Sephora goes bigger with second Diwali campaign

After a stellar reception last year, easing pandemic restrictions are letting the retailer give this year's campaign a bigger boost.
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Sephora is building on the success and momentum of its inaugural Diwali campaign, celebrating this year’s festival of lights with more retail promotion and a bigger digital push.

The campaign, “Reignite the Light,” is the latest extension of the brand’s “We Belong to Something Beautiful” brand platform, which launched in 2019 and has been built out “to celebrate several moments that are important to our Canadian communities,” says Deborah Neff, SVP of marketing at Sephora Canada.

It is the second iteration of the retailer’s Diwali campaign, which debuted last year to a reception so enthusiastic, it “caught the attention” of Sephora’s global leadership team and counterparts in South Asia, Neff says.

The response also began a string of more robust multicultural campaigns from Sephora Canada, in the form of annual celebrations of Lunar New Year or sharing its platform with Indigenous voices for National Indigenous History Month. The platform is one part of a larger commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at the retailer, which has committed to the Fifteen Percent Pledge.

But while those individual campaigns may speak to specific cultural or ethnic occasions, “we want representation to go beyond these moments and are continuously working to have all marketing and social content that we create be reflective of the incredibly rich diversity of Canada,” says Neff.

Last year’s Diwali campaign launched amid pandemic restrictions and lockdowns and was primarily focused in the digital space. But this year, with lockdowns lifting and restrictions easing, “Reignite the Light” will include a “ramped up” in-store presence that incorporates campaign visuals featured prominently in store windows and shoppable tower displays for key products.

In addition, the campaign’s digital footprint will be larger, Neff says, incorporating more video elements and an expanded talent pool of four new collaborators who represent a variety of backgrounds and ages.

Two long-form videos “lean into what the holiday means for some of our collaborators and how they will be celebrating this year,” she says, while four “Get the Look” videos are showcased on the campaign’s microsite and “create a seamless experience for clients to shop the products and achieve their desired look.”

Sephora will amplify those short video pieces with paid media support across social and OLV, in addition to being featured on the retailer’s owned channels. The campaign is also expected to run in other global markets, Neff says.

The creative was developed internally, with PR support from Middle Child and #PAID handling influencers. Dentsu luxe and Publicis’ SephoraONE handled media.