NARS Captivates Twitter With Giant Orb to Breakthrough the Clutter.

It’s no secret that we live in a society of saturation. We are constantly inundated with images and messages telling us to consume at every turn – TV, radio, bus shelters, magazines, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Reports differ in the exact number of ads we are exposed to daily, but range anywhere from 300-5000 messages per day. It’s safe to say that we’ve had to become pretty good at filtering out the noise.

This has huge implications for marketers; brands now have to think of new and unusual ways to stand out and stay ahead of the clutter.

Leave it up to cosmetics brand NARS with a cult-like following – 1.1 million followers on Instagram and 230,000 on Twitter – to think of a novel way to create frenzy among their fans. They built a giant black orb reminiscent of the Death Star for their empire audience to shatter.

The Goal

NARS wanted to generate buzz for their limited edition Spring colour collection created by British fashion designer Christopher Kane.

The idea


Using a guerrilla marketing tactic heavily laced with metaphors (using a physical reveal to signify the coming of Spring and literally breaking through the crowd), NARS cosmetics built a giant black orb for their ‘Breakthrough‘ event to hold the contents of their new collection. In order to break open the mysterious orb and reveal the contents inside, fans needed to tweet the hashtag #NARSChristopherKaneUS or #NARSChristopherKaneUK for a chance to win a prize. Each tweet delivered a blow-by-chisel to the orb, and the tweet corresponding to the final blow won the entire collection.

The Result

It took 26,000 tweets and 45 minutes to break open the orb. The event played out live on YouTube and on the NARS website, which is a clever way to draw the target market back to its website. Audiences were captivated; the hashtag was mentioned in 30 tweets per second, with a queue of 600 tweets building at the peak of the event. NARS found a way to engage their audience for 45 minutes. That’s 45 minutes of holding your target market’s attention, engaging them over Twitter, and keeping them on your website – almost unheard of today.

Why is this impressive? For all the reasons listed above and then some. By forgoing a physical event and opting for a digital reveal, they avoided the lengthy process of having to coordinate with hundreds of stores globally. NARS saved time and money and utilized their existing social channels for a digital boost. Not only did they strengthen their social audience, they get extra points for tying the campaign back to their e-commerce site.

Although this type of stunt may not be feasible for every company (both brand and budget wise), it’s great to see brands take risks every once in a while. It’s a reminder that it takes more than just a series of tweets or a couple of visually appealing Facebook posts for brands to be heard and for the masses to notice.

Breaking things. A clever way to break through the noise.


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