0207 580 4312
CAPSULE COMMUNICATIONS LTD
8 MARYLEBONE PASSAGE LONDON, W1W 8EX
Spearheading a movement rooted in indigenous ingredients, streamlined beauty routines and community.
Beauty has been dominated by global trends from Asia such as K-Beauty, it is A-Beauty – beauty products and rituals originating from Africa – that’s on track to hit big in the 20’s. With a continental wealth of natural riches and ancestral traditions, Africa is truly emerging as a burgeoning realm for beautification with a purpose.
One of the brands leading the rise of A-Beauty is R&R Luxury, the brainchild of dynamic and charismatic Ghanaian entrepreneur Valerie Obaze. R&R Luxury combines ultra-luxurious, indigenous ingredients in the form of shea oil, and ethical, clean credentials: all their products are proudly and sustainably manufactured in Ghana. The brand also has a strong CSR ethos as it works closely with a women’s co-operative, providing them with loans, credit facilities and quality control expertise; a partnership which has alleviated rural female poverty and provided long-term employment opportunities for women and young people. To put shortly, R&R Luxury is a brand that has mastered the art of authentic ingredients, streamlined routines and community.
R&R Luxury arrived to the Capsule Comms portfolio as a new brand to the UK, with the objective of penetrating the UK beauty landscape and planting their flag firmly as the go-to A-beauty brand for those in the know. To help achieve this goal, we worked to advance three key pillars that are unique to the brand: their clean, community-sourced ingredients; their rich background as an African and black-owned brand; and the story of their trailblazing founder, Valerie Obaze.
This journey began with a well-connected yet intimate press event in January 2020, where Valerie and the brand were introduced to top UK press figures in a one-on-one setting at the breath-taking Madera Restaurant. With notable members of the press from publications like Woman & Home, the Financial Times and the Evening Standard in attendance to discuss R&R’s story, the initial buzz around the brand was palpable: the pure skin-friendly ingredients straight from the heart of Ghana received near-immediate digital love from the likes of Vogue, Glamour and GQ.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, not long after R&R Luxury’s introduction to the UK, we had to creatively to shift our strategy in the face of new restrictions and nationwide lockdowns. Despite its challenges, the pandemic did not slow us down but opened up new, more innovative ways to deliver the R&R Luxury message to press. A great example of this was the adapting of a planned Q1 wellbeing event into multiple digital press days; this was done in order to reconnect press with Valerie in the current WFH environment and creatively introduce pandemic-relevant new products, in the form of the new Moisturising Hand Sanitiser. These digital press days not only worked to keep R&R Luxury top of mind for journalists and give them a truly personalised look into newness in A-Beauty; it also allowed journalists to pick the brand founder’s brain on topics more relevant than ever to the media landscape, such as how the brand was adapting to the pandemic. In this way, the brand was placed in meaningful, topical conversations as an ambassador of A-Beauty.
Alongside direct 1-to-1 press conversations, we as an agency also turned to other activities with a more personal, heartfelt connection to keep R&R top of mind in this changed climate, bringing the joys of A-beauty to the everyday home lives of press and consumers. These activities included a highly successful Instagram Live with star journalist Ava Welsing-Kitcher discussing at-home afro haircare, and personalised home deliveries of baby-friendly product to mum beauty editors, in an effort to deliver them and their babies some skincare solace in the pandemic.
While the buzz around A-Beauty and R&R Luxury had already begun in the UK, the long-awaited spring of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US firmly set the spotlight on black-owned brands and entrepreneurs worldwide. Being a female-owned African brand had always been at the core of R&R, and Capsule Comms worked tirelessly to ensure that this was heard loud and clear, and celebrated in the media. Some of the incredible titles that spotlighted R&R Luxury as one of their ground-breaking black-owned brands include the Sunday Times, Stylist, OK! and Harper’s Bazaar Online. But alongside the increased focus on black-owned brands, part of this surge in interest in R&R was also the truly inspiring entrepreneurial story of Valerie as a brand founder. Knowing the richness in her story, we looked to secure premium profiling opportunities in top titles. As a result of this profile push, Valerie was interviewed for the ‘My Lightbulb Moment’ feature in the Daily Mail on behalf of highly esteemed journalist Celia Duncan. The feature was a significant win for R&R Luxury and Valerie herself, raising the profile of the brand notably and firmly placing it on the national radar. The feature also drove significant consumer traffic to the R&R Luxury website, resulting in a record surge in sales for the brand. In continuation of A-list profile pieces, Valerie was also profiled in a striking two-page feature in Women’s Health, where she was portrayed as an A-Beauty pioneer and skincare hero.
While it was R&R’s clean formulations and incredible brand story that proved successful in winning over UK press, it was tapping into the brand’s unabashedly Ghanaian heritage that drove R&R home in the influencer community. This was demonstrated via two notable seeding campaigns: one to celebrate Ghanaian Independence Day in March 2020, and another to mark R&R Luxury’s 10th anniversary titled Chapter 10 in October 2020. Both mailers contained some delicious souvenirs shipped straight from Ghana, for recipients to connect with the brand and experience its origins on a sensory level; the Chapter 10 ‘party box’ even contained a specially designed Afrobeats playlists to for a spot of Ghanaian sun. Both of these ‘heritage’ mailing campaigns were extremely successful: not only did they gain widespread social traction in the beauty community on Instagram, but they also resulted in an fantastic coverage piece in The Sun’s Fabulous magazine – where it was vividly described as a brand that transports you to Ghana!
Throughout 2020, Capsule Comms helped R&R Luxury build momentous brand recognition within the UK market, and the year’s hard work was perhaps best reflected in the brand’s win in the prestigious Get The Gloss Beauty & Wellness Awards and a precious nomination in the GQ Grooming Awards. These high authority endorsements cemented R&R Luxury as the all-natural skincare brand of choice for journalists and demonstrated how the brand has built unprecedent brand presence since entering the UK market just 12 months earlier. Since its launch, R&R Luxury has garnered an incredibly engaged reception with great feedback from press and influencers alike. Valerie’s profile and the incredible story behind the brand acted as impactful talking point that also proved paramount in winning nationwide coverage. What is plain to see, is that press have been aligned with our message on the rise of A-Beauty, seeing this as a prominent trend – championed by R&R Luxury.