Benefit Cosmetics – “Make U Laugh” Tour




Benefit Cosmetics charged Sandbox Marketing with creating a college based activation that centered around their core brand theme, which is humor. Benefit Cosmetics loves to keep things light and fun with their brand and this activation had to align with the brand messaging. Sampling the new pore minimizer, Porefessional, would need to be a key component of the activation. Lastly, the brand experience needed to position Benefit in the selection set of our target female college consumer, and create a drive to purchase, both now and in the future. Sound like a fun challenge?



The challenge was on, but since we like to have fun here in The Sandbox, this was going to be easy. Sandbox proposed creating a game show styled activation based on the TV game show, Make You Laugh. Since this was a college tour, we called it Make U Laugh. Catchy…right? The activation theme that was determined by the creative team at Benefit was Tiki, which is always fun.


This activation would be split into three appealing segments. Part one would involve our draw to the activation. A young, cute male comedian who would bring female contestants up on the small Tiki themed and Benefit branded stage and attempt to make them laugh within 60 seconds. Telling jokes, singing the Titanic theme song, staring deep into their eyes…nothing was off the table, as long as it was all clean humor. If the consumers could keep a straight face for 60 seconds, they would win a full size Porefessional product valued at $30. It was not as easy as it sounds, as our resident comedian Adam had them rolling in the audience. The second part of the activation would encourage trial and sampling of Benefit products. Small size foil packs of Porefessional were handed out by our local beauty cuties and ladies lined up to have a shot at trying various lines of Benefit products. Lastly, since this was all about having fun, we brought in tons of props and created a photo booth activity. Sandbox brought in their proprietary photo booth technology that allows consumers to take photos, view them on an iPad and then provides a unique alphanumeric code. Consumers could then retrieve, customize and share their Benefit themed Tiki photos on their social media channels. By offering a unique photo opportunity, the photo retrieval rates are always higher than other activations. Every consumer who attended had a great time, and for many who did not know the Benefit brand, they have now positioned it in their selection set. That’s no joke.


Sandbox worked together with their network of collegiate schools to partner with Welcome Week activities to guarantee large events and great foot traffic at the activation. The Benefit Make U Laugh Tour made stops at the following schools on this amazing national mobile marketing tour: UC Berkeley, Arizona State, Texas A&M, Georgia State, George Mason, Virginia Tech, DePaul, Ohio State, UC Santa Barbara and UCLA.



Some of the big wins for this campaign include:

  • Over 55,000 Porefessional samples distributed. 25 samples per minute for 37 total event hours
  • 1,151 students participated on the Make U Laugh Stage
  • Over 70,000 new facebook likes for the Benefit Cosmetics facebook page
  • Photo retrieval rate of 40%. 2X higher than typical promotions of this type relsulting in 2.7 million Benefit brand impressions
  • Of the bounce back cards redeemed at Benefit retail locations, 50% were new customers
  • 3,328 photo retrieval cards handed out
  • Almost 400 makeovers or product trials that resulted in a positive Benefit brand experience
  • 249,000 live audience experienced the Benefit Cosmetics Make U Laugh Tour


Success Elements

  • Creative Development
  • Social Media Integration
  • Logistics Management
  • Strategy
  • Event Negotiation
  • Installation Management
  • Ideation
  • User Experience
  • Conceptual Design
  • Staffing
  • Event Management
  • Audio/Video Production
  • Event Planning
  • Experience Management
  • Vehicle Management
  • Budget Adherence
  • Detailed Event Summary with Analytics and ROI Analysis