L’Oréal Paris invites vloggers to brush up on their makeup skills

Canadian component of 11-country initiative includes Elle Canada, YouTube, eTalk

L’Oréal Paris is turning to the vlogger community as part of a global talent contest to find a new makeup designer, with a grand prize of a one-year, €100,000 (approximately C$139,000) contract with the cosmetics giant.

The Brush Contest” is tapping into the beauty vlogger phenomenon by inviting aspiring makeup designers to create and submit a three-minute video demonstrating their makeup skills, using the theme “colour clash.”

Hugo Thibault, Montreal-based communications and digital director for L’Oréal Paris, said the initiative is targeting the 18-34 demographic, which is a departure from the brand’s typical customer, who is closer to 40.

The company has been making a concerted effort to woo younger consumers in recent months, said Thibault, with a series of new product launches including Miss Manga Mascara, a shampoo called Nutri-Shimmer Crystal and a semi-permanent hair colouring product called Casting Créme Gloss.

Last year, it launched a free app called Makeup Genius that Thibault described as the world’s first “virtual mirror.” The app, which enables users to select LOréal Paris products and see how they look on them, has been downloaded more than 80,000 times in Canada since its launch. It is currently available in the U.S., France and China.

To promote The Brush Contest in Canada, LOréal is partnering with Elle Quebec and Bell Media’s entertainment news show eTalk – a frequent marketing partner because of its reach, said Thibault. Canada is the only country to employ a TV component in the global initiative, which was conceived as a magazine-only program, said Thibault.

L’Oréal’s media services partner GroupM has also executed a YouTube buy, while Nurun has created digital assets including call-to-action banners.

ETalk’s five-pronged execution for The Brush Contest kicks off with a call for submissions and viewer votes via a series of in-show spots and tweets from its @etalkCTV twitter account. From March 4-10, eTalk will feature individual profiles of the top five candidates.

In mid-March, the show will run episode segments featuring the selection of the top five contestants, a profile on the national winner and a behind-the-scenes look as they compete at the final global competition, a Paris runway show. ETalk will also run a profile of the international winner as they tackle their first assignment at the Cannes International Film Festival in May.

The top 50 Canadian entries will be judged by eTalk co-anchor Danielle Graham, Elle Québec editor-in-chief Mélanie Frappa and L’Oréal Paris makeup designer Eddie Malter. They will shortlist submissions and select one Canadian winner to go head-to-head against international winners.

Thibault said L’Oréal products would be showcased on the eTalk segments, but stressed that the contest is as much about finding the company’s next generation of makeup artists. “The [goal] is to sell product obviously, but to get there we want to make sure we have the right talent to do so,” he said. “It’s like The Voice concept – we need a winner to make an album.”


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