Categories
Campaigns social media

Dove teams up with Kelly Rowland to release song encouraging young girls to love their hair

Personal care brand Dove has teamed up with singer Kelly Rowland to co-write a song aiming to empower young girls to love their hair. Titled “Crown”, the song is part of Dove’s ongoing Self-Esteem Project, which has reached 29m people since launching in 2004.

“I felt many of the pressures young girls face today when it comes to embracing their hair, but my mom would always tell me that your hair is your crowning glory and you should wear it proudly,” says the singer.

A music video shows the singer accompanied by a diverse cast of young girls, who share their individual stories of how they have been made to feel self-conscious about their hair. Stories include those of 11-year olds Tyrelle Davis and Faith Fennidy, who were sent home from their school for wearing hair extensions. Jorja Orrick, meanwhile, was once bullied for cutting her hair short, which spurred her sister Sarah to do the same in solidarity.

The campaign was created after research conducted by Dove showed that although 65% of young girls see hair as part of their self-expression, almost 50% said it could make them feel self-conscious as well. Furthermore, 71% of respondents cited music as an influential factor in their lives, which prompted the brand to create the empowering tune.

“Dove wants all young girls, and women, to have the confidence to wear their hair anyway they choose, and to see their hair as a source of confidence, not anxiety,” said Piyush Jain, Unilever VP of marketing and general manager of hair care.

To further promote the campaign, Rowland and the Self-Esteem Project will create a workshop at a local Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) in New Jersey. The organization offers children and teens after-school programs where they can learn new skills.

How are you thinking about your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global 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.

Categories
product technology

L’Oréal new showerhead reduces water waste by 70%

L'Oréal's innovative shower head
L’Oréal’s new shower head

L’Oréal is piloting a new showerhead that helps reduce water and energy consumption by almost 70% by combining innovative technology with a feature that dispenses the shampoo directly from the device.

The new showerhead, which is currently being tested at salons in the US and South Africa, aims to revolutionize water waste in the professional haircare industry. At present, a regular salon rinsing shampoo can waste up to 8 liters of water, while the new showerhead only uses 1.5 liters.

“Initial results offer great perspectives for an innovation that visibly reduces the water consumption in our daily hygiene practices,” said Laurent Attal, L’Oréal’s VP of research & innovation. “This breakthrough technology is perfectly in line with our commitments to sustainable innovation.”

According to the group, what makes the new technology so water efficient is that it is a low-flow showerhead, which breaks up the water flow while accelerating the speed of the droplets, ensuring that the water pressure is as effective as other comparable models.

L’Oréal partnered with Swiss startup Gjosa to develop this new technology, while the beauty conglomerate developed the easy-to-rinse shampoo that the device dispenses on its own.

Recently, the beauty giant has upped the ante on sustainable innovation across many geographies and sectors within beauty. In Australia, it is working with manufacturing company Avery Dennison and local waste management company Wasteflex to introduce a recycling scheme for its labels.

For more insights into how L’Oréal is approaching innovation through the lens of technology, listen to our Innovators by TheCurrent podcast episode featuring Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oréal’s Tech Incubator.

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.

Categories
Editor's pick technology

5 beauty brands experimenting with customization

Schwarzkopf SalonLab Analyzer
Schwarzkopf SalonLab Analyzer

While thousands of new beauty products hit the shelves every year, 2018 is proving to be the year that customization is really taking hold, incorporating skincare, hair products and cosmetics.

For customers, having bespoke products created just for them to address their individual concerns is becoming more important. As a result, personalization of beauty products is an area where brands seem set to invest.

Here are five examples of those experimenting in the space.

Skinceuticals D.O.S.E laboratory

Skinceuticals DOSE
Skinceuticals DOSE

Debuted at SXSW, L’Oréal’s D.O.S.E acts as a mini skincare laboratory creating custom-made serums. Developed for L’Oréal-owned brand, Skinceuticals, the experience starts with a one-to-one consultation with a professional who can advise on which skincare ingredients would be most beneficial. The information is then transferred to the D.O.S.E machine, which creates the serum in a matter of minutes. This just one of the ways L’Oréal is tapping into customization in the beauty industry – they’ve also launched the L’Oréal Professionel’s Style My Hair app, which suggests real-time hair colour services, and the Le Teint Particulier Unique custom foundation for Lancôme.

Toun28’s subscription skincare

Toun28
Toun28

Korean skincare brand Toun28 is also tackling customization in skincare. The subscription service delivers fresh, organic skincare products to its customers each month wrapped in recyclable paper. While the process is started with an in-person consultation, the bespoke products are created using facial analysis. Once a 28-day cycle is complete, the company also uses its own algorithm to predict the customers needs and keep delivering new product.

