- Disney released its first virtual makeup try-on experience on YouTube to promote the release of "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," which debuts in U.S. theaters on Oct. 18. The experimental augmented reality (AR) campaign lets viewers transform themselves into the movie's title character while watching a video of makeup artist Promise Phan, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- To sample the virtual makeup, users with latest version of the YouTube app can select a "launch camera" button as they watch the video, splitting the screen in half horizontally to see a selfie view.
- App users can decorate their selfies with virtual eye makeup, lipstick and Maleficent's headdress, and take a selfie to share on social media.
To promote the "Maleficent" sequel, Disney aims to reach younger audiences who are tuned into online tutorials and more likely to watch video content on their mobile phones than traditional TV. Teens spend 37% of their daily video consumption on YouTube, just ahead of the 35% they spend viewing Netflix, Piper Jaffray found in its recent "Taking Stock With Teens" survey. These viewing habits make YouTube a key marketing channel for brands like Disney that seek to reach the valuable demographic.
By partnering with influencer Promise Phan, who has nearly 6 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, Disney can reach a large audience of people interested in makeup and may be preparing to get dressed up for Halloween. The AR features urge YouTube viewers to participate in the creative process of putting on virtual makeup and share images on social media with friends. Such sharing underpins the possibility of viral growth for the "Maleficent" campaign.
The AR makeup tutorial also demonstrates how Google has incorporated its ARCore development tools into cross-platform experiences outside of Android-based apps. The AR features work on iPhones as well, broadening the reach among a much wider audience. YouTube in June announced its virtual makeup camera effects were available to influencers through the FameBit branded content platform. Mac Cosmetics and Guerlain were the first beauty brands to use the AR try-on feature, when Google also announced its new immersive ad formats.