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e-commerce Retail technology

Coty launches hair color app for Google Assistant

Coty’s Clairol brand has launched a new app for the Google Assistant platform that talks consumers through the entire at-home hair dyeing process – from finding the right shade to aftercare.

The ‘Clairol Color Expert’ is triggered when the user says “Hey Google, talk to Clairol”. From then on the app (or Action, as it is called on the Google Assistant platform), talks users through finding the ride dye shade to suit their needs, how to apply the color, re-apply, and take care of their hair at home, with no professional help.

“In beauty, service is the new product, and for consumers, the real value of a product is not just what’s in the box, but the expertise and service that comes with it,” says Fred Gerantabee, Coty’s VP of digital innovation. “We worked with Google, who helped us identify insights around known category challenges combined with how (and where) beauty consumers are using voice assistants. By delivering Clairol expertise through the unique Google Assistant ecosystem we are able to transform the at home hair color experience and truly help Clairol consumers feel confident that they will get better results with a lifeline and expert at every step of their journey.”

For the beauty group, the Google Assistant, which is currently available on 500 million devices from Google Home speakers to smart TVs, is the ideal platform for its target audience of women aged 18 to 34, who buy at home color. Being able to access it through a myriad of different devices completely hands-free is an important tool to help women overcome the challenges of coloring their own hair, says the brand, which is often the reason why they choose to go to professional salons instead.

Although it is still lagging behind the Amazon Alexa ecosystem in terms of consumer adoption, the Google Assistant has been gaining traction with more and more brands and retailers creating Actions for the platform, such as Nike and Sephora.

Meanwhile earlier this year, Coty also announced the introduction of a beauty skill for the Amazon Alexa Echo platform, which features a screen, allowing users to get beauty tutorials from brands across its portfolio.  

Seemingly the initiative wasn’t just a marketing exercise but an opportunity for both customer acquisition and conversion. According to the brand, 95% of users interacting with the experience were pleased with the result, with 80% of them new customers to Coty’s brands. The skill also resulted in 7.5x higher click through rate than an average Amazon media campaign. 

How are you thinking about retail innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce product Retail Startups sustainability technology

ICYMI: Chinese moguls rebooting fashion, biotech shaping the industry, smart checkouts rising

China’s internet moguls are rebooting fashion
China’s internet moguls are rebooting fashion

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • How China’s internet moguls are rebooting fashion [BoF]
  • How biotechnology is reshaping fashion [BoF]
  • Smart checkouts will process $45B in transactions by 2023, study says [MobileMarketer]
  • 5 tech innovations we’re talking about from fashion week season [TheCurrentDaily]
TECHNOLOGY
  • When it comes to technology, fashion is still a laggard [BoF]
  • How Diageo is using Amazon Echo and Google Home [Digiday]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • John Lewis invests in plastic reduction [Drapers]
  • Why does so much ethical fashion look the same? [Fashionista]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Express is the latest retailer to launch a clothing rental service [CNBC]
  • Fruit of the Loom celebrates Seek No Further with interactive shopping experience [FashionUnited]
  • Forever 21 invests in online styling service DailyLook [RetailDive]
  • Is the future of online deliveries allowing drivers access to your home? [TheIndustry]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Hollister partners with Sit With Us [WWD]
PRODUCT
  • Why mainstream brands are embracing modest fashion [CNN]
BUSINESS
  • Revolve officially files for IPO [Fashionista]
  • Walmart buys Eloquii for undisclosed amount [RetailDive]
  • Anya Hindmarch losses mount to £28.2m [Drapers]
  • Payments startup Klarna raises $20M from H&M, its second backer from the fashion world [TechCrunch]
CULTURE
  • The London Underground is getting vending machines to clean all your dirty clothes [Wired]
  • Meet the robotic museum guide that will turn art into sound for the visually impaired [FastCompany]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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e-commerce Editor's pick technology

Estée Lauder launches personalised voice experience on Google Home

The Google Home device
The Google Home device

Estée Lauder has launched a beauty-focused app for Google Assistant on the Google Home device that focuses on personalisation.