Schwarzkopf’s custom hair analysis

It’s not just skincare where advances in customized beauty are being made; Schwarzkopf launched a handheld device during CES that analyzes hair condition and color, and then provides personalized recommendations of products and hair care services. The SalonLab Analyzer uses near infrared spectroscopy and a multi-channel color scanner. While it isn’t intended to replace the expertise of a hair stylist, the technology arms them with the information they need to take the best care of a customer’s hair both in the salon and in between appointments.

Wella Professionals’ Colour DJ

Wella Colour DJ
Wella Colour DJ

Wella Professionals is also exploring customization for hair – it has launched Colour DJ to create an ultra-personalized hair gloss service. Customers have a one-to-one consultation with a stylist and then using a digital application, the Colour DJ device is programmed to create the perfect mask – right down to color intensity, level of care needed and even what scent it should have. The products can be used in the salon and at home so customers are able to maintain their desired color consistently.

Bare Minerals’ Made-2-Fit foundation

Bare Minerals Match-2-Fit
Bare Minerals Match-2-Fit

Customization is also big news for makeup brands. Shiseido-owned Bare Minerals introduced the Made-2-Fit Fresh Faced Foundation, which can be created in bespoke shades to cater to all skin tones. Fronted by an app, powered by MATCHco, it asks users a series of questions to determine an exact color match. Sophisticated technology is then used find the ideal foundation shade that can be delivered to them within 72 hours. As it’s estimated that 94% women are using the wrong shade of foundation, customizable options are proving increasingly relevant and sought after, as demonstrated by numerous other brands including the aforementioned Lancôme, as well as the likes of Sephora.

Want to hear more about the role of customization and tech in the beauty industry? Listen to our podcast with Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oréal’s Tech Incubator.

Categories
Editor's pick product technology

Science solves another teenage dream: colour-changing hair

The Unseen's new colour-change hair dye (Photographer: Gabor Szantai. Hair: Kierna Tudor)
The Unseen’s new colour-change hair dye (Photographer: Gabor Szantai. Hair: Kierna Tudor)

“Magic is only science that we don’t understand yet,” Lauren Bowker, founder of The Unseen, a London-based innovation, product development and technology licensing company, tells me to explain the concept behind the launch of her new colour-changing hair dye.

Fire, as it’s called, it not the type of dye we already know that changes your current shade to a single different one, but the sort that literally and repeatedly changes from one colour to another, once on your hair, based on the environment you’re in.

“It’s a teenage dream come true, and that was the point of it,” Bowker, who refers to herself as a material alchemist, explains. She took inspiration from occult glamour and more specifically an iconic scene in 90s film The Craft, where the teenage witch does indeed cast a spell to change the colour of her hair.

“I was like, ‘I can do that, so I should just do that’. It’s about bringing sci-fi to real life, and why not? Material science is now at the point of bringing all the things we imagined as kids to life,” she adds.

The dye is responsive to the wearer’s environment, changing colour based on temperature fluctuations. One of them is black when cold, changing to red when hot, for instance. There’s also a black to white version, silver to powder blue, blue to white, and black to yellow. A semi-permanent fix, it lasts over a few washes, and acts exactly as any other hair dye in terms of not ruining your hair.


From a scientific perspective, it’s made possible by using thermochromic ink, which you’ll likely recall from Global Hypercolor t-shirts in the 1980s and 90s. This is the basis for much of The Unseen’s work, including a line of luxury accessories that were stocked in Selfridges in London.

The sort of thermochromic ink you can get off the shelf however, is completely toxic to one’s skin, Bowker explains, so they had to work on optimising it to make it safe to be anywhere near the scalp. “These chemicals that would normally be irritants on their own can be prevented from causing a negative effect with a process called ‘polymeric stabilisation’, in which chain-like molecules (polymers) wrap around the irritant,” she says.

The resulting dye will then change colour when it has a stimulant on it. Bowker explains this as breaking down the chemical bond in the pigment itself. “Above a certain temperature, one of the molecule forms is more stable than the other, and so a reaction takes place producing a molecule with a slightly different absorption of light, and thus a different colour… Essentially, the active part of the dye system is a complex carbon based molecule, which undergoes a reversible reaction with itself.”

Bowker has applied a set of data rules on top so the dye knows at which temperature it should change. She’s fine-tuned it based on either the average temperature indoors versus outdoors or that of the wearer themselves – if they blush for instance, their hair will also change.

“It’s quite whimsical,” Bowker says. “It’s what your body is going through expressed on your hair.”


