In 2010, Branded Content was a relative novelty in the mainstream TV landscape, while specialists had already noticed the decreasing efficiency of classic spots and product placement. Alexis de Gemini, a well-known French TV producer, had the idea to create a talent show around the Sephora beauty brand.
The Beauty Academy is looking for the next make-up superstar. In the development stage, de Gemini preferred to pitch the idea to Sephora rather than to broadcasters, looking for an organic integration of the Sephora brands in the show’s flow.
The result was a non-intrusive but strong presence of the products. For the Moulin Rouge collection, the team took a trip to Paris, in order to make up the famous cabaret dancers. Another episode was a test of the waterproof Sephora products, with underwater dancers. Sephora shops were often used as locations/studios during the production.
The show was launched in China (Shanghai), due to Sephora’s strong interest in the Chinese market. Communist grimness had just ended and the beauty products market was booming. The Beauty Academy is not only an accomplished example of Branded Content, but also an audience hit in China, with an audience share of over 30% and tens of million visualisations online.