The Estée Lauder Nighttime Expert, as the in-home experience is called, offers personalised skincare solutions through voice activation. To try it, users say: “Ok Google, can I talk to the Estée Lauder Nighttime Expert.”

The chat experience then offers them their own nighttime skincare routine and application techniques through a series of questions and answers.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Google to be at the forefront of creating personalised consumer beauty experiences via the emerging world of voice activation,” said Stephane de La Faverie, global brand president of Estée Lauder. “Combining our beauty expertise with Google’s technology allows us to build on our digital evolution and offer the latest innovation to further enhance our consumer experience.”

Tricia Nichols, VP of global consumer engagement at the brand, further noted the experience as an expansion of Estée Lauder’s omnichannel efforts, taking them beyond stores and online into the home and into the moment. “Adding voice experiences will unlock the next level of personalisation and help us reach a new generation of consumers,” she said.

The experience at this point ends by encouraging users to try out Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II serum for free at an Estée Lauder counter, thus driving consumers back to store.

The Nighttime Expert is the first voice app to launch from the brand and is expected in December. Further future experiences will then follow in early 2018. They will be available through the Google Assistant on mobile, in ad units on the Google Display Network and on Esteelauder.com. Supporting media will include YouTube, programmatic and search.

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Editor's pick film social media technology

John Lewis unveils #MoztheMonster Christmas campaign with Google Home and Facebook AR tie-in

John Lewis's #MoztheMonster Christmas campaign
John Lewis’s #MoztheMonster Christmas campaign

The much-anticipated John Lewis Christmas film from Adam&Eve/DDB has been revealed, this time featuring a friendly monster called Moz alongside all manner of interactive campaign components.

#MoztheMonster, which was produced by award-winning film director Michel Gondry, best known for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, tells the tale of an imaginary creature that lives under the bed of a little boy called Joe.

As with many of John Lewis’s annual campaigns, it follows a similar formula of friendship with a heartwarming ending. Following a round of snoring and farting, Joe and Moz play together every night until it all gets a little too much for the former and he can barely stay awake during the day. Moz comes up with a solution in the Christmas present he then gives him – a night-light that takes away the monster whenever he needs it to.

The soundtrack to the film is a cover version of The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers by Elbow.


“This year’s Christmas campaign brings to life the power of children’s imaginations and the joy of great friendships,” said Craig Inglis, John Lewis’s customer director. “Moz and Joe’s story is magical and heartwarming and I’m sure it will be loved by all of our customers, young and old.”

As with previous years, the film itself is only one part of a much wider integrated campaign. John Lewis first started teasing it with short #underthebed clips on social media, alongside changing some of its store signs around the country so that the “o” and “e” of its logo were eyes instead.

Innovative approaches this year then further include a partnership with voice activation device Google Home, through which users can download and personalise the story with their own sound effects. The story, which is read by actress Sally Phillips, can also be downloaded on the John Lewis website and via Sky boxes.

John Lewis's #MoztheMonster Christmas campaign teased in its store logo
John Lewis’s #MoztheMonster Christmas campaign teased in its store logo

The retailer has also become one of the first to make use of Facebook’s new augmented reality feature, enabling fans the ability to “Mozify” their faces. In 10 stores around the country, they can also do so in person at a Monster Maker station. At Johnlewismonstermaker.com, meanwhile, there’s an interactive experience where users can customise their own version of Moz – changing his shape, colour and smile, before adding their own scribbles all over him and choosing their favourite “fart” sound. He then dances depending on which area you press on him.

Further in-store activations include “the world’s first farting and snoring window” on Oxford Street, and a range of merchandise including toys, mugs, pyjamas and more. Proceeds of the sale of certain items go to charity partner Barnardo’s.

Customising our own version of John Lewis's #MoztheMonster
Customising our own version of John Lewis’s #MoztheMonster