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Birchbox targets male customers with virtual reality fun

Grooming product subscription service Birchbox Man is delivering a unique augmented reality experience to members to further develop its newer male side of the service. 

Birchbox has released a mobile application in partnership with River Studios to bring a virtual reality experience, that caters to the male demographic. For the month of August, the subscription service will send out cardboard devices, in which users can insert their mobile devices and experience high-intensity sports from the safety of their home. 

"We are committed to bringing a sense of discovery and innovation to our customers." said Brad Lande, general manager at Birchbox Man. "The opportunity to give them access to a brand new experience through virtual reality is incredibly exciting. 

"By tapping River's foothold in this emerging technology, we are able to take our subscribers on quite an adventure with a simple cardboard viewer," he said. 

Grooming innovation
The Birchbox franchise is an innovator in the cosmetics and grooming world as well as in the digital world. The augmented reality venture coincides with its numerous creative endeavors. 

Subscribers to Birchbox Man will receive their usual box of products come next month. However, the shipments will also include the cardboard apparatus and prompt to download the River VR app. 

Once downloaded, users slides their smartphone into the cardboard device to experience the virtual reality effect and can observe four different high-intensity events such as driving in a racecar, surfing, motorbiking and taking a helicopter ride. The footage inserts the users right into the action, and the cardboard device helps the viewer feel as if he is there without having to use his hands to navigate. 

River Productions, using TriggarVR cameras, recorded live-action footage from a dynamic 360-degree angle, to be put the viewer right in the middle of the action. Users can look all around them, as if they are actually at the location.  

The virtual reality app offers a varies of extreme sport activity

The digital event coincides with male demographic? interests and can help Birchbox have fun with its customers to better provide a positive brand sentiment, and hopefully increase subscriptions. 

Birchbox Man is the newer extension of the Birchbox franchise starting in 2012. The original Birchbox services, launching two years prior, previously only catered to women and women?s products. 

It was a natural addition for the retailer to branch out into male products and while Birchbox Man has had no shortage of success, team members continually try to find new ways to engage their male customers. 

Virtual reality brands
Similar to this, Lancome, Sephora Collection and Make Up For Ever are among the cosmetics brands featured in FaceCake Marketing Technologies? cosmetic color search mobile application, ShadeScout, suggesting that top makeup marketers can integrate with search-related apps to reach more consumers (see more). 

Also, Facebook rode high in mobile right now but the company?s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR this week suggests it recognizes some fundamental challenges in driving further growth (see more). 

"We have reached a tipping point where this technology is now on the verge of becoming mainstream among a consumer audience," Mike Rothenberg, founder and CEO of River Studios, the production company behind the footage. "Birchbox Man was a natural partner for our first retail launch, allowing us to reach its customers directly at their doorsteps."

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer