PR Recap: Trends from the World’s Largest Independent Beauty Trade Show, Indie Beauty Expo

By: 5W Beauty Division

As our beauty, wellness and grooming team stepped foot into this this year’s Indie Beauty Expo in NYC we experienced immediate excitement, awe and delight. Vibrant colors, incredible aromas, ingredient innovation and beauty talk with category pioneers filled the room. We were like kids in a candy shop – The biggest question was where to begin?! With a record-setting 227 independent beauty exhibitors, the show offered consumers, press and buyers a look into a plethora of emerging brands offering unique spins on categories including, skin care, cosmetics, nail art, hair care, ingestibles, and more.

5W Public Relations: Indie Beauty Expo 2017 from 5WPR / 5W Public Relations on Vimeo.

5W’s Beauty Division had the honor of representing Indie Beauty Expo (IBE) for its third annual New York show – the most expansive and successful show yet from Aug. 22-24. The 3-day show consisted of segments created for Brands, Buyers, Press and Shoppers – CONNECT, SHOP and TRADE INDIE – which attracted more than 2,000 attendees cumulatively.

The first day, CONNECT INDIE, was held on Aug. 22 at Skylight Modern NYC and focused on education for emerging beauty entrepreneurs with programming that included Indie Essentials structured learning courses in the areas of finance, retail and media. At CONNECT, I had the opportunity to host a PR 101 panel alongside top tier editors from Allure, WWD, Racked and Well + Good – providing key insights and tips for entrepreneurs looking to achieve awareness via media relations. All panelists were very passionate about the indie beauty category and the unique stories of the entrepreneurs behind the brands.

Following CONNECT INDIE, a press preview was held on Aug. 23 at Skylight Clarkson Sq. and allowed key members of press to peruse the floor for the latest in indie beauty. 5W secured over 300 members of the press from leading trade and consumer outlets including The New York Times, WWD, Today Show, ELLE, Town & Country – the list goes on. The exciting shopping event open to the general public, SHOP INDIE, immediately followed and attracted more than 1,500 consumers who were able to browse and shop, all while sipping cocktails, crafting flower crowns, and more. The show concluded with TRADE INDIE on Aug. 24 that attracted over 500 buyers.

The indie beauty craze has experienced explosive growth worldwide and these beauty pioneers continue to be on the rise. The brands at IBE NY 2017 certainly didn’t disappoint, so trendspotting was a necessity. Here are some notable trends present throughout the show:

beauty PR beauty expo

Quinoa in skincare

Quinoa isn’t just beneficial for your next meal – it contains the vitamins, proteins and antioxidants skin needs to look its best. Exhibitor Zue Beauty uses quinoa, and also harvests the quinoa from Indigenous people in Peru. Spa brand Aypa uses quinoa, blue corn, and also indigenous ingredients from Peru.

Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are here to stay! A brand that everyone had their eyes on was Petite Amie, the French term for girlfriend. From new Emoji “baby masque” with hydrolyzed rice protein and hydrolyzed collagen to help erase fine lines and wrinkles that brings back baby soft skin, to a lip treatment mask to moisturize and smoothen the lip for a younger and more kissable looking, their products are to naturally formulate skin with safety and efficacy. In addition, Smoothie Beauty is taking the edible beauty trend to the next level with their 100% organic food-based face masks that are fresh, additive-free, refrigerated and sustainable.

Nighttime Beauty

With indie beauty brands, there is such a thing as “beauty rest.” Moonlit Skincare is dedicated to night-time skincare. They sync up natural, potent ingredients with the power of sleep and are passionate about creating a more welcome sleep space. Their Midnight Shift Overnight Face Oil is infused with the relaxing scent of lavender to gently calm your central nervous system. Emerging brand Florapy who specializes in 100% coconut sheet masks, showcased their Sweet Dreams Sleep Mask that encourages you to take a breath, relax, feel the stress melt away and prepare for sweet dreams with the energy of Yarrow and Lavender. The lavender aromatherapy empowers relaxation, calms the nerves and promotes sleep. 

Natural/Clean Beauty

Roughly 161 out of 227 that exhibited at IBE would be considered clean and green – it was eco-beauty heaven! And these brands didn’t just fall into the typical skin care, hair care, color cosmetics categories. Brands like Freedom and Honestly Phresh showcased all-natural deodorants that do everything traditional antiperspirants do, but better and safer. Ojai Wild introduced their collection of natural fragrances made from native California botanicals, resins, woods and roots, by artisan perfumer Janna Sheehan. As more and more consumers are becoming eco-conscious in all aspects of their lives, it was uplifting to see indie beauty jumping on that bandwagon.

