It all started with a little mascara called Big Eyes.

The two-sided brush was unlike anything Maybelline New York had ever made and they wanted more than a generic product demo to promote it. They wanted to do something different.

How could we make mascara interesting?

By telling a big story in a unique way.

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We knew a simple landing page wouldn’t be big enough. Nor would a single, linear piece of digital video.

Our target audience is bold, digitally-savvy, and wants to be entertained across all social platforms.

So, we decided to blur the lines between commerce and content, and set out to create a compelling multi-sensory story that could live across a fragmented digital landscape.


It was Big Eyes’ unique dual-ended brush that inspired The Girl with The Big Eyes: a two-sided story about a beautiful spy and her hypnotic eyes.

We partnered with director Jenna Elizabeth and planned a comprehensive film shoot. In just two days, we shot our spy film and collected hundreds of pieces of unique content – mini-videos, gifs, quotes – anything that our fans could share across social media.

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When the shoot was done, the real work began.

With the plot set, we did a deep dive into the immersive site experience that would unfold the story as you scrolled.

Developers and the creative team worked hand-in-hand to make each interaction different from the last. We designed circular elements, playful typography and animated gif sequences on top of a voiceover of the story.

Every piece of content on the site experience—photos, GIFs, mini-videos, quotes—could be shared to Pinterest, Twitter or Tumblr with just one click.

To drive traffic back to the site, we executed social strategies to pique interest in discovering more about Big Eyes.

On Twitter, for example, we brought her to life by tantalizing followers with mysterious clues and Tweets from the spy herself. For one day, influencers and regular followers could Tweet with our character, uncover parts of the mystery and win a secret weapon of their own: Big Eyes.


Atomizing the “Big Eyes” story into bits of content and seeding it across Maybelline’s Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr profiles propelled people to the site to learn more about the hypnotic femme fatale.

It worked – in fact, 72 percent of site traffic came from social. Once on site, people stuck around. Thousands of visitors scrolled through the full experience and shared images, GIFs and videos they discovered along the way.

There may have been just two sides to the story but there were hundreds of ways to uncover the mystery...