Recently we spoke about how fashion is taking a dip into the ever immersive Virtual Reality technology. For us, the achievement was marked with designer Manish Malhotra bringing India’s first ever virtual reality fashion show, but abroad they have taken a step higher. While likes of Elle magazine have already done a VR cover shoot for readers to watch on Google Cardboard, now it is the time for cosmetics brand Smashbox to take the Virtual Reality plunge.
Every day we get to hear about a new brand getting on board with this emerging tech, to immerse their customers in their unique story. When done badly, it can look amateurish, but when done so well – as in the case of Smashbox – can really boost the brand’s standing. Smashbox, a brand acquired by one of the industry leaders, Estée Lauder takes its next big step to elevate its digital marketing. It is one of those rare beauty brands which does not do print advertising. In 2013, they started their “Love Me” campaign that invited fans to express what “Love Me” meant to them on Facebook, which was then projected live on a digital billboard over Hollywood Boulevard during the week of the Oscars.
So, a brand with the history of successful digital campaigns is here with a new Virtual Reality one and we are super excited to unleash it for you.
In a new 360-degree Virtual Reality video Smashbox invites users inside their Studios, the place, where the brand was born. Numerous iconic photo shoots have taken place in this 25,000-square-foot space in Culver City, Los Angeles since 1990 and then published in leading glossy magazines from Vanity Fair to Rolling Stones. We are already accustomed to the behind the scenes (BTS) approach of showing a hidden life of a brand, however, when the same BTS approach is adopted in VR, it becomes way more exciting. With such a VR video, viewers feel that they are physically present at the venue and it takes the engagement with the brand to a whole new level. As Ginny Chien, executive director of global digital and consumer marketing at Smashbox, says, it’s their way to show the audience that their “history is authentic as this studio brand”
This VR video tour begins with brand’s global lead makeup artist, together with models showing what their ultra-fashionable life is like on a daily basis. They transfer viewers from one room of Smashbox Studios to another to take a glimpse at behind-the-scenes photo sessions with models. Smashbox products are gently fit in the video. So instead of outright advertising, they sort of use a teaching approach to raise brand awareness. As Ricardo Diaz, the creator of the video admits, “They want to get the history story out in a non-cheesy way. It’s more than makeup – it’s a photography studio.”
The video is published on YouTube and also cross-promoted on other social media channels like Twitter and Instagram. What is more interesting is their plan to send across Google Cardboard viewers to 400 influencers.
Seems like Smashbox has taken the research, which says that 53% more likely buy from brands using VR than from those who doesn’t, pretty seriously. And in this case, there are high chances that their effort will pay off with newer and younger buyers.