City Beauty

A smart approach to scale increases returns and lowers costs

The beauty brand plumped up holiday sales with a tried-and-tested campaign strategy that delivered a 3x return on ad spend and lowered their previous cost per impression by 5x.1

return on ad spend
higher clickthrough rate on Pinterest than on other platforms
Their goal

Diversifying and increasing website traffic

More than just a pretty face, City Beauty is a luxury brand dedicated to formulating skincare and cosmetics that look good and get results. They specialize in “functional beauty,” designing all their products to provide additional benefits like volumizing thinning lips, brightening dark spots, improving the appearance of wrinkles and smoothing skin texture.

Leading up to the 2018 holiday season, City Beauty wanted to increase online sales for their top-selling product, City Lips plumping lip gloss. To achieve that goal, they aimed to bring traffic to their website from more online sources, so more potential customers would discover their products.

Gary Mitchell, Digital Media Buyer
City Beauty
“The results of this campaign have been really amazing, and beyond what we expected, honestly. I see that as proof that our experimental approach of testing all the different parts—the creative, the demographics, the landing pages—that’s going to be the right way to go every time. And believe me, we’ll be doing this again soon.”
Their solution

Plumping up lip gloss sales

Over 52 million people come to Pinterest every month to discover beauty ideas.2 City Beauty wanted to reach as many of them as possible while staying within their campaign budget.

They took a test-and-learn approach to polish their creative and hone their targeting strategy. Using conversion optimization in Ads Manager, they tested multiple Pin variations. They tried different sizes, images, headlines, copy and text overlay on top of the images, eventually identifying a clear winner.

City Beauty also tested a number of targeting strategies, experimenting with different interest groups, keywords and demographics.

Combining the winning creative with the most successful targeting, City Beauty had a ready-for-prime-time campaign poised to deliver a high clickthrough rate, a low cost per click and a budget-friendly cost per acquisition.

Their results

More clicks with a lower CPM

City Beauty’s campaign maintained an impressive 3x return on ad spend from November 2018 through the holiday season. They earned a 5% higher clickthrough rate on Pinterest than on other digital platforms. This campaign also beat City Beauty’s own benchmark on Pinterest, earning them a 5x lower cost per impression (CPM) than they’d seen before.3

Advertiser tips
  • Test, test, test! Take the time to test your creative, landing pages and targeting to learn what works.

  • Stick to a low budget while you test, then scale up using conversion optimization once you find your winning creative and targeting.

  • Look at the kinds of creative (including best practices) that have been working for other advertisers, including your competitors. Try to incorporate those elements in your Pins, while still making your company and products stand out.


1City Beauty data, 2018

2Pinterest Ads Manager, US, Aug 2018

3City Beauty data, 2018

Published: March 8, 2019


Online sales

North America


Products used
Promoted Pins
Pinterest tag