The dye officially launches in partnership with Storm Models at London Fashion Week this weekend via a series of short films. Bowker is also planning to host some Instagram Live videos in order to show what the dye looks like in real-life, however, largely to prove to people that it’s not fake. “The films are so polished, people don’t believe us that it’s real,” she tells me.

While the overarching idea is a fun one that enables user to express themselves in different ways, Bowker also hopes it will help play a part in encouraging young women into science. Only 12.8% of the STEM workforce in the UK today are women, according to WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), she reminds me.

“I really believe it’s a great example of a product that celebrates women in science and to encourage young females to see the opportunity for creativity within science and engineering – bringing sci-fi to real life!”

Bowker’s other agenda is to seek a commercial partner to help take the innovation to market. The product, while ready to go, isn’t yet available to buy, and The Unseen have no intention of branding it as their own. The aim is to license it out to a major haircare brand that can really make the most of it. Her hope is that it will be on the shelves by the end of 2017.

This story first appeared on Forbes.com

Categories
data film social media

John Frieda creates bespoke user films based on Instagram algorithm

John Frieda's Shades of Me campaign
John Frieda’s Shades of Me campaign

British haircare brand John Frieda is focusing on personalisation in its latest campaign; using an Instagram algorithm that analyses hair colour and social media expressions to generate custom video stories for its fans.

A collaboration with creative agency Brave, the bespoke “Shades of Me” films aim to show what individuals’ hair colour and Instagram feed say about them.

“Your Instagram feed is a curated, beautiful visual depiction of your unique style and self expression. Colour is a powerful part of this; from the pictures you take and filters you use, down to the locations you take them in – the colours you gravitate toward are what makes you, you,” reads the write-up from the team.

John Frieda's Shades of Me campaign
John Frieda’s Shades of Me campaign

To achieve it, users simply select their hair colour and grant the site permission to its Instagram or Facebook photos. The site then highlights two key colours the user associates with the most and relevant John Frieda products for that lifestyle.

The custom film alongside also picks out keywords that relate to them: “You are a bold, cool, original, warm ombre,” for instance. Or: “You are a deep, refreshing, admirable, rich brunette”… Those words are laid over footage of both their own shots and

It also then provides them with footage of both their own shots and a selection from over 100 video close-ups of lifestyle, fashion and beauty moments created by the company.

Categories
business data Editor's pick film social media

From the archive: Unilever’s ‘All Things Hair’ provides stellar example of big data in action

unilever_allthingshair

In December 2013, Unilever launched a YouTube channel in the UK dedicated to hair. All Things Hair, as it’s called, generated over 17 million views and an average viewing time of one minute and 51 seconds, in its first six months.

Today it has nearly 180,000 subscribers, and remains one of the strongest examples of big data being used effectively.

Created in conjunction with agency Razorfish, it is filled with hair styling tutorials from leading video bloggers (vloggers), including the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr. That content isn’t arbitrary however, rather selected based on Google searches.

Unilever partnered with the search giant to gain real-time insights into what exactly people are looking for knowledge on. There are 11 billion searches about hair on Google every year – 30 million each day – making it a rich pool to draw from and enabling the company to predict what solutions, problems and styles people care about.

That information is sent to the vloggers – many of whom have several million followers in their own right too – who are paid by Unilever to create the tutorial content incorporating brands including Toni & Guy, Dove and VO5.

Speaking at Cannes Lions last year, Unilever chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed, said: “The content is relevant, useful and authentic. It’s a really cool application of big data, based on what is actually big insights.”

It’s also a great example of merging together real-time search data with influencer and content marketing. Cleverly it does so in a way that retains an authentic feel, rather than a hardline promotional one.

Some recent example content:

Categories
e-commerce film mobile

Brands need to take greater advantage of the desire for how-to content says Google

How-to content on YouTube is increasingly in demand, according to new research from Google. Searches for topics ranging from the practical (how-to tie a tie), to the creative (how to draw), from style (how to curl your hair with a hair straightener) to cuisine (how to make a cake), are growing 70% year over year, with 100m hours of how-to videos viewed in North America so far in 2015.

The growth is being attributed to mobile technology, with 91% of smartphone users saying they now turn to their phones for ideas while doing a task. Categories trending the most include beauty, home improvement and cooking.

hair_howto

“Being constantly connected has trained us to expect immediacy and relevance in moments of intent—the I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-buy moments. These micro-moments are the new battlegrounds for people’s hearts, minds, and dollars,” writes David Mogensen on the Think with Google site.

The team is pushing the idea that marketers are too heavily focused on one-way traditional media planned against brand moments and anchored to campaign flights, rather than thinking about and preparing for these personal moments. In doing so they’re missing out on potential for conversion too – data shows with millennials specifically, one in three say they’ve purchased a product as a result of watching a how-to video.

