In 2016, most of Clarins’ video ads didn’t show up on beauty-focused sites. Instead, they appeared on, a graphic art and comics website with no ties to the beauty community. Here’s how Clarins reclaimed control of its video content assets in one year.

The brand’s ads appeared so frequently on Deviant Art as a result of its investments in programmatic advertising, which doesn’t allow advertisers to control where their content appears. In 2016, Clarins purchased almost twice as many desktop video impressions through programmatic channels than the average brand tracked in L2’s web advertising report.

The following year, however, the brand served 30% more impressions through direct channels than the average company—indicating that its strategy had reversed. This followed an industry trend: among beauty brands, the share of video impressions purchased through programmatic channels dropped from 26% to 7%, indicating that brands had become wary of ceding control over their most expensive creatives.

As the brand switched to direct advertising, YouTube became its top publishing site for video ads, allowing the brand to target users who had demonstrated their interest in beauty content. The ads linked to the Clarins channel, which now featured rich content from global influencers like Sananas (who boasts 2 million subscribers) and Simply Sona (741,000 subscribers). By overhauling its channel and switching to direct advertising, Clarins was able to regain control over its most valuable assets, a prime example of how important it is for beauty brands to protect video content investments.

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