Clé de Peau Beauté - Thirst Trap

Clé de Peau Beauté
London, UK


Clé de Peau Beauté pushes the boundaries of skin cell science to craft the most innovative, effective, and luxurious skincare and makeup products in the world.

We set on a mission to expand our devout following and introduce our radiance-maximizing products to a new generation, meeting them where they go for beauty tips and inspiration: TikTok and Instagram.

But how do you get millennials to stop scrolling and buy a $75 Concealer?

​We needed a true icon who wasn’t afraid to turn heads.​

Martha Stewart has been a long-time fan of Clé de Peau Beauté, and was the perfect partner for the brand’s TikTok debut to:

  • -Make waves on social and beyond.

    -Build brand awareness and consideration.

    -Promote selected prestige products.

    -Drive consumers to our site.


Martha Stewart is an American lifestyle icon who turned her passion for everyday living, from cooking to gardening and entertaining, into a flourishing business empire with mass appeal.

Martha’s impeccable taste extends into beauty, as Clé de Peau Beauté has been a part of her skincare regimen for years. Already organically touting her favorite products, Martha was a natural fit for a campaign partnership.

​Martha’s hot, summer selfie had the Internet cheering and calling it a “Thirst Trap” ie. a sexy photograph or flirty message posted on social media for the intent of causing others to publicly profess their attraction.​


Reveal Clé de Peau Beauté as Martha's secret to the perfect selfie, including her infamous “thirst trap” photo.

Create a social content series leaning into Martha Stewart’s “thirst trap” moniker and surprising viewers with an appearance from the lifestyle queen herself, juxtaposing luxury beauty and a playful tone.

Not only was our idea to create original first-of-its kind content, but also make our TikTok debut, an opportunity to introduce Clé de Peau Beauté to an entirely new audience.

Our nuanced approach combined Martha’s universal appeal, trendy-but-effortlessly-cool TikTok poses, and cheeky humor.


The assignment: Our TikTok videos had to look native to the platform but still perform like ads.
We leaned into Martha’s genuine passion for the products and her engaging personality, tongue-in-cheek humor and exquisite taste.

TikTok can be a tricky platform to navigate. Users are quick to mock inauthentic, unrelatable content. 

First impressions last and our campaign would set the mood amongst the multi-generational TikTok audience.

A Gen-Z focus group ensured our script wouldn’t make Martha come off as trying to be a ‘cool mom’, but rather her beloved self as a badass aunty.

Martha had already set the tone with her ‘thirst trap’ selfie the previous summer, so we needed to incorporate the social trends of how-to beauty tutorials, lifestyle-guides and the choreography & body language that’s native to the platform.

With Martha executing them it was first humorous, then iconic and lastly, influential.

Each online sub-culture has its own trends and language. 

We delved into the world of beauty and make-up influencers to identify social behavior that was instantly recognisable but also likely to last long enough to stay relevant for our campaign. 

The community gave us our first one when they branded Martha’s sultry selfie a ‘thirst trap.’

We incorporated more language from beauty and youth culture like, ‘spilling the tea’, and ‘living’ for something.

We baked in some common video effects (with added class) like smooth transitions, ASMR, dazzling backgrounds and the clone trail effect. These spoke the non-verbal language our audience was tuned into.

We leaned into the term, ‘Aunty, that Gen-Z is using to describe 40+ women who are aspirational, cultured and living inclusive and vivacious lives. They are often forgotten in mainstream media and we love this refreshing obsession with fabulous middle-aged women that Gen-Z respects and trusts.

​To further our reach potential we decided to lean into Instagram Reels, rather than posting the videos in feed. The success of this asset distribution strategy was a key player in the performance of the assets in addition to the creative approach. ​


We created five entertaining videos. 

They couldn’t be too trendy so as to be forgotten in a week but they had to resonate with major moods in the beauty space.

Our first video wowed the world with Martha’s acknowledgement and ownership of the Thirst Trap title and explained how she achieved it with some help from Clé de Peau.

The following four videos featured different products and played on Martha’s newfound status as a classy, desirable TikTok influencer, able to hold her own and outshine any other beauty tutorialist.

Our stealthy approach camouflaged all the advertising best practices by using in-app features like the Jessie VO feature, adding Clé de Peau as the secret phrase to get the perfect thirst trap photo, using the brand name in the Cover Thumbnail, and creating a custom animated logo in the VFX background.


The campaign was our best performing social and marketing campaign for the US market. 

This campaign proved successful on social media with the first video garnering over 5 million views in the first 5 days.

In total, across all content, we exceeded 78 million views on TikTok and Instagram.

The campaign beat brand lift beauty category benchmarks by 222% (Kantar).

Beyond the platforms we sparked 43 press articles, 3+ billion impressions and, in February 2022, Clé de Peau Beauté’s Concealer was our #1 selling product.

We outpaced the total prestige makeup market in sales growth by +10ppts. 

Across the total business (skincare and makeup), Clé de Peau Beauté outpaced the total prestige beauty market in sales growth by +3ppts. (Source: NPD)

Our campaign page was the top viewed landing page of all time on

Martha’s personal handle also gained 200K new followers during the campaign’s run time.

About Whalar

Whalar is a leading global Creator Company on a mission to Liberate the Creative Voice. 

We empower creators, brands, and platforms to tap new areas of innovation and drive business growth together. We're a curious and diverse team of 300 creative minds united by one belief: Everything Is Better With Creators.