Beauty Ingestibles

As consumers are becoming more knowledgeable that what you put inside of your body is just – if not more – important than topical products, brands are following suit and there’s been a escalation in beauty ingestibles. At this year’s show, a few notable brands emerged: Dope Naturally is your beauty counter on your kitchen counter and the purest plant based, energy superfood blend available on the market. Swhey’s Organic Multivitamin & Green Superfood Powder, with just 44 calories per serving, is a complex superfood loaded with everything to keep a busy woman in top shape.

Male Grooming

With the male grooming industry worth close to $50bn last year, men’s grooming brands are certainly on the rise. This year’s IBE showcased 5 incredible indie beauty brands offering men an unprecedented grooming experience in masculine packaging. The 18.21 Man Made namesake was inspired by the 18th and 21st amendments of the United States Constitution and offers hair supplies for men inspired by the roaring spirit of swanky Prohibition era speak easy lounges. Given the sleek, masculine packaging, BIG BOY drew a lot of attention from passersby. Drawing inspiration from its Sicilian origins, BIG BOY products combine rich, natural ingredients like Sicilian olive and almond oil, bees wax and shea oil to create superior skin and hair care products that work in harmony with the skin’s natural elements.

Female Empowerment

An astounding 85% of brands at this year’s IBE NY 2017 were women-owned, further proving that strong women are on the forefront of innovation in the beauty industry. A few notable brands lead by women include A Complete, a skincare company founded by Angelica Fuentes, one of Latin America’s most prominent businesswomen and philanthropists, which offers a 5-step 3-minute skincare routine for women on-the-go, Dana Jackson from Beneath Your Mask wanted the natural beauty of the skin to come through, so she sought to create products that were safe, non-irritating, and non-toxic for the skin to absorb and that would not challenge the immune system, and Thorn & Bloom’s Jennifer Botto who created a company specializing in artisanal perfumery handcrafting luxury botanical fragrances using the finest natural aromatics.

Have We Reached The End Of Brand Purpose?

Rather than offering solutions to societal needs, brand ‘purpose’ risks becoming a euphemism for ill-conceived CSR campaigns. The Holmes Report’s Alex Brownsell talks to CMOs, including the marketer behind ‘Fearless Girl’, to find out where brands are going wrong. Rema Vasan, EVP and a global client director at MSL and a Cannes Lions 2017 jury […]

The post Have We Reached The End Of Brand Purpose? appeared first on MSLGROUP’s Blog Critical Conversations: Critical Conversations.

8 Twitter Tactics for Small Businesses

Strong hashtag.png

By Adam Rosen

Many businesses want to know what the ‘secret sauce’ is to gaining new followers on Twitter and running a popular, engaging account. The truth is that there is no secret sauce. Every business has its own story to tell to a unique audience. That being said, there are eight key tactics every business, both small and large, should employ on Twitter to get the most out of the platform.

1. Establish a brand personality

Consumers like brands they can relate to. Just because you are running a business doesn’t mean you have to maintain a corporate, buttoned-up approach on social media. Twitter is a chance to let your personality shine through. Have some fun with your Twitter account and don’t shy away from exhibiting a sense of humor. Make yourself stand out from your competitors. Casper, DiGiorno Pizza and Wendy’s are strong examples of brands that have gained notoriety over the years for their Twitter personas.

2. Use relevant hashtags

Studies have shown that tweets with hashtags receive twice as many engagements as tweets without hashtags. Tweeting about trending topics or utilizing popular hashtags within your industry will not only expose your tweets to a lot more users, it will result in more retweets, replies and link/profile clicks. In short, tweeting relevant hashtags improves your discoverability to people who otherwise might not have heard of your company or didn’t know you were on Twitter. Restrict your number of hashtags to 1-2 per tweet, however, as anything more than that can actually decrease engagement.

3. Always reply to customers

The worst thing you can do as a small business is give your customers the impression that you don’t care about them. Almost every tweet to your business, both positive and negative, deserves at least one response. If a customer tweets at you with a compliment or sends a photo of him/her using your product, be sure to thank the person. If a customer has a complaint, whether it is justified or not, make sure to address the person publicly in some manner while trying to take the rest of the discussion offline. Digital marketing guru Jay Baer urges marketers to “hug your haters” in this video for Community Managers. He also published a book on the topic as well.

4. Incorporate User Generated Content

Your current customers have tremendous value for your business. It’s one thing for consumers to view paid advertisements by a brand, it’s another for them to see other people endorsing companies on their own. If a customer tweets at you with a photo of him/her using your product, private message the person asking for permission to repost the picture from the company account with a new caption. Many Twitter users feel a sense of validation and self-gratification when a company uses their photos in official posts and will often share them with friends as a result. If you don’t have a lot of followers who tweet at your handle, you can run Twitter contests seeking out the best User Generated Content (photos, tweet replies, short stories, etc.). Consumers appreciate brands that take the time to single them out on Twitter or refer to them by name in a tweet. 

5. Engage with influencers

For small businesses looking to gain exposure, it is important to identify any influencers (or micro-influencers) who currently use your product or who you think might enjoy using your product. Figuring out a way to get them to tweet about your brand is the best way to increase your organic following. One idea is to send free samples of your product to these people (or offer them your service free of charge) with a note that includes your company name, Twitter handle and official hashtag and encourage them to post a tweet if they enjoyed using it. Klear and Hashtagify are free online tools that can be used to identify top influencers for your brand.

6. Monitor your analytics

Take full advantage of Twitter Analytics to track which types of posts are performing best. Some of the metrics to look at include: engagement rate, link clicks, retweets, likes, and replies. You may also want to look at performance trends in terms of time of day, day of the week, and type of post (text-based, photo, video, etc.) to see what works best for your audience. Other free analytics tools for Twitter include Social Bearing, Followerwonk and Tweriod

7. Use Twitter Advanced Search to find new customers

Twitter Advanced Search is one of the more underutilized tools that Twitter has to offer. Twitter Advanced Search allows you to search for specific keywords, phrases, and hashtags and listen to the conversations that are happening on Twitter. By taking the initiative to strategically listen to what Twitter users are saying about your category or industry, you can make an effort to reach out to these people directly and let them know about your company’s offerings. 

8. Offer value to your customers

All customers understand that at the end of the day, you are a business. However, that doesn’t mean they always want to be pitched. Make sure your Twitter account offers some form of value to your customers and is not just a hard-driving sales tool. Offering value can take place in the form of curating articles from notable experts in the industry, posting funny photos or memes, or offering inspirational quotes (#MotivationalMonday is a popular hashtag). Interacting with your followers on Twitter is about establishing a relationship and building trust. Make your followers feel like friends of the company, not bottom line transactions.

The last piece of advice? Be patient. Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t gaining dozens of likes or hundreds of new followers every week. Be consistent with your approach on Twitter. To paraphrase the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it (a strong Twitter presence), people will come.”

Have questions about your company’s Twitter strategy? Contact the Likeable Media team here.

We respect your privacy.

Thank you!

Cramer-Krasselt wins Live! Casino & Hotel creative, media account.

Mediapost – August 21, 2017

By Larissa Faw

The Cordish Companies has appointed Cramer-Krasselt (C-K) as agency of record for its Live! Casino & Hotel following a formal review. Previously the Hanover, Maryland-based destination worked with several agency partners.

C-K’s New York office will oversee advertising, direct marketing, digital marketing, outdoor, onsite promotions, research, social media, search engine marketing, media buying and planning, including programmatic.

The agency’s objective will be focused on differentiating Live! in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The number of gaming establishments near Live! has greatly expanded in the five years since it opened. New work will also include marketing efforts for the new flagship Live! Hotel, a 310-room, $200 million project currently under construction.

“We love to help leading brands who now find themselves in challenging situations bring their unique perspective to consumers,” stated Nancy Aresu, EVP/general manager of C-K, New York. “Through the pitch, we mined data that proved to us and Live! that in a business where every day matters, there were many opportunities left on the table to get back business and create more loyalty. We plan to do just that.”

According to public financials, the destination earned $46 million in July from both slot machines and table games, down 22.5% from July 2016. The facility operates 3,910 slot machines and 190 table games.

This review was facilitated by Lisa Colantuono of AAR Partners and began in January, 2017


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On Eclipse Day, advertisers shoot for the moon.

