DoubleClick by GoogleDoubleClick by Google

The Goals

  • Re-introduce and raise awareness of the Shu Uemura cosmetics brand in North America
  • Drive North American sales of Karl Lagerfeld's Shupette collection for Shu Uemura
  • Grow the Shu Uemura email subscriber list

The Approach

  • Used programmatic buying to lead prospects down the path to purchase
  • Organized website audiences with Google Analytics 360
  • Leveraged a range of audience data in DoubleClick Bid Manager to buy paid media in display and social channels

The Results

  • Drove almost 2X the anticipated revenue
  • Exceeded CPA targets and achieved a 2200% return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Increased web traffic and email subscribers


Published July 2015

Bringing Shu Uemura back to North America

Shu Uemura is a L'Oréal Luxe make-up brand created in 1983 by Shu Uemura, a pioneering Japanese makeup artist known worldwide. Shu Uemura was acquired by L’Oréal in 2004 after gaining considerable recognition. Although the brand saw booming sales internationally, reaching their target audience in the US and Canada proved to be a challenge. In 2010, stagnant sales caused L’Oréal to pull the brand from US storefronts. Now, the brand must drive North American sales without a physical point of purchase in the US and with limited distribution in Canada. 

Each year, Shu Uemura releases a coveted limited edition cosmetics collection created in collaboration with an accomplished artist. For their latest collection, L’Oréal collaborated with artist Karl Lagerfeld (and his cat Choupette) to release the Shupette line. L’Oréal saw an opportunity to increase sales of the brand by sharing the line with a younger generation of shoppers in North America. With just a website and limited brand awareness, Shu Uemura needed a way to lead North American consumers along the the path to purchase, from awareness to conversion. The brand turned to DoubleClick Bid Manager and Google Analytics 360 to get a unified solution for managing website audiences and programmatic buying.

The makings of a beautiful outcome: data + programmatic

Shu Uemura’s Ecommerce team of Jasmine Bouchard and Adam Van Vlaardingen needed a way to target the right people - mostly women between 25 and 30 who had previously purchased luxury beauty products online - at the right point in the funnel. They turned to Google Analytics 360 to organize their consumer data and Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager to activate with their media buys, helping Shu Uemura lead prospects from awareness to conversion. Shu Uemura started with an awareness and consideration phase of the Shupette campaign designed to increase website traffic and grow their email subscriber list. As a Google Analytics 360 customer, they were able to to tap into a list of users who had already visited their site. Next, they connected their analytics account to DoubleClick Bid Manager to use this data to reach both existing and potential customers - those who had visited a L'Oréal web property and those who looked like them, using look-alike modeling. 


Finally, they exposed these audiences to different creatives, depending on where they were along the path to purchase, as evidenced by their site behavior. With a solid setup offered by Google, they were able to balance prospecting and remarketing tactics across programmatic buys. After developing momentum in the awareness and consideration phase of the campaign via increased website traffic and email subscribers, Shu Uemura moved into the second and final phase of the campaign, the acquisition phase. In this phase, Shu Uemura used DoubleClick Bid Manager to remarket the Shupette line to its past website visitors across exchanges, including DoubleClick Ad Exchange and Facebook Exchange. Using Google Analytics 360, Shu Uemura was able to determine which products past visitors were interested in and present them either with particular products from the Shupette line or an offer to win the entire collection. 


Boosting conversions and driving purchases

By combining first party data with programmatic buying, L'Oréal’s Shu Uemura was able to deliver targeted messages to the right consumer, leading to more engagement with the ads and, ultimately, more purchases. They were able to drive almost 2x the revenue anticipated from the campaign. The remarketing tactics achieved a 2200% ROAS in the acquisition phase of the campaign and exceeded all CPA targets. In the US, the CPA exceeded target by 73% and was just 13% more than the CPA of paid search, which has performed very well for L'Oréal.

DoubleClick Bid Manager shows a CPA close to search, which is our best channel. By comparing programmatic and search, we can definitely say that programmatic buying leads to high ROI.

Khoi Truong, Director of Analytics and Media, L'Oréal Canada

In addition to direct financial results, the unified solution made managing a media campaign much easier and more and more flexible for Shu Uemura. In the past, Shu Uemura had difficulty coordinating their buy across all their key media partners. The ability to centralize all buying for this campaign in DoubleClick Bid Manager provided huge efficiencies in workflow and eliminated a number of meetings that used to take place to coordinate the buy. Unification also empowered frequency capping, which reduced waste and drove up the ROAS. 

The real time tie between website audience data and media buying was something Shu Uemura hadn't had before and they found that it made a big difference on customer acquisition. The transparency made it easy for them to see what was working and make changes in real time. During an early phase of the campaign, for example, L'Oréal noticed that the US was performing better than Canada, so tactics were shifted accordingly. By utilizing programmatic with DoubleClick, Shu Uemura was able to use fresh insights to update their strategy mid-flight, maximizing their success of the limited edition collection. 



L’Oréal Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of L’Oréal Group, the largest cosmetics company in the world. Headquartered in Montreal, L’Oréal Canada had sales of $1.070 billion in 2014 and employs more than 1,200 people. 

The company holds a portfolio of 35 brands, encompassing all aspects of beauty, and is present across all distribution networks: mass market, department stores, salons, pharmacies, drugstores, and branded retail.

Doubleclick logo

Related articles