MAC Cosmetics has particularly focused on this how-to content as a means of driving sales in local markets. It partnered with Google on a YouTube gadget in 2014 to allow viewers to shop directly from its “Instant Artistry” video series on its local e-commerce sites. “A user watching our videos in Brazil will engage with a version of the gadget that is entirely in Portuguese and will be driven directly to the Brazilian MAC Cosmetics site to purchase. We have seen fantastic engagement as well as incremental sales on e-commerce that far exceeded our expectations,” says Noelle Sadler, VP of global consumer engagement at the company.

Google’s how-to for marketers

Here are some of the best practices Google suggests in approaching a content strategy built around ‘I-want-to-do moments’:

  • Identify the I-want-to-do moments in which consumers have a need and your brand can play a role. Find these moments across the entire consumer journey and put them at the center of your strategy.
  • What are the questions and concerns people have related to the types of products you sell or the types of projects they are used for? What do people want to learn about them? (Tools such as Google Trends and Google Consumer Surveys can help answer these questions.) Create I-want-to-do content for your website and YouTube channel to serve as resources for them.
  • Look at when how-to searches occur. Are there particular times of day, week, or year when some topics are more popular?
  • Make your videos easy to find by adding descriptive titles, details, and relevant tags to each video. You can also promote your content by TrueView in-stream and in-display, and you can reach the right viewers through affinity, in-market, and topic targeting.
  • Did you reach your audiences? Did they pay attention? What implications did it have on their perceptions and actions? Measurement solutions, such as Google’s Brand Lift, can help answer these questions.
Categories
Comment data digital snippets e-commerce Editor's pick film social media technology

2014: A designer meets digital year in review

Burberry_burberry_hr

What a year it has been for fashion and technology…

From wearables taking off with varying designer brands during fashion week, to the launch of new services like Apple Pay, the success of Alibaba’s IPO, discussion around visual search, the ongoing use of selfie campaigns and more, one thing after another has once again been making an impact in this space.

Below then, are 10 of the posts you loved the most on the relaunched F&M site this year. It’s an interesting exploration of subjects as varied as big data and viral videos, as well as the more gimmicky, yet PR-worthy role technology can often play. Think drones, Oculus Rift, the ALS #icebucketchallenge, and yet more on wearable tech.

Thank you for reading and see you in 2015!

Categories
business data Editor's pick film

Unilever’s ‘All Things Hair’ provides stellar example of big data in action

unilever_allthingshair

Big data might be one of those phrases we’re all now used to hearing, but finding examples of those truly using it effectively (and willing to talk about it) are few and far between.

Enter then Unilever’s All Things Hair, a YouTube channel from the UK that really speaks to real-time relevance thanks to true data insights.

Created in conjunction with agency Razorfish, it is filled with hair styling tutorials from leading video bloggers (vloggers). That content isn’t arbitrary however, rather selected based on Google searches.

Unilever partnered with the search giant to gain real-time insights into what exactly people are looking for knowledge on. There are 11 billion searches about hair on Google every year; 30 million each day – a rich pool to draw from, enabling the company to predict what solutions, problems and styles people care about.

That information is sent to the vloggers – many of whom have several million followers in their own right too – who are paid by Unilever to create the tutorial content incorporating brands including Toni & Guy, Dove and VO5.

Speaking at Cannes Lions this year, Unilever chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed, said: “The content is relevant, useful and authentic. It’s a really cool application of big data, based on what is actually big insights.”

It’s also a great example of merging together real-time search data with influencer and content marketing. Cleverly it does so in a way that retains an authentic feel, rather than a hardline promotional one.

Accordingly, the channel has generated over 17 million views and an average viewing time of one minute and 51 seconds, since it launched in December 2013.

Some example content:

Categories
Uncategorized

John Frieda to stream live styling event

John Frieda is set to launch a live styling event later this week marking its biggest digitial marketing investment to date, according to Brand Republic.

Through Johnfrieda-live.co.uk, the haircare brand will stream a one-hour Live Haircare Academy on May 27 at 1pm (GMT). Consumers will be able to ask the salon experts questions throughout, while beauty bloggers will be in contact via webcam.

Caroline Wilding, product and digital marketing manager at parent company Kao Brands, said: “For our target market we know how important the digital space is in driving deeper relationships with our consumers.”

The event aims to reach 1.3m consumers through its campaign. It is being pushed via Facebook and Twitter, as well as print ads.

The concept was conceived by creative agency Brave. It is being overseen by PR company The Communications Store and digital agency Holler.