Campaign US – August 21, 2017

By Zoe Beery

Corona has a solution [to a lack of eclipse glasses], one that conveniently requires the purchase of a 12-pack. Their how-to video for making a pinhole viewer offers easy, step-by-step instructions on how to turn an empty box (Corona or otherwise, but they’d really prefer it be Corona) into a safe alternative to NASA-certified glasses. It’s probably a good idea to make this before drinking said Corona, since inebriation can only encourage carelessly staring directly into the eclipse—and that damage is going to last a lot longer than any hangover.
Read the entire article at Campaign US.

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Friday Reading #106

It’s never nice to lose a client, but this week we parted ways with Spotify after 18 months of genuine partnership with lovely clients, creating work we’re very proud of. As the business consolidated their account into a single agency worldwide, we’re not (yet) in a position to manage that. What made the whole process much easier to swallow was the thoroughly classy way Spotify handled it, flying out to the UK to explain why in person. Andrew was so impressed he penned a piece on LinkedIn which seems to have resonated with a few people.


Instagram has come a long way since it first appeared in
2010, as co-founder Mike Krieger discusses in this
interview with WIRED
. It’s interesting to see how a simple acorn of an idea
(allowing people to ‘unleash’ their camera rolls) has grown into a social media
giant, and genuinely changed the way in which people capture and share personal
photos. Krieger talks about some of the ways in which they overcame the
initially poor quality of phone cameras (introducing filters, to bridge the gap
between perception and reality) and outlines the system which has allowed the
team to enjoy so much success over the years – a balance between ‘putting out
fires’ and always looking ahead for the next opportunity to push the app


On a related note, what does it take to be a multi-Billion start up in Silicon Valley these days? Seven lines of code? Two brothers from Ireland’s ingenious Stripe platform have revolutionised the payments industry. Taking a simple approach, they are now
running the back ends for Uber, Facebook, and now Amazon – making them overnight
billionaires. The two founders, Patrick and John Collison talk to Bloomberg
about their alternative approach to machismo and self-centered world in Silicon
Valley and the prospects of bringing commerce to every part of the world
through simple technology.


It was only last week that password Guru, Bill Burr,
awkwardly admitted that his complex and rather annoying
rules for ‘safer’ passwords may have actually decreased system security, when this
morning, HBO’s Twitter account was at the end of yet another cyber security
scandal. Hacking group, OurMine hacked HBO’s Twitter account and released some
scandalous information about HBO’s hit show, Game of Thrones, causing a frenzy
among GoT lovers. HBO gained access to their account shortly after, but not
before the hackers sent HBO a rather cheeky tweet
using the Game of Thrones
handle stating: “OurMine are here. we are just testing your security. HBO team
please contact us to upgrade the security – -> Contact.


One step closed on the path towards making humanity redundant, it’s now possible to create self-healing robots. It’s not quite the T-1000′s terrifying liquid metal yet though – researchers in Brussels have created a robotic hand made from rubbery polymers
with the ability to heal itself when cut or ripped, by simply applying a little heat. Experiments
showed that damage could be healed completely without leaving any weakness
Useful in the food industry and important when thinking about prosthesis it
could be the start of something interesting and extremely beneficial.

We’re all familiar with the push to short form video, and it’s a brilliantly effective way to advertise. Asking less of their attention tends to mean people are more likely to stick around. But IKEA are having a go in the opposite direction entirely – creating a 25 minute, leisurely paced film designed to relax a tightly wound student audience with a gentle tour around a bedroom. Beyond the relaxed tone, the film makes use of some interesting neuroscience; autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) uses specific tones and visuals to create a relaxing, tingling sensation in the viewer. Luckily for those of us still struggling with that attention span, they’ve also made some 1 minute clips which deliver the same effect. Give it a try, it’s rather nice.

Meet The Drum’s US 50 under 30 honorees from the Midwest.

The Drum – August 16, 2017

By Minda Smiley

The Drum’s Top 50 Under 30 a list that is celebrating women across the country who are putting themselves – and their cities – on the map via their creativity, achievements and dedication to an industry that is changing at a fast clip.

Rebecca Mader, designer at Cramer-Krasselt in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

What is your biggest achievement to date?

