Clarins USA PPC Case Study – Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2018.

Founded in 1954, and still owned by the same family, Clarins is an iconic French Luxury skincare brand. A mainstay of the European skincare and beauty market, Clarins is gaining market share in the Unites States, in no small part through direct to brand initiatives.


The Media Image’s goal was to increase revenue levels YoY, within strict ROAS restrictions, during the biggest and most competitive ecommerce period of the year; Black Friday & Cyber Monday.

Given that the Black Friday & Cyber Monday periods only get more competitive with every passing year, increasing revenue levels by any amount YoY is no easy feat – and to increase these by close to 30% on Search and over 90% in Google Shopping, and with improved ROAS, is especially noteworthy.


Clarins’s large product inventory necessitates the targeting of a large number of specific product-related search terms, in addition to the coverage of Core Brand. However, the efficiency of this inventory fluctuates substantially according to the nature of the promotion available. Consequently, frequent bid changes are necessary in order to maintain efficiency. With the Black Friday & Cyber Monday offer being particularly attractive, many previously inefficient keywords would likely ‘come into play’ during this important period and leveraging them in an efficient manner would require close and careful attention at all hours of the day.



With increasing competition from the likes of department stores, new beauty-specific e-retailers, and the ever-present Amazon, increasing revenue levels during the busiest period of any e-commerce business’s calendar was a tough ask.

The longstanding account structure was confusing and illogical and as such keyword bid management was a complicated task – leaving the door open to the possibility of needlessly low impression share.

Our first task was to entirely restructure the account and segregate the keyword base into a thematic structure in addition to splitting the different match types into their own categories. Not only would this allow easier management and the ability to control inventory efficiency but it would also significantly improve ad relevance by allowing ads to be tailored to search terms more accurately. This would in turn result in increased CTR and higher volume to site.

Additionally, we looked to improve landing page relevance to bolster our conversion rates.


As part of the restructure, we re-launched Google Shopping activity with a focus on Best Sellers & Gift Sets – the two best performing categories. We also heavily negatived non-brand keywords in the weeks running up to the Black Friday & Cyber Monday period. This initiative was aided with the implementation of exhaustive negative keyword lists. The result was a 60% lower CPC’s compared to the previous Black Friday which allowed us to use budget to pursue significantly more volume than during the previous promotion at a more efficient level of spend. This netted an increase in revenue of 94%, with ROAS an impressive 152% higher than the previous year.


  • Revenue levels were higher in 2018 for every day of the promotion than in 2017
  • YoY revenue growth was strongest on Black Friday at 34.04%
  • Clarins Core Brand Exact Match drove a YoY revenue increase of 22.73%
  • Clarins Core Brand Broad Match drove a YoY revenue increase of 725.71%, increase in volume of 113.38%, increase of 103.06% in CVR
  • Google network revenue growth of 30.47% YoY
  • Bing revenue growth 23.81% YoY
  • PLA revenue increase of 118.85% YoY, CPC drop of 57.49% YoY, ROAS YoY increase of 143%
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