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Maybelline pushes augmented reality, image recognition via print campaign

L?Oreal?s Maybelline New York is letting consumers virtually try on nail polish with a new campaign that bridges print, mobile and social media.

The print campaign is part of Maybelline?s New York Color Show Nail Lacquer campaign that kicks off this summer and runs through the end of the year. Maybelline is using the Blippar app for this initiative.

?While Maybelline has used virtual makeover technologies in the past, leveraging augmented reality was an innovative step for the brand,? said Kristen Yraola, vice president of ecommerce for Maybelline New York, Garnier and Essie, New York.

?We had to solve how to allow users to try on our shades without being able to physically sample them,? she said.

?With the majority of our target audience now using smartphones, now was the right time for us to test augmented reality with such devices.?  

Maybelline is part of the L?Oreal consumer products line, which also includes L?Oreal Paris, Garnier, SoftSheen.Carson, CCB Paris and Essie.

Virtual nail polish
The print ads are running in magazines such as Elle as full-page ads. A sidebar on the opposite-facing page walks users through the process of using their mobile device to interact with the ad.

Users must first download the Blippar app from either Apple?s App Store or the Google Play store.

With the app open, consumers aim their device at the print ad to activate the digital portion.

Once the app recognizes the image, the device?s screen shows a spinning circle of all of Maybelline?s new nail colors.

Consumers are then encouraged to try on a nail color by snapping a picture of their hand. Users can line up their fingers with an outline on the screen.

Consumers can then choose from 40 different colors and can scale the virtual nails to get the perfect fit.

Users can save the image to their device or share it via Facebook, Twitter and email, which helps spread the word about the campaign and educate consumers on the mobile technology.

Additionally, users can interact with Maybelline?s social media sites including Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter or sign up for Maybelline email newsletters. Both the social media plug and email opt-in are great ways for Maybelline to build a stronger relationship with users that last beyond an interaction with a piece of print.

To promote the campaign, Maybelline is using social media, email and display advertising.

Augment me in
Maybelline has been in the mobile space for a while.

Last year, the company rolled out an iAd campaign to help women find the perfect lipstick. The ad campaign included interactive features such as tapping and swiping to show users its products (see story).

For a beauty brand such as Maybelline, using augmented reality to let users virtually try on products is a great way to give users a sneak peek before they buy something.

Although augmented reality might be new for some brands, integrating it into an app and showing consumers how the technology works is key.

In addition to Maybelline, Blippar has worked with other beauty brands such as Clinique UK to let consumers learn and shop products via the app (see story). 

?This is precisely how we at Blippar hope the tech will be harnessed - for valuable, functional and engaging experiences which consumers enjoy and learn from - rather than for a gimmick or to mesh together existing content formats,? said Jessica Butcher, cofounder/chief marketing officer at Blippar, London.

?Second-screen behavior with television is now fully entrenched and this tech provides a fascinating new way to second screen with the rest of the static world around us ? print, billboards, in-store, product packaging, personal effects and more,? she said.

?Female titles also enjoy a high dwell time with their readership in relaxed situations ? as opposed to news or more rapidly-digested media types ? so this makes them the perfect trigger for this sort of experience.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York