I have what some people call “project management brain.” I think I’m one of the rare Type-A Creatives, so details and planning excite me just as much as design and art direction. I worked on a massive newspaper insert – so big in fact, it set a Guinness World Record. This was an incredible accomplishment because of the organization and coordination it took in addition to the designing. And I was at the center of it. That entire project I felt like I was floating from one thing to the next using all of my strengths at once. From figuring out how to get more than 5,000 products into the insert to figuring out what the thing should look like. It took major problem solving and a major sense of calm in the eye of the storm.

Who or what motivates and inspires you?

I’m continuously inspired by people who put good into the world. A powerful speech, a TV spot that makes you happy-cry, someone who buys a stranger coffee in the Starbucks drive-thru. The smallest of good deeds remind me of who I am and who I want to be in this world.

What brand means the most to you?

I go to a local gym called Spire Fitness and take spin classes. It’s a place I wholeheartedly I stand behind. It’s a community dedicated to challenge and bettering yourself both physically and mentally. My favorite part is that you never sweat alone. They’re Milwaukee based, and I’ve never been more enthusiastic about working out.

To read about the winners from each state, visit The Drum.

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With names like ‘surge protector’ and ‘torpedo tube,’ free condoms are finally fun.

Adweek – August 15, 2017

By Angela Natividad

Have you ever been to a Planned Parenthood, or any similar organization, to fish from their glass bowl of free condoms?

It’s awkward. Worse still is what you end up with: A handful of suspect brands you may not recognize, or sometimes—if you’re lucky—a random pineapple-flavored one, more perplexing than exciting.

Free condoms get a bad rep. And while that’s not the only reason a teen gets pregnant or contracts an STD, their inherent lack of sexiness doesn’t help overcome that ol’ “Ugh, condoms don’t feel good” chestnut.

With that in mind, Milwaukee, Wis.-based organization Diverse & Resilient partnered with agency Cramer-Krasselt to come up with something cool—and just as free as the tropically-tanged Jimmy hats of yore: Naughty Bags, a brand of condoms created by teens, for teens.

The U.S. teen pregnancy rate dropped 9 percent in 2016, marking an all-time low. But it’s nonetheless higher than in other developed countries, with remaining disparities for minority groups and people in certain geographical locations. Milwaukee’s teen pregnancy rate is three times higher than the national average, and STD transmission worsened as U.S. rates hit a record high.

As Cramer-Krasselt puts it, Naughty Bags are meant to “hit the sweet—and often missed—spot of function and lifestyle.” In other words, they’re neither boring nor embarrassing.

Made instead to be sex-positive, humorous and cool, the labeling was designed in partnership with the target market and features witty names like Pork Parka, Pelvic Poncho, Scuba Gear, Surge Protector and—our favorite—Papa Stopper.

Finally a place where young people can put all their clever puns to good use!

The insight was drawn from focus groups with young urban adults and research on their sexual behavior. posted a video of teens themselves talking about whether Naughty Bags will actually make a difference. Even if they’re a little corny, “People will laugh at them and try to get one so they can show people or tell people about it,” one says when asked the question point-blank.

The condoms went into distribution this month, in places that (hurray!) don’t require you to cross an angry evangelist picket line or scrounge for change while getting gas. They’re being handed out at barber shops, including Gee’s Clippers and Dep’s Hall of Fades, and discreet pickup locations disguised as newspaper stands. Diverse & Resilient is also giving them away at its home base and via its 414All program.


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Local nonprofit is targeting Milwaukee teens with ‘Naughty Bags.’

Creativity – August 14, 2017

By Alexandra Jardine

Editor’s Pick

Agency Cramer-Krasselt’s Milwaukee office worked with teen focus groups to create the “Naughty Bag” range [of condoms] for local group Diverse & Resilient, a nonprofit whose mission is to improve the well-being of Wisconsin’s LGBTQ community. Their names include Torpedo Tube, Pork Parka Pecker Poncho,Scuba Gear, Ham Holster and Papa Stopper, and the fun packaging helps illustrate these ideas graphically too.

The branding aims to appeal to teens in the language they use, without being clinical, judgmental or preachy, as existing messages just don’t seem to be getting through to Milwaukee teens. The city has high rates of teen pregnancy and STIs, ranking the #1 city in the country for chlamydia infections and #2 for gonorrhea.

As well as distributing Naughty Bags through their existing free condom program all around Milwaukee, Diverse & Resilient will be making them available for free in community barbershops that will house condom dispensers and also through discreet pickup locations (disguised as newspaper stands) throughout the city.

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