French cosmetics group L'Oréal has started a new interactive marketing campaign in the New York subway. Passers-by are presented with specific products using several screens and a mirror with cameras and can even possible to purchase the items on the spot.
The new experiment is called the ‘L'Oréal Paris Intelligent Color Experience’ and stands between shopping and online shopping. Marc Speichert, L’Oréal Americas’s chief marketing officer, has told the New York Times that the goal is to create a “real-life experience through technology”. Currently, only one subway station will entertain passers-by with this new Color Experience, but "if this experiment is successful, we might bring it to other places."
"What’s amazing with the technology is that we’ll have the ability to measure the level of engagement, based on the number of people who pass by, the number who interact with each screen, the number who leave their information”, Speichert stated.
When passers-by decide to stop at the L’Oréal mirror, a digital animation will copy their silhouette and clothing. Afterwards, several possible make-up styles will be presented, giving the customer the option to agree with certain choices and purchase the products right there and then. The machine contains 700 items from 27 different products.
Interesting use of empty retail space
"What we’re trying to find out is whether there is an appetite for something between e-tailing and brick-and-mortar retail", says Paul Fleuranges, senior director for corporate and internal communications at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, who collaborated with the cosmetics company on this specific L’Oréal campaign. He hopes to be able to do some form of market research, possibly starting other pilots like this in the future.
"We have a lot of retail space that is not currently under lease. If we can find ways to generate revenue from those assets, that is a good thing for us. If we can add to the passenger experience, that is a good thing for us. If we can bring new technology into the system, that’s a good thing for us”, Paul Fleranges explained to the New York Times. This L’Oréal project will be located in an empty newsstand booth in the subway station.
(translated by Gary Peeters)