose to cast a range of people from different genders, ages and backgrounds.

“Through makeup and artistry, we communicate our shared values of inclusivity, diversity, and originality – proudly stating that M.A.C is for people of all ages, all races and all genders,” said Taposhi Gandhi, VP and brand manager of M.A.C Cosmetics Canada, in an email. “M.A.C. is a ‘Canadian Original’ – and we inspire Canadians to be original too.”

Not many Canadians know that Makeup Art Cosmetics, better known as M.A.C. Cosmetics, was founded in Toronto in 1984 by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo before being acquired by the global Estée Lauder Companies group. Celebrating diversity in all its forms is currently a trend in the beauty industry, with fellow Estée Lauder brand, Estée Lauder Canada, as well as Sephora in Canada, also recently making diversity a core part of their campaigns. But M.A.C. Cosmetics is arguably one of the pioneers in this realm, supporting causes such as HIV/AIDS research and the trans community well before it was broadly popular to do so.

“Each ‘Canadian Original’ reflects the core values of M.A.C. Cosmetics,” said Gandhi. “Through charitable initiatives like VIVA Glam and Fashion Cares, and sustainability initiatives like Back-to-M.A.C., M.A.C. Cosmetics has built this once small Canadian brand into a global icon.”

The campaign includes an anthem video (above), which is hosted on the brand’s “Canadian Originals” website. Canadians can get to know each “Canadian Original” cast member via long-form video interviews. The integrated campaign also features OOH placements, such as an ongoing presence at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, as well as across media platforms including digital, video and social. The brand worked with Cundari, as well as the in-house global creative team on the campaign.


M.A.C. would not share campaign results since it is still in market, but the YouTube version of the video on its channel snagged more than three million views since being posted in May. It has recieved almost an equal number of likes (1, 200) and dislikes (1,100), as well as more than 700 comments with mixed negative and positive sentiment. In comparison, a video on Virtue’s (a.k.a. Canada’s sweetheart, pictured above) Instagram page promoting the campaign got more 36,000 views and 90 comments  the majority of which were positive.