L’Oreal Taps AR To Let You Try On 64 Red-Carpet Looks From Cannes

What Happened
L’Oréal continues to embrace augmented reality technologies to promote its beauty products. As part of a cross-promotion with the Cannes Film Festival, the cosmetic giant is allowing users of its popular YouCam Makeup app to project 64 glamourous red carpet makeup looks from the festival onto their own face and learn makeup skills. In addition, the app also shared livestream directly from the event, hosted by beauty influencer and L’Oréal’s brand ambassador Liza Lash.

What Brands Need To Do
Increasingly we are seeing beauty brands incorporating AR technology into their services to optimize their customer experiences. L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app and Covergirl’s BeautyU app are good examples of how beauty brands can leverage the advanced capabilities of smartphones to provide extra utility throughout the consumer journey. With Apple introducing mobile AR to iOS apps with the launch of ARKit, brands should now be more even incentivized to explore AR so as to add a little reality-bending magic to their mobile experience.

 

Source: Glossy

L’Oréal Launches Beauty Gifter Bot For Personalized Gift-Giving

What Happened
L’Oréal has quietly launched a Facebook Messenger bot that aims to act as a gift-giving liaison for personalized makeup and skin care gifts. Working with Automat Technologies, a Montreal-based startup, the beauty giant created the Beauty Gifter bot which asks both the gift giver and the recipient questions in order to pick out the perfect beauty gift. For example, the gift-giver can set a price range of the gift while the recipient will answer a series of questions about their skin tone and type and beauty preferences. Once answered, the bot will then generate several gift options for the gift giver to choose from.

What Brands Need To Do
This is a cool example of brands using AI-powered chatbot to optimize the online customer experience that they offer. This bot not only creates a functional use case for users to engage with, but also enables L’Oréal to gather more customer data on their beauty and skin care preferences for future targeting. For brands seeking to reach the 1.2 billion active users on Facebook Messenger, a chatbot that creates true value for users will be your best bet.

The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good showcase of our expertise. If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, please contact Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: VentureBeat

Header image courtesy of L’Oréal

Madison Reed Creates An SMS Chatbot That Gives Hair-Coloring Advice

What Happened
Hair-coloring brand Madison Reed has created a chatbot named Madi that will use AI smarts to give out hair-coloring suggestions via text. Interested customers seeking consultations can text the Madi bot at 34757, send a close-up of their hair from roots to ends in natural lighting, and answer a few hair-care questions. The bot will then recommend which color they may consider dyeing their hair by analyzing the photo with color-recognition technology and taking all their answers and preferences into account. 

When users click on one of the hair color suggested, they will be redirected to the brand’s website, where they can see more information and make purchases. In order to train the A.I. engine powering the bot, the team at Madison Reed leveraged social media content and images from product testing and model programs to provide enough imagery data for the bot.

What Brands Need To Do
With the incorporation of color-recognition technology, this chatbot is a noteworthy addition to the fast-growing list of branded chatbots offering automated customer services and support. Facebook Messenger alone now has over 100,000 chatbots on its platform. As more and more brands start to utilize chatbots to reach consumers on various popular messaging and social apps, it is paramount that brands need to devise a conversational experience that can provide value to customers. In order to do so, brands should start with developing a mobile messaging strategy and identifying the customer data it can use to train the chatbots with.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building chatbots to reach consumers on messaging interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Digiday

Header image courtesy of Madison Reed’s YouTube Video

Sephora Partners With ModiFace To Break Down Makeup Looks In AR

What Happened
Sephora is betting big on augmented realities. The beauty retailer is working with AR technology provider ModiFace to perfect facial recognition technology for virtual makeup features in its mobile apps for customers to digitally try on products. According to Bridget Dolan, VP of the Sephora Innovation Lab, the technology can break down one virtual makeup application into a step-by-step layering process, while maintaining critical accuracy and reaching mass scale.

