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SensatioNail: Defending #1 Mass Market Personal Care Position

Launched in 2012 by Pacific World Cosmetics (the 5th largest cosmetics manufacturer and the 2nd largest nail care company in the US), SensatioNail is the leading at-home gel manicure system, distributed at mass and drug retailers nationwide. Trajectory was engaged through an RFP process to develop an integrated marketing program to help SensatioNail defend it’s #1 position in terms of in-store space allocation, sales and market share. It was common knowledge that the nail leader, Coty (Sally Hansen) was launching their version of gel polish in the coming months.

We researched the gel polish category – products, consumers, pricing, competitive marketing strategies, social media and on-line activity – and participated in company sales meetings for additional internal input. From qualitative research with our primary target audience we teased out that what women really want is “salon quality on my terms” – as their lives are too busy to take time out to visit a salon. So we took a product truth, lack of dry time, and turned it into an empowering rallying cry.

Our “These Hands Can’t Wait” communications and creative platform became the basis for all of our integrated marketing campaign efforts, based on our launch marketing and media plan.  While exact sales results can not be shared, we know that our efforts:

  • directly contributed to +30% year-over-year growth in dollar sales across Drug and Mass Merchandiser
  • led to protecting in-store space allocation despite key competitor introduction


  • Competitor, Retail, Brand Analysis
  • Focus Groups
  • Creative Concepting
  • Umbrella Messaging
  • Marketing Plan
  • Photo Direction
  • TV and Radio
  • Digital and Social Media Campaigns
  • Website Design
  • Retail Displays
  • Events/Desksides with Beauty Editors & Bloggers

Concept Video

We created this video to share our brand vision with client leadership, i.e. a bigger story for SensatioNail that emotionally connects with customers and integrates into their lives. The  video was also taken on the road, shared with sales force and retail buyers prior to our formal campaign launch.

Consumers and Competition

Through qualitative, we identified the Antes, Advantages and Energizers that were important to consumers and genuine to SensatioNail product and brand delivery. We also captured the competitive conversations that were going on in the category, to help ensure SensatioNail distinctiveness.


Umbrella Direction & TV Commercials

We took a product truth, lack of dry time, and turned it into an empowering rallying cry. “These hands can’t wait” (the chosen concept of the four below) reflects our SensatioNail customer’s dynamic life. She doesn’t have time for a salon and demands glamour on her own terms. And the functional benefit of up to two weeks of sturdy, damage-proof nails provides the reassurance.

Umbrella Direction Presentation

Behind the Scenes

Trajectory, talent (including our terrier star Harry) and crew shooting on a beautiful fall day in the suburbs of New Jersey.


Measuring Success

While actual sales numbers are confidential, SensatioNail VP Marketing advised that Trajectory’s marketing efforts directly contributed to solidifying distribution in food and mass, delivering double digit percentage sales growth and defending it's #1 sales position.