Though Peace Out Skincare’s primary consumer base has grown via TikTok, this year, the brand is diversifying its marketing efforts to acquire new consumers both on and off platforms.
“We’re thinking omni; everything we do is omni experience. [We’re not marketing] just for DTC, dot-com or brick-and-mortar. The consumer is back to omnichannel shopping,” said Junior Scott Pence, chief marketing officer, creative director and co-founder of Peace Out Skincare.
Founded in 2016, Peace Out Skincare came to market as the first “skinclusive” acne brand to deliver an OTC-approved Acne Dot, or zit sticker. Its hero product took off on TikTok and caught the attention of purpose-driven private investment firm 5th Century Partners, which gave the brand a $20 million investment in November 2022. And though 30% of advertisers are cutting their 2023 budgets, Pence says Peace Out is going all-in on omnichannel marketing.
“Twenty percent of our budget goes toward marketing,” said Pence. “Having the [new] investment allowed us to go into Ulta and start planning ahead, which we could never have done without it.”
According to Pence, the key to the brand’s ambitious new omnichannel marketing strategy is slightly shifting away from its previous playbook that solely relied on social media moments to drive awareness of the brand. TikTok still remains Peace Out Skincare’s biggest marketing channel, but as consumers return to in-store shopping experiences at pre-pandemic levels, the brand is prioritizing finding new ways to meet consumers where they are. For Peace Out Skincare, that means outside and in-home.
“I’m meeting the consumer outside and in-home now, whether that’s through CTV, Posties [direct mail] in your mailbox, your computer while you’re gaming, on your Facebook, because Facebook seems to be having a resurgence, or in-store,” Pence said.
For connected TV, the brand has teamed with the advertising platform MNTN on CTV (performance TV) advertising.
Peace Out Skincare’s release of its Acne Day Dot last December marked the brand’s first stab at omnichannel marketing. “We spent three times as much [on marketing] than any launch we had before. This was our first launch where we had an investor, so we had more funding to utilize, and we blew it out of the water,” Pence said.
The marketing rollout included billboards and a partnership with influencer Meredith Duxbury. Peace Out gifted Duxbury a VIP mailer that included some of the brand’s best-selling products, which Duxbury shared in a TikTok video. In the two weeks following, the brand experienced a 67% increase in sales, according to Pence. The video currently has 2 million views and over 178,000 likes. Peace Out also partnered with Too Faced and Peace Out’s director of beauty, celebrity makeup artist Jordan Liberty, on a YouTube video campaign that included four exclusive Peace Out beauty looks. Additionally, Peace Out hosted in-store events at Sephora and included in-home marketing via a mailer for the first time. The brand also took over the subway in New York.
As a result, Peace Out saw increased sales month-over-month in L.A. and NYC for the month it ran the OOH campaigns. In NYC, it saw a 53% boost, and in L.A., it saw a 25% sales increase at Sephora, according to Pence.
In May, Peace Out also experimented with omnichannel initiatives when launching its Vitamin C Stick exclusively on the Sephora app. Pence also reveals that the team tested ChatGPT to help create ad copy but ultimately decided against using it. “[ChatGPT] didn’t understand Vitamin C skin care or at least it didn’t when we were doing it,” Pence said. “We talked to it every day or wrote questions into it every day. I would say our next ad campaign is probably going to have some sort of ChatGPT assistance in it.”
Under Pence’s direction, Peace Out Skincare is continuing to expand within marketing channels he believes are gaining traction among consumers. Among those are direct mail, gaming apps and YouTube. Pence said, of all the opportunities, the team is most focused on YouTube. “[YouTube] is starting to become this place again where people are looking for content and finding out about new brands,” he said. WARC media revealed that YouTube’s global advertising revenue is set to rise 4% in 2023 to reach $30.4 billion.
“YouTube is where you have the ability to tell your story in a way that activates the consumer. It’s where they get to understand how their ethos, identity, way of life or how they see things fits with a brand because they’re learning your journey from the beginning,” said Pence. “[YouTube] is becoming an essential part of growth for brands, especially new brands and younger brands. For us, it provides an engaging way to retell our brand story.”