Felipa Monteiro is senior manager of digital media, customer relationship management, and e-business at Christian Dior Parfums for the Middle East, India, and Africa. She oversees the perfume and cosmetics brand’s marketing strategy and digital transformation.
It’s an age where attention is fleeting and marketing competition is fierce. That’s why we at Christian Dior Parfums are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage consumers.
One area where we’ve seen consumer demand sky-rocket over the last few years is virtual try-ons through augmented reality (AR). Not only is the use of AR and virtual reality in the cosmetics and beauty markets projected to grow by 25.5% from 2022 to 2027, but around 30% of Millennials and Gen Zers expect brands to use AR technology to enhance how they shop online.
As a leading cosmetics brand, this presented us with a new kind of challenge: offering people a way to 'try on' Dior Addict lipstick shades without setting foot in a store. We first embarked on our AR journey to market the Dior Addict lipstick range in 2022, tapping into AR Beauty Try On — an interactive video experience that allows viewers to virtually try on makeup while watching a YouTube ad.
Last year we decided to expand the depth and impact of that experience.
Taking ‘selfies’ up a level
We used the AR Beauty Try On technology for our Dior Addict Lipstick campaign launched in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, and Qatar over Eid last year. The timing of the video campaign was strategic, with research done for us by Google showing that 35% more searches for beauty products and inspiration happen during that time.1
We worked with Google and media agency Spark Foundry to add YouTube’s AR technology to our existing Video action campaign ads, with the goal to maximise views and encourage conversions. AI-powered Video action campaigns use skippable in-stream and in-feed video ad formats, with ads running on YouTube and Google video partner websites and apps to help brands reach more people.
The AR Beauty Try On experience automatically loaded when our video ad began. This allowed viewers to see our lipstick on models with different skin tones in an auto-opening panel beneath the video ad.
We wanted to give consumers more of an immersive experience, however, going beyond simply showing them lipstick shades on a model. That's why we enabled them to virtually try on the product themselves, using their mobile phone camera.
When a viewer clicked on the ad’s “try it on” button and granted their camera access, the live AR mode would open to selfie mode. They could then start trying on lipstick shades. This innovative approach allowed potential customers to visualise how our products would look on them without having to try them on in person.
Video action campaigns also leverage call-to-action extensions, meaning we can place a customisable text button on our ad encouraging people to “shop now” and directing them to our website. Helping people to shop directly from the ad makes buying more convenient.
Success in numbers
By pairing the Video action campaign format with the AR Beauty Try On technology, our Eid campaign reached over 4 million people in just 21 days.
And 41% of consumers clicked on at least one shade in the AR Beauty Try On panel, overachieving industry benchmarks by 3.5%.
Finally, they tried the different Dior Addict lipstick shades over 400,000 times, taking more than 2,000 screenshots on their phones while doing so.
A glimpse into the future
The benefits of using YouTube’s AR Beauty Try On extended far beyond engagement metrics, however.
Because consumers could actively engage with the technology, they were able to visualise how a product looked on them before they bought it. This helped build trust and increase customer satisfaction, driving them through to consideration and, ultimately, conversion.
We strive to continue being at the forefront of marketing innovation, delivering the most engaging experiences to customers. We’re looking forward to re-activating this technology for future campaigns, while keeping an eye out for new interactive marketing solutions that could be just as impactful.
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