Sephora launches its first documentary film – WWD

Sephora has taken its marketing efforts to new heights – and a new medium.

The retailer is releasing a documentary film this week called “The Beauty of Darkness.”

It chronicles the creation, decline and revival of Fashion Fair, which returned to the market last year under the ownership of Desirée Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack.

Sephora created the film in partnership with Vox Media’s Epic Digital and Vox Creative subsidiaries, as well as Ventureland. It was later acquired by HBO Max, where it will be available this week.

“We were honored to acquire Fashion Fair in 2019, a brand that has so much history and significance to the black community. With this documentary, we are able to share our journey to bring this brand of pioneering black-owned beauty,” Rogers and Mayberry McKissack said in an email.

Although the format is new territory for Sephora, the brand’s resurrection has made it perfectly suited for long-format support.

“When our merchant partners told us internally that we would be the exclusive retailer for Fashion Fair, we dug the story. We felt that traditional marketing vehicles and tactics didn’t do it justice,” Abigail Jacobs said. , senior vice president, brand and integrated marketing at Sephora, “It’s a story that deserves a story around it. It’s something we’ve never done. »

The documentary features a few other interview subjects, including singer Kelly Rowland and beauty editors Julee Wilson and Kayla Greaves.

“There are a lot of different stories that can be told. Entertainment at its heart is just storytelling, and as community builders and as brand builders, we’re really interested in creating that inclusive community,” said Candace Payne, Director of Campaigns and Content, Sephora. “The connection between beauty and entertainment is so strong because there are so many stories to tell. We feel very responsible for making sure these stories get out there.

Sephora isn’t the first beauty company to blur the lines between beauty and entertainment. Beekman 1802 and Pat McGrath Labs have both announced collaborations with the Netflix show “Bridgerton.” Last year, Neutrogena also announced Neutrogena Studios, a new entertainment division, kicking off with a short film starring Kerry Washington.

“As consumers, there are people behind the products we buy: there are cultural sources behind putting a brand on the shelves,” Jacobs said. “There are characters and rises and falls and tensions and things that make a good story behind building brands.”


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