Creative Nail Design gets colorful campaign results

On May 1 Creative Nail Design (CND) launched Shellac, the industry's first hybrid gel-polish nail color

Client: Creative Nail Design (Vista, CA)

Agency: RED PR (New York)

Campaign: Shellac Launch

Duration: March 2010 – ongoing
Budget: $125,000

On May 1 Creative Nail Design (CND) launched Shellac, the industry's first hybrid gel-polish nail color. CND and long-time agency RED PR developed an influencer and media relations campaign to introduce Shellac as a new category of nail color, drive demand, and reinforce CND's reputation as an industry pioneer. 

“If you target the innovators and get them hooked, they help diffuse your message," says CND co-founder Jan Arnold. "We know if we get [Shellac] on people they're going to love it. We carefully reached out to those who have the greatest influence over early adopters…and then followed through with the next round of appeal.”


RED PR founder and president Julia Labaton explains that the team taught nail professionals who serve as CND educators how to work with Shellac and about its unique qualities and benefits. Trade media and social media outreach helped drive industry buzz.

The team then gave private trials to a few select beauty influencers, such as nail professionals who work with celebrities. CND also used social media to reach consumers.


In addition to its CND educator classes, CND took Shellac to nail shows and held its own events. At one CND-hosted event in March, Arnold presented information to top trade pubs and international nail professionals who were flown in to the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego.

The company gave private Shellac services to influential New York consumer editors at a preview event in April and to press attendees at America's Beauty Show in Chicago, also in April. Journalists, bloggers, and various VIPs received services by invitation only during New York's Spring Fashion Week, September 9 to 16.

CND also posted media coverage and product information on its Facebook and Twitter pages.


Since launch, Arnold says Shellac has sold 14 times more than originally projected. She adds that the amount of product projected to be sold for the year sold out in less than two months.

“This is our most successful PR campaign ever,” she says. “We had to shift to much bigger batch sizes to respond to unprecedented demand driven by PR. Our whole universe changed.”

Outlets covering the story include Glamour, Today, The New York Times, People, and Labaton reports Facebook fans increased from 5,726 in March to more than 13,000.


The team is working on a VNR and planning additional press events. Launch campaigns are in the works for new colors coming out during holidays and in March 2011.

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