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P&?s CoverGirl simplifies skincare discovery with augmented reality

Procter & Gamble's CoverGirl is leveraging augmented reality again to shorten the gap between its print ads and transactions.

The skin care company used Blippar's technology in its print ad in Cosmopolitan?s March 2014 issue. The ad invites readers to blipp the page to find their ?perfect blend."

"The big sell with augmented reality companies has been we are creating engaging, colorful QR code-like experiences," said Gary Schwartz, president/CEO of Impact Mobile, Toronto. "Interactive games on confessionary, beauty makeover videos, etc.

"The challenge is moving beyond a made-you-look strategy to a long-term mobile relationship," he said. 

"What compounds this for the brand is that the augmented reality solution is not native to the phone and requires a bespoke application layer. This presents layers of complexity to the consumer experience."

Mr. Schwartz is not affiliated with CoverGirl. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

CoverGirl declined to comment.

Tru blend
The CoverGirl ad features Pink, Sofia Vergara and Janelle Monae and promotes the brand?s ?Tru Blend? line of products. The products are supposed to blend ?seamlessly for your flawless nude look.?

Copy on the ad reads, ?Now there?s a perfect blend for all of us,? showing how CoverGirl has a product for all skin types. CoverGirl claims that their formula blends with 99 percent of skin tones.

At the bottom left corner of the ad, there is a small Blippar icon with copy that encourages readers to blipp the ad or visit

When readers blipp the ad, they are prompted to find their shade. They can then hold the camera over their own skin to see which shade matches their own skin tone.

Consumers can also click on ?View the collection? to be directed to the mobile product pages, including liquid makeup which is available in 21 different shades. Consumers can ?try on? the products or save to the Blippar gallery.

Additionally, consumers can trade in old foundation and convert to Tru Blend. They simply select their current brand and shade number, and CoverGirl suggests their replacement.

Readers can then buy the product or save it to their phone. If they choose to buy, they will be directed to the CoverGirl shopping cart where they can checkout.

Mobile CoverGirl
CoverGirl has been integrating mobile into its magazine ads for quite some time.

In Allure?s September issue, CoverGirl included a QR code on a tearaway that led to a listing of CoverGirl offers, and in the tablet version, CoverGirl integrated a shopping feature into its ads. CoverGirl also leveraged Blippar technology in an ad in Vogue ?s September issue (see story).

By using different technologies in different outlets, CoverGirl is showing that it is trying to appeal to a wider audience while also targeting technology to specific audiences.

Instead of sticking with QR codes for all of its advertising, it is catering to the different readers of Allure, Vogue and Cosmopolitan. CoverGirl will also be able to analyze how consumers take to the different mobile tactics and use that information for future campaigns.

"'Unlocking' a product to present a promotional opportunity or some media experience has value, but it needs to be part of the cradle to conversion journey not just an cool interactive end-cap in the store or a pop-up in a magazine," Mr. Schwartz said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York