The experience of trying on makeup in-store can be a messy one. Finding the perfect shade of product can leave a rainbow of tracks across the back of the hand and up the forearm. Thanks to augmented reality (AR) technology, consumers are increasingly saying hello to real-time makeup trials minus the stained hands.
Beauty brands have been early adopters of AR, but initial development was limited to app-based platforms. Rimmel London’s Get the Look app, which allows users to try on makeup virtually and make in-app purchases, boasts barely 10,000 downloads and hasn’t received glowing reviews.
Facebook’s new AR ad format opens the door for brands’ AR efforts to tap into Facebook’s 44 million monthly active users in the UK. L’Oréal is one of the first beauty enterprises set to trial the new ad format with its NYX Professional brand. This will add significant scale to L’Oréal’s marketing efforts—the app gains around 10,000 monthly downloads, while in the last month, the brand’s Facebook posts have received 111,000 impressions.
Choosing NYX Professional to experiment with AR ads on Facebook is a good move. The majority of L’Oréal’s makeup brands are digitally savvy and rank Gifted in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty UK. Despite having mastered the art of blending user-generated content (UGC) from its Instagram account with its site, NYX Professional falls short overall on the digital scale, ranking Average and therefore reinforcing the need to improve the brand’s performance and drive up e-commerce sales. Instead of plowing resources into apps that don’t generate sufficient traffic to render the initial outlay worthwhile, brands should redirect the investment to the platforms where consumers are already active.