In its mobile app, Sephora has fleshed out its augmented reality offerings with a newly launched Virtual Artist tutorial feature that aims to drive purchases via virtual sampling and step-by-step tutorials. Once they are done with the AR-enabled tutorials, an “add to cart” button allows the testers to add products featured in the tutorials into their shopping carts.

What Beauty Brands Need To Do
Increasingly we are seeing beauty brands incorporating AR technologies into their products and services. L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app and the BeautyU app from Covergirl are good examples of how beauty brands can leverage the advanced capabilities of smartphones to provide extra utility throughout the consumer journey. Beyond driving sales, those digital tutorials also help brands to collect behavioral data on individual user’s beauty needs and interests so as to better serve their customers with personalized offers.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience working with beauty clients to create and implement digitally enhanced retail experiences. The recently-opened NYX Cosmetics store at Union Square is a proud showcase of our team’s work in this space and elevated NYX as one of the most innovative digital beauty brands of 2016 named by WWD. If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can develop and implement digital-driven solutions to modernize your beauty retail experience, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Glossy

MWC 2017: Olay Debuts AI-Powered Skin Adviser Platform

What Happened
P&G’s skincare brand Olay made their debut at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier today to celebrate the global launch of its Olay Skin Advisor platform. Available via Olay’s mini-site, the web-based skin analytics platform leverages artificial intelligence and deep learning to provide skin analysis and personalized product recommendations delivered right on their mobile phones or tablets.

With just one selfie, Skin Advisor can analyze a woman’s face to determine her skin age and the main areas she needs to focus on. The platform will also prompt her to answer a short series of questions on personal skin concerns and product preferences before offering a personalized recommendation on suitable products and skincare regimen based on their needs and preferences.

The global launch of Olay Skin Advisor also means a series of upgrades to the platform in the United States, where a 1.0 beta version has been live since late 2016. The upgraded Olay Skin Advisor 2.0, will launch in the US in mid-March.

What Brands Need To Do
More and more beauty brands are incorporating mobile touchpoints into their customer journey. On the mobile AR front, L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app and Covergirl’s BeautyU app are both good examples of how beauty brands can leverage the advanced capabilities of smartphones, especially the ease of image input via the phone’s camera, to provide extra utility for the customers. In addition, the kind of personalized user experience and product recommendations that AI can offer based on data and user input is also valuable for brands. Brand marketers need to consider how they can use their customer data to provide personalized experiences with the help of an AI engine.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience working with beauty brands to create and implement digitally enhanced retail experiences. The recently-opened NYX Cosmetics store at Union Square is a proud showcase of our team’s work in this space and elevated NYX as one of the most innovative digital beauty brands of 2016 named by WWD. If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can develop and implement digital-driven solutions to modernize your beauty retail experience, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Business Wire

Header images are promotional image from Olay’s press release

 

CES 2017 Day 2: L’Oreal Debuts Smart Hairbrush, Plus More In Beauty Tech

Welcome to the Lab’s coverage of the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, the biggest annual tech trade show that sets the consumer tech trends for the coming year. As with previous years, the Lab has a team on the ground in Las Vegas scouting the show floors to bring you the most noteworthy discoveries and announcements that marketers need to know.

What We Saw At CES
As we noted when Apple first started working with fashion brands on the Apple Watch, tech and fashion are two industries that are starting to realize the great benefits to be obtained by working together and converging some of the products. This year at CES, we are glad to see this trend continue to develop and crossover into beauty.

On Wednesday, L’Oreal surprised the crowd with a connected hairbrush dubbed Hair Coach. The beauty conglomerate worked with wearable brand Withings to create this sensor-laden brush that can sync up with your phone. With each brush, it will collect data and analyze your hair types and brushing patterns to recommend the right haircare products and grooming techniques.

