Rihanna made headlines following her subtle yet iconic promotion of Fenty Beauty during the Super Bowl halftime show. As one of the world's most popular performers, it's no surprise that Rihanna’s performance was highly anticipated, but what really caught people's attention was her clever use of the platform to showcase her makeup line. Rihanna's savvy Super Bowl marketing tactics helped Fenty Beauty reach record-breaking heights in February, and are a perfect example of her skillful ability to connect with—and expand—her audience.
In this blog post, we look at the numbers behind how Rihanna successfully leveraged the Super Bowl halftime show, and influencer marketing more broadly, to give Fenty Beauty a competitive edge in the highly saturated beauty industry.
Fenty Beauty’s Top February Metrics at a Glance
$44.1M EMV: the highest total among all competitors, and the brand’s first No. 1 leaderboard ranking in the U.S. market
72% MoM growth: the sharpest growth among its top 10 competitors
12.4k brand mentions: the greatest share of voice among all competitors
5.5k content creators: the largest community among all competitors
Savage x Fenty Top February Metrics at a Glance
$15.5M EMV: within striking distance of the top 10 U.S. apparel brands and ranking at No. 14
27% MoM growth: the second-highest monthly growth among the top 15 U.S. apparel brands
37% MoM increase in community size: the highest among the top 20 U.S. apparel brands
33% MoM increase in post volume: the highest monthly growth among the top 15 U.S. apparel brands
Rihanna’s Mid-Act Cosmetic Touch Up Helps Fenty Beauty Net $44.1M
Although Rihanna wasn’t paid for her Super Bowl halftime performance, that didn’t stop her from capitalizing on a chance to showcase her wildly successful cosmetic brand, Fenty Beauty. Over 113 million viewers took note when she pulled out a case of Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Instant Setting + Blotting Powder to touch up her face mid-act. What may have seemed like a fairly innocuous, blink-and-you-miss-it action in the moment sent shockwaves through the beauty community, propelling Fenty Beauty to $44.1M EMV in February, its best-ever monthly performance.
Fenty Beauty experienced notable organic creator community growth, expanding by 42% month-over-month to 5.5k creators. Nearly half of this group (2.5k creators) fell into the micro-influencer tier, which is traditionally responsible for organic buzz. Micro-influencers contributed $11.0M EMV in all, ranking as Fenty Beauty’s second-most impactful community segment, just behind the brand’s powerhouse creators ($14.8M).
In parallel with Fenty Beauty’s community growth, brand mentions increased by 49% MoM to 12.4k, outpacing the 12.2k mentions for February’s No. 2 brand, Charlotte Tilbury. Beauty enthusiasts raved about Rihanna’s influencer marketing stunt, using #SuperBowl and #RihannaSuperBowl to share their thoughts. The two hashtags collectively garnered $5.2M EMV, ranking as Fenty Beauty’s No. 5 and No. 13 hashtags, respectively.
Savage x Fenty Rides Super Bowl Halftime Show Success
While Rihanna's lingerie brand, Savage x Fenty, was not as obviously promoted during her halftime show performance, it still reaped the benefits of the singer's Fenty Beauty Super Bowl marketing tactic. The significant media coverage surrounding the event generated organic buzz for Savage x Fenty, with even those who were previously unaware of the brand joining in on the conversation. As a result, the apparel company grew by a substantial 27% MoM, collecting $15.5M EMV. Incoming content creators contributed more than half ($8.3M) of Savage x Fenty’s February total, helping the brand’s community increase by 37% MoM to 1.6k creators. Only Adidas, who partnered with Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes, surpassed Savage x Fenty in the top 15 apparel brands.
Despite not making the same distinct appearance during the Super Bowl halftime show, Rihanna made sure to give Savage x Fenty some love. Leading up to the event, Rihanna announced the brand’s limited-edition “Game Day” collection of football-inspired styles. The artist herself appeared in a number of smokey, spotlit advertisements showcasing the line’s cozy, casual sweat suits. Alongside the collection’s release, Savage x Fenty hosted a unique "Game Day" pop-up shop in Los Angeles, where consumers experienced Super Bowl photo ops and giveaways. As a result, #SuperBowl and #SavageXGameday ranked as two of the brand’s top hashtags, collectively driving $2.3M EMV via 203 content creators and 305 mentions.
What Can Your Brand Learn From Rihanna’s Success?
Not every brand boasts Rihanna’s star power, but every brand can emulate her smash-hit influencer marketing tactics.
Use your platform strategically: Rihanna recognized the massive audience of the Super Bowl halftime show and used it to her advantage, promoting her brands in a way that felt authentic and natural.
Leverage content creators: Whether you're a celebrity like Rihanna or a small business owner, influencers can be a powerful way to reach new audiences and generate buzz for your brand.
Create unique experiences: By hosting a pop-up shop and creating a limited-edition collection, Rihanna was able to build a sense of excitement and exclusivity around her brands, driving engagement and sales.
Track your metrics: By keeping a close eye on metrics like EMV, brand mentions, and community growth, Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty were able to measure the success of their influencer marketing efforts, and make data-driven decisions about where to focus their resources.
Solely based on metrics, Rihanna's promotion of Fenty Beauty at the Super Bowl halftime show was a huge success, with her clever marketing tactics leading to record-breaking Earned Media Value (EMV) in February, and contributing to a notable increase for Savage x Fenty.
Want to discover how your brand can gain access to similar insights?