Social media case study: Garnier hijacks photoshop craze in China

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China is a lucrative market, but how can brands get themselves noticed on social media? This case study looks at how beauty brand Garnier managed to hijack a trending topic on Chinese social media, in order to maximize their product visibility with a very limited media budget.

Watch this video case study below:

Brand: Garnier | Sector: Health and Beauty | Country: China | Objective: brand awareness, consideration and purchase | Agency/ Partner: Fred & Farid Shanghai | Format: Viral, Social Media, Weibo

In China, there’s a growing trends for girls to photoshop photos of themselves before uploading them on social media (called 'PS yourself').

Jumping on this idea, Garnier launched a new facial cream called PS Cream.

On November 12, the number one trending topic was a Chinese male model who would photoshop photos of his own head into covers of famous magazines, making it appear that he was world-famous.

Agency Fred & Farid Shanghai seized the opportunity to maximize their product visibility with a very limited media budget.

They called the model and hired him to post a picture of himself with the cream, saying "In social media, I use photoshop, but in real life I use PS cream."

This created a huge buzz on Sina Weibo and reached enormous media exposure on the product, the agency said, noting that the post got 7,000 reposts and 4,000 comments in one hour.

Within four hours, it appeared among the top 5 hot topics. The ad got a total of 272 million views, according to CIC iwommaster Monitoring, Shanghai.


From the moment the photo hit the web, it prompted a social media explosion, he post got:

- 7,000 reposts and 4,000 comments within 1 hour
- 21,000 reposts and 8,000 comments within 2 hours
- 42,000 reposts and 9,000 comments within 3 hours
- It appeared as the top 5 hottest post on Weibo, within 4 hours.


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