Helena Rubinstein sets the bar for nostalgic marketing


Helena Rubinstein, beauty and skincare brand owned by L’Oréal, launched a series of campaigns in September to celebrate its 120th anniversary. In addition to telling the story of its founding in 1902 and the revolution of its signature face cream, the label released a short video featuring global ambassador Faye Wong, produced by acclaimed Chinese director Wong Kar- wow. Alongside digital initiatives, Helena Rubinstein has launched a tour of pop-up exhibitions across China, with the first taking place in Hangzhou from September 15-21.

The reaction of netizens

The cast for the brand campaign has thrilled Chinese audiences, especially millennials who grew up on Hong Kong films. Movies Chung King Express and 2046 starring the Cantopop Queen and directed by Wong were blockbusters in the 1990s and 2000s, respectively. Helena Rubinstein’s campaign video marks their first collaboration in 18 years.

Titled “Beauty Beyond Time”, the one-minute film highlights the brand’s iconic Re-plasty Age Recovery Cream. The teaser posted on Weibo on September 5 drew 11.4 million views, with comments expressing expectations for a return from the elusive star who rarely engages in brand partnerships.

Since Faye Wong’s appointment as Global Ambassador in 2019, the Polish beauty brand has steadily gained recognition in the Chinese market. Photo: Helena Rubinstein


Nostalgia can relate not only to childhood memory, but also to hobbies. In celebrating Helena Rubinstein’s birthday, the label marries nostalgic marketing and celebrity endorsement to maximize its social buzz, and it paid off. The 53-year-old singer and actress’ classical music and film works have been etched in the memory of many Chinese millennia.

Since Faye Wong’s appointment as Global Ambassador in 2019, the Polish beauty brand has steadily gained recognition in the Chinese market. Unlike other actors who scramble for young faces who can fuel immediate social traffic, Helena Rubinstein instead focuses on celebrities who can represent the brand’s values ​​and best convey the story of its classic products, which which guarantees the loyalty of its main customers who have anti-aging requests. .

However, a conservative approach to partnering with celebrities doesn’t mean ignoring young people. In June, the beauty veteran teamed up with local coffee chain brand Manner Coffee to launch a campaign that celebrates youth, drawing inspiration from its flagship skincare product, Powercell Skinmunity Serum. Although the collab featured no celebrity mentions, it did generate substantial organic traffic on social media, thanks to Manner Coffee’s popularity among younger consumers.

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