As retailers embrace influencer-driven strategies, beauty subscription company Ipsy has launched "The Next 10," a social media initiative to highlight a new generation of creators, according to a Monday press release.
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the company will select "The Next 10" creators and award them paid contracts and all-expenses-paid trips to New York for an Ipsy Live event in October. The grand prize winner will be awarded an additional $30,000 cash bonus during the event, the company said.
The company's casting call will accept submissions until July 30. After selecting 20 finalists to compete in four social challenges, the company will solicit its community's input to choose the final 10 based on social media engagement and creativity.
Ipsy's pursuit of online creators follows a broader trend of brands harnessing the power of influencers, an authority that research suggests could be a key to captivating consumers' attention.
Retailers as diverse as Macy's, West Elm and Walmart have enlisted the help of influencers to serve as brand ambassadors, or in Walmart's case, to host live shopping events. Influencer partnerships can be powerful tools for brands, and they were even more impactful last year. Per Klear's State of Influencer Marketing report, partnerships with influencers had 57% more reach and impact in 2020 than in 2019.
Ipsy has enlisted model Tabria Majors and beauty influencer Christen Dominique to host the challenges for the semi-finalists in August and September. In the announcement, Majors called the opportunity to help other collaborators gain recognition from Ipsy "a no brainer."
"Creators have been integral to Ipsy from the very beginning, and we have continued to pave the way as a creator-led brand, building a passionate community of millions of beauty enthusiasts around the world," Lani Kuramoto, vice president of marketing at Ipsy, said in a statement. "With this challenge, we wanted to leverage our platform to give the creators exposure and visibility, and to empower our community to play an active role in selecting the creators that will serve them educational and inspirational content next year — and beyond."
Over the past year or so, Ipsy has been investing in its own product offerings as well as other up-and-coming brands. In the aftermath of multiple police killings of Black people, the company last year announced its intention to invest $5 million in Black-owned beauty brands, and in January said that amount would likely exceed $7 million. Also in January, the company debuted a vegan, cruelty-free brand dubbed Refreshments, complete with face wipes, body wash and body cream.