Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Estée Lauder signs ‘Instagirl’ Kendall Jenner as New Face

 (Source: Business Wire)

In what turned out to be a surprise move in the beauty industry, Kendall Jenner announced over the weekend (on her social media accounts no less) that she was to be the new global face of Estée Lauder cosmetics. Now for those of you that have not heard of Jenner, you must at least have heard of her half-sister, pop culture phenomenon, Kim Kardashian. Jenner, although still involved in the family’s long running reality TV show, has slowly been building a reputation of her own, having walked for some of the fashion world’s most prestigious brands during past fashion weeks, and by booking campaigns and editorials for the likes of American Vogue and Givenchy.

So although Jenner signing a beauty contract is no surprise, the real head turner was that Estée Lauder booked her - a brand that has previously shown preference for relatively older spokespersons such as Elizabeth Hurley and Gwyneth Paltrow. In what therefore seems as a clear attempt to appeal to the new wave of millennial consumers, booking Jenner may in fact be a smart move for the global cosmetics brand. With a reported 30 million social media following, Jenner has the type of pulling power that hardly any other models in the industry would have (especially at the age of 19). It’s a following that the cosmetics brand clearly has their eyes on, as they note that the young model has the potential to broaden their current audience, and re-position the brand in a much younger light; “She is the ultimate instagirl, and we are excited to leverage her image, voice, energy and extraordinary social media power to introduce Estée Lauder to millions of young women around the world.”

As reported by Estée Lauder, Jenner will not only appear in the traditional TV, digital and print campaigns for the brand, but also be involved in social media content creation. This element of the strategy really intrigued me, but makes incredible sense, as it would be futile for Jenner to just be the face of the brand, but have no further involvement. Her role as a content creator gives the opportunity for the brand to deepen their connection with a younger market that has grown up with social media, and in turn, for Kendall it provides further credibility in an industry that perhaps did judge the book by its cover (or kover, for those Kardashian fans out there), and doubted her appeal as anything other than a reality TV star.

It’s without doubt an interesting brand collaboration, and hopefully one that proves successful for all parties involved. For more information about this announcement, visit

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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