- Nars Cosmetics is letting U.K. listeners of Spotify order product samples by talking to their smart speakers, Cosmetics Business reported. The luxury makeup brand's offer is available to people who listen to the audio streaming platform on an Amazon Echo or Google Next smart speaker.
- After hearing an ad for Nars, listeners can say, "Ask 'Send Me A Sample' for Nars" to request delivery of a sample blush, lipstick or mascara from the cosmetics brand. The offer is only available on smart speakers, not other devices that have Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant as virtual assistants.
- Nars collaborated with production company The Story Lab and voice-activated sampling provider Send Me A Sample on the campaign, Cosmetics Business reported.
Nars Cosmetics' voice-activated campaign on Spotify is notable for several reasons, including its focus on smart speakers. The campaign aims to convert passive listeners of audio content on Spotify into potential customers who respond to a call-to-action. The sampling campaign can help to identify consumers who express an interest in the product and may end up as longer-term customers.
By limiting the effort to smart speakers, Nars aims to reach people who have been stuck at home during the pandemic and are using their voice-activated devices to stream audio content from platforms like Spotify. The music and podcast streaming platform has seen a lift in listenership among homebound audiences who use their smart speakers for entertainment during the pandemic, Cosmetics Business reported. In the U.S., smart speaker usage jumped 34% in April, per an eMarketer report cited by CNBC, a trend that likely was mirrored in the U.K. during lockdowns. While many Spotify customers pay for ad-free listening, most of its audience listens to its free, ad-supported platform through which Nars seeks to reach makeup fans.
That jump in smart speaker usage may help to spur development of voice commerce, though the pandemic has been so disruptive that it's hard to make accurate predictions. Before the public health crisis, shopping by smart speaker had grown more slowly than previously forecast amid security concerns and competition from smartphones, eMarketer said in a revised outlook.
As pandemic lockdowns ease, more people are likely to shift their listening habits back to their mobile devices, which had seen a drop in podcast listening, per a Raymond James analyst cited by Barron's. While digital media consumption is elevated among all devices, the shift to mobile is likely to be gradual as people either continue to work from home or avoid unnecessary trips outside their homes until they feel safer.