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L?Oreal polishes image with makeup artists via YouTube-centered campaign

L'Oreal aims to bring makeup artists closer to the brand with a YouTube-centered search for the next great designer, including a contest offering a cash prize worth 100,000 euros, or about $116,000, and a one-year contract.

The Brush Contest hunt for the 2015 L'Oreal Paris Makeup Designer involves contestants aged 18 and up from 13 countries including the United States, France, Canada, Britain, Australia and China. The broadcasting of the final round in Paris on YouTube on May 1 points to mobile?s ability to not only reach and engage global groups, but to locate undiscovered talent.

?L?Oreal?s partnership with Youtube for The Brush contest is a smart choice and should see strong engagement across all channels,? said Emily Cohen, chief marketing officer of Stylinity. ?YouTube now boasts 40 percent of its traffic from mobile, and content can be viewed on-the-go and at any desired location.

?With their phones always by their sides, it will be easy for L?Oreal consumers to access the on-demand content wherever they apply their makeup, accessible in the home and out,  to learn how to reproduce a makeup look,? she said. ?It?s a good bet that mobile will play a major role in the content creation for the contest as well, with camera improvements and mobile tools for creating and editing quality videos increasing.?

Grand prize
Eva Longoria, who starred in the ?Desperate Housewives? television series and is a L'Oreal Paris spokeswoman, will host the final night in Paris.

Leveraging YouTube and makeup artistry.

The grand prize includes participation in celebrity beauty shoots, how-to video tutorial creation, press interviews and the Cannes International Film Festival.

The contest will give makeup artists online a stage from which they can showcase their talents and potentially become the makeup designer for the world's largest beauty brand, according to Malena Higuera, L?Oreal Paris?s senior vice president of marketing. 

The winner also will collaborate with L?Oreal to design new makeup trends and inspire women globally through makeup artistry, Ms. Higuera was quoted in a release.

Applicants are invited to showcase their makeup expertise in a three-minute YouTube video.

Official rules can be found at

After registration closes Feb. 15, fans will be able to help down the candidates.

To join in on the voting and take part in the conversation, subscribe to @LOrealParisNYC on YouTube and follow @LOrealParisUSA on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook using #TheBrush.

Eva Longoria in contest promotional video.

The judging panel will consist of L'Oreal Paris celebrity makeup artist Claudia Betancur; global nail artist Tom Bachik; YouTube beauty creator, StyleHaul network, Stephanie Lee, YouTube beauty creator, StyleHaul network, Alicia Collinge and Ms. Higuera.

Primary judging criteria includes creativity, originality and skillset. 

A national winner will be revealed on L'Oreal Paris' social platforms March 15 and then be flown to Paris for a beauty boot camp for mentoring by the brand's makeup color experts.

YouTube?s influence on popular opinion is growing. For instance, this year?s Super Bowl will include a YouTube Halftime Show, featuring more than 20 YouTube creators and musicians with more than 60 million combined subscribers including Harley Morenstein from EpicMealTime, Freddie Wong, Rhett and Link and Toby Turner.

YouTube?s popularity fits with L'Oreal?s moves in mobile, particularly in leveraging mobile to make ads more personal. 

In June, the company, whose brands include Preference hair color, Advanced Haircare, Youth Code skincare and the True Match cosmetics collections, incorporated in-image advertising platform GumGum?s photo recognition technology to target consumers through digital advertisements. 

The technology picked up on consumers? hair color in photos to promote L?Oreal?s Ombre hair color campaign. 

Facial movements
That same month, the beauty marketer released Makeup Genius, a mobile application that allowed consumers to virtually test beauty products. 

L?Oreal?s app responded to facial movements, allowing the user to see how the makeup looked in real time. Products could be tested by manually scanning the bar code of a product or selecting from those provided on the app.

A possible career, and $116,000, up for grabs?

?YouTube?s command of the longer video space is a natural fit for the longer, how-to format needed to showcase beauty techniques,? Ms. Cohen said. ?Many of their potential entrants likely already have a presence on the site to build their own following, and L?Oreal is wisely allowing them to use existing tutorials to enter, in addition to newly created content.   
?The longer-form video format will also be well-suited to evaluate candidates on the kinds of qualities L?Oreal would seek in a brand ambassador? charisma, presentation skills, ability to entertain, demonstrate and showcase products,? she said. 
?Given the flexibility to embed and share YouTube videos across the major social media networks, mobile engagement will be further strengthened as the contest enters the voting phase and promotion of the contest across other social networks comes into play.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York