Besides L’Oreal, two more beauty-related products caught our eyes so far at CES. Bioreline is an organic cosmetic company based in France, and they come to Vegas this year with VisioDerm, a thermometer-shaped gadget designed to quickly and expertly detects skin imbalances so as to assist beauty consultations and product recommendation.

Then there is HiMirror Plus, a smart mirror that promises to scan your face and generate an honest report of your facial skin conditions, detailing possible issues such as wrinkles, red spots, and pores so that users can know what to focus on in their beauty regime. 

In addition, Samsung breaks away from making smartphones and VR headsets to introduce an experimental beauty product called S-Skin, a handheld gadget that scans and evaluates your skin conditions through a combination of cameras, light sensors, and conductivity sensors.

What This Means For Beauty Brands
Increasingly we are seeing beauty brands incorporating digital technologies into their products and services. On the mobile AR front, L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app and the BeautyU app from Covergirl are good examples of how beauty brands can leverage the advanced capabilities of smartphones to provide extra utility throughout the consumer journey. In addition, the Hair Coach from L’Oreal demonstrates the value of hyper-personal data to the beauty industry. By gathering data on individual user’s beauty regimen and interests, brands can generate insights on their personal preferences and better understand their customers.  

The Lab has extensive experience working with beauty clients to create and implement digitally enhanced retail experiences. The recently-opened NYX Cosmetics store at Union Square is a proud showcase of our team’s work in this space and elevated NYX as one of the most innovative digital beauty brands of 2016 named by WWD. If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can develop and implement digital-driven solutions to modernize your beauty retail experience, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 

L’Oréal Launches Virtual Reality Salon For Hair Stylist Training

What Happened
L’Oréal has found an interesting way to use VR technologies to improve its Matrix Academy program, a branded training program for hairstylists. Working with VR software startup 8i, L’Oréal will be offering hairdressing classes via a room-scale volumetric VR experience, which allows trainees to walk around the room, view the hairdo from different angles, and even step into the instructor’s virtual body and learn how to style the model’s hair from a first-person view. The goal is to enable aspiring hairstylists to learn the latest hair techniques and hone their skills without having to travel for their training.

What Brands Should Do
This initiative showcases a rare enterprise use case for brands to leverage burgeoning VR technologies to modernize their training programs. Moreover, this VR initiative also points to a future that beauty-related branded content can evolve into. In recent years, makeup tutorials and product review videos have gained significant traction on sites such as YouTube and Instagram, giving rise to a slew of beauty vloggers and influencers. The possibility of extending such educational VR programs to let consumers learn makeup skills in an immersive virtual experience would be a truly exciting way to attract beauty customers.

The Lab currently has four VR headsets — an Oculus Rift, an HTC Vive, and two Samsung Gear VRs — ready for demos. Virtual reality is something that has to be experienced to be understood, so come by the Lab and ask for a VR demo to get a hands-on experience and figure out how your brand can use it to excite and engage with consumers.

 


Source: VentureBeat

Image Credit: 8i Medium post

IPG Media Lab Brings Digitally-Enhanced Retail Experiences To NYX Flagship Store At Union Square

This morning, NYX Professional Makeup opened their first-ever flagship store in Union Square, New York City. A huge line of fans and makeup enthusiasts waited for hours to be among the first to see – and touch – the store, which combines innovative technology with a hands-on educational environment to provide consumers with first-of-its-kind digitally-enhanced makeup experiences.

These in-store retail experiences were created by IPG Media Lab, who has been working closely with the NYX team for well over a year. Some of these experiences – such as the exclusive in-store Beauty Bar which is an interactive makeup station featuring custom video tutorials, a trending wall featuring UGC content centering around the latest looks, and a unique shopping tool which allows users to scan a product and bring up photos of what that specific shade looks like on real people – have been already available in recently opened NYX stores. A Palette Bar experience educates users on how to build an eyeshadow palette and, in this flagship store, also guides users to their chosen colors with pink and white wayfinding LED lights.

Unique to the Union Square store are three brand-new experiences, including a Brush Bar and a Lash Bar, each of which help demystify subjects consumers find especially challenging. Users don’t need to leave that knowledge in the store, however. They can also choose which of the exclusive video tutorials they’d like to have at home for future reference.

The centerpiece of the Union Square store, however, is Colorcast, an eye-grabbing sculpture made from 48 cascading iPads. The Lab collaborated with Brooklyn-based Red Paper Heart to design this dramatic interactive installation, which is also a work of art. The digital sculpture scans the colors of your outfit and reflects back the makeup artistry that feature those shades. Shoppers will also be able to filter the community content based on hair color, eye color, or iconic NYX products.

nyx-colorcast-digital-sculpture
NYX Colorcast

The NYC flagship store also features a Masterclass area where influencers and experts teach classes on makeup artistry. Through a combination of in-store classes and digital classes, NYX’s goal is to help shoppers embrace their personal style and give them the tools and knowledge to express their own artistry. 

nyx-masterclass-space
NYX Masterclass space

The NYX NYC flagship store is located at 41 Union Square West, New York City. Opening weekend features meet-and-greets with some of today’s most popular beauty influencers from YouTube and Instagram, including Kandyee Johnson and Mac Daddy as well as exciting prizes and limited-edition collectibles for customers.

Come by and check out what the future of beauty retail looks like!

 


Sephora Expands “Beauty Workshop” Concept Stores

What Happened
Sephora is expanding its “Beauty TIP Workshop” concept store to Canada as the beauty and makeup retailer continues to push for an omnichannel approach. The new Sephora store in Toronto features an expanded Beauty Studio, which offers complimentary makeovers and product recommendations via Sephora + Pantone Color IQ touchscreens. It also has tablets running Sephora’s “Fragrance IQ” to let shoppers browse and learn more about the perfumes.

What Brands Need To Do
Those digital integrations are designed to make the physical store part of the omnichannel experiences that also includes online, mobile, and social channels in order to appeal to customers across platforms. Previously, Sephora also inked a partnership with messaging app Kik to reach mobile customers with a chatbot and support for in-app purchases.

The Lab has extensive experience working with beauty and fashion brands to reach shoppers on digital channels. Our recent work with NYX Cosmetics that includes a digital beauty bar that innovatively incorporates social and mobile elements into the sampling experience. If you’d like to learn more about developing a mobile strategy to reach connected shoppers, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: GeoMarketing

 

Why Rimmel Created A “Shazam For Makeup”

What Happened
Rimmel is the latest cosmetics brand to leverage the smartphones in consumers’ pockets to create a new touchpoint to engage them. The London-based makeup brand launched a “Get The Look” app that works like a “Shazam for makeup.” The iOS app, created in partnership with agency Holition, captures the shape and color of the makeup on a scanned face, be it a real person or a photo of a celebrity, and recommends the closest match in Rimmel’s product catalog. Users can then proceed to try on the matched Rimmel products virtually and purchase them via Google Shopping. The company says integration with its online shop and other ecommerce assets are in the works.

What Brands Need To Do
A number of makeup brands have created useful apps to enable virtual sampling and try-on, including Covergirl’s BeautyU, Sally Hansen’s ManiMatch, and L’Oreal’s popular Makeup Genius app. Unlike those apps, Rimmel’s new app primarily focuses on aiding product discovery. It provides shoppers with a handy tool for identifying similar makeup and copying looks, thus creating true value for customers while pushing its products. More beauty brands could benefit from a mobile touchpoint to engage with their customers and build long-term relationships.

The Lab has extensive experience working with CPG and beauty brands to reach shoppers on digital channels. Our recent work with NYX Cosmetics includes an innovative take on in-store sampling with a digital beauty bar where shoppers can follow interactive makeup tutorials and try on different looks digitally or in person. If you’d like to learn more about developing a mobile strategy to reach connected shoppers, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Forbes

Header image courtesy of Rimmel