Sterling P. Sanders

P&G, CoverGirl, Hunger Games

Journey to the Capitol


Creative Director

Movie franchises like the Hunger Games inspire droves of young millennial women across the country to come out screaming in a line of support on opening night. Its story of female empowerment stands in contrast to many other major franchises that are either male-focused (think Lord of the Rings or Star Wars) or dedicated to a mythological love story (Twilight). The difference between these movies’ fans stands out as well: There’s no common tribal identity among Hunger Games’ supporters.

We wanted to change that. In the Hunger Games books and movies, the citizens in the fictitious country of Panem use their costumes and make-up to display the extreme looks that are trendy at the time. The costumes in the first movie made those looks come to life and add incredible emotion specifically to one important part of the story when the lead character is labeled “The Girl on Fire”.

With COVERGIRL we wanted young women to own these moments as their symbol of power, beauty and tribal unity with other fans of the movie.





We convinced COVERGIRL to redevelop a portion of their product line into “The Capitol Collection” which featured 12 looks inspired by the 12 districts in Panem. In the September issue of Vogue we teased the first 6 of 12 ambitious looks. The techniques to create these complex looks were directed using a first-of-its-kind iOS and Android application, Blippar. By focusing a touchscreen device on the Vogue pages, augmented reality revealed how-to videos. Fans were also able to design and upload a District-inspired look of their own, connecting them to other young women who were fans of the same look.



The retail business in beauty is a highly competitive marketplace with brands fighting vigorously for share of merchandising. With so many beauty brands offering new and innovative products, it is extremely difficult for retailers to make decisions on which brand should receive the most merchandising space.

COVERGIRL needed to do something out of the ordinary to give retailers a unique reason to support the brand vs. competitors and we needed to create an exciting in-store and out of store experience.

In order to effectively win, keep share of merchandising and compete, COVERGIRL needed to create and sell through opportunities that (1) stand out from the competition, (2) create differentiation among top retailers and (3) excite consumers and give them a reason to spend more time with the brand in the cosmetics aisle and out of store.

Using the storyline which focuses on 12 competing Districts, we created 12 competing beauty looks that retailers and consumers could choose from to create their own unique experience.

To build consumer excitement, we teased the campaign in the September issue of Vogue. In a first of its kind execution, COVERGIRL created a show stopping high impact print unit, and using Blippar technology, a mobile and tablet-enabled augmented reality experience, we gave consumers real time access to coveted behind the scenes COVERGIRL how-to video content. At the Capitol Beauty Studio ( a COVERGIRL owned destination, consumers were able to interact with each District look, engage with other Hunger Games/COVERGIRL fans and even design a look of their own. The same real time, superior augmented reality engagement experience was available to consumers in store, all while standing at COVERGIRL’s “Blippar-ized” displays across 25,000 U.S. stores. Supported with TV, digital, social, mobile, OOH, Print and PR, we blanketed the market so COVERGIRL would be noticed and win!



Retailers went wild for the COVERGIRL Capitol Collection making this the biggest retail sell in COVERGIRL has ever had, with a 4X increase in retailer commitment vs. expected. By offering a new and limited product line, and an exclusive look per retailer, COVERGIRL designed an ownable program for each of their key retailers. During October-December 2013 COVERGIRL sales grew by 4 percent and share by 9 percent vs. the same time period the prior year. Amazon was so excited by this campaign quoting it as “the best utilization of platforms they’ve ever seen”, that for the first time, they created a shoppable custom landing page featuring all COVERGIRL/Hunger Games looks and custom content. And, not only did COVERGIRL win the holiday endcap at Target for the first time ever, but Target created the biggest physical display in its history for COVERGIRL’s Capitol Collection which was unique, customized and had 4 times more the average display space vs. previous displays.



web video tutorials & interstitials

capitol beauty studio website