How Does Kiehl’s Launch a New Product? By Sending It to Space, Of Course

New campaign looks for social liftoff

Kiehl’s new face moisturizer is more like space moisturizer. The high-end cosmetics brand launched a rudimentary spacecraft with its product on board so it could promote a new line of men’s products.

Kiehl's built a balloon-powered vehicle, strapped some GoPro cameras to it, threw in the new product, and sent it into the stratosphere. The company is using the footage for its latest marketing effort.

Why space? The products use a material called Aerolite, developed by NASA to insulate spacecrafts. The marketing is kind of a throwback to the ’60s space race, which spawned technology that seeped into commercial culture (Velcro, Teflon and Tang). Space-themed campaigns also are very hot right now among brands as diverse as Axe, Kia, Red Bull, Cadillac, AT&T, Lurpak and

Cheryl Vitali, global general manager at Kiehl’s, said the campaign fits with the brand and its spirit of adventure. Kiehl’s customers might recall there are classic motorcycles in the window at its East Village location or that there is a biplane hanging in its Chicago flagship.

Vitali said cosmetics are a tough sell for men, complicating the marketing strategy. The brand turned to the marketing team at Night Agency in New York to come up with the concept.

Kiehl’s did not say how much the campaign cost, but the budget went toward producing the videos, and there were no plans to pay for sponsorship on social channels. Kiehl's is hoping for a popular spark to propel it across Facebook and Twitter.

“It’s probably one of the more in-depth digital storytelling and social campaigns we’ve done,” Vitali said.

As part of the campaign, Kiehl’s will send up another space balloon with customers—kind of—on board. It’s running a contest in which winners will get a 3D-printed action figure of themselves that will take the ride. Then they get a picture of their avatars in space.

Take a look at what the view looks like and the videos of the product in space:

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