L’Oreal Uses Virtual Makeup Demonstrations to Develop Chinese Consumer Behavior


Resonance China’s latest China Social Branding Report on L’Oreal shows the brands’ ability to influence Chinese consumer habits using virtual make-up apps, Makeup Genius and House of Beauty.

Interactive mobile apps like Makeup Genius provide a fun and creative way to demonstrate how to use new and unfamiliar products

Makeup Genius allows users to virtually apply make up on their own digital image—testing out L’Oreal cosmetics in the process. This app not only encourages Chinese users to exercise creativity, it also educates Chinese consumers on how to use different cosmetic products they may not have been familiar with before.

Asmita Dubey, chief marketing officer for L’Oréal China, commented on the power of mobile apps and virtual demonstrations to introduce new products to otherwise shy Chinese consumers:

“Girls in China can be shy to apply makeup if they are at the counter or if they are going out with friends — for instance, they may be hesitant to put on dark lipstick or try dark eye shadow (…) There is also no culture of makeup passed down from mother to daughter here, [like there is elsewhere]. So, for a Chinese girl with this kind of background, using a virtual mobile app experience to try out new looks is something she would want to do.”

Mainland Chinese are still developing their consumer preferences

Due to many years of economic isolation, Mainland Chinese are still developing their consumer preferences and often need to be instructed on how to use basic products that have existed in the west for many years.

Cosmetics, seen as a superfluous luxury item during the Cultural Revolution, is an example of a new kind of product that Chinese consumers are learning to use and develop a preference for in terms of taste and selection.

Sephora also uses video makeup tutorials to introduce new products

Sephora is another cosmetic brand that adopts the same ‘monkey see monkey do’ mentality in engaging Chinese consumers. Their China website hosts a variety of makeup video tutorials for users to watch and learn how to apply products like blush and eyeshadow to their faces.

L’Oreal uses House of Beauty App to bring customers to their offline store

In addition to Makeup Genius, L’Oreal uses another mobile app called House of Beauty to further demonstrate beauty transformations before and after makeup, and to lure users to their offline beauty counter by leading them to an online booking system for in-person makeup tutorials.

The House of Beauty mobile app bridges the gap between online to offline engagement, encouraging Chinese digital users to become real-life customers, or at the least, come into their offline store for a real-life makeup demonstration.

Mini Cooper also uses creative apps to bring users in for test drives

In a similar vein, Mini Cooper also uses creative, interactive virtual apps to bring online customers to their door.

Mini cooperated with creative agency, IDEAT, to create an H5 Wechat page that allowed users to digitally ‘pimp out’ their Mini’s rooftop with illustrative designs. Afterwards, users could download their illustrative car image and were then lead to Mini Cooper’s test drive bookings page.

Creative efforts like Mini Cooper’s IDEAT H5 page and L’Oreal’s House of Beauty demonstrate how artistic, interactive pages can bridge the gap between online and offline engagement, bringing online users to the brand’s physical location for test drives or makeup tutorials.

For more information on how brands penetrate Chinese digital space, subscribe to Resonance’s China Social Branding Reports.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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