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Period: October 1, 2018 to October 15, 2018
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Bourjois' Magic Mirror May Turn Facebook Into A Shopping Experience

British technology agency Holition is working on a new Facebook mobile app feature that will allow beauty enthusiasts to try on makeup products virtually with special camera filters. For this project, Holition will utilize the technology behind the magic mirror of French beauty brand Bourjois in its Paris flagship store. Bourjois's magic mirror uses 3D sensing smart camera technology to show shoppers how cosmetics would look like on their faces when they touch select a product in the store. The mirror can also suggest makeup products applicable to the shoppers’ skin tones. Holition plans to produce similar results with its Facebook filter which will take advantage of the social media app's AR mesh software. The filter will eventually be connected to Facebook's deep linking feature that will help users know where to buy the makeup products.

"Bourjois' AR Magic Mirror Eyes An Extra Prize: Facebook's Deep Links Tool", Forbes.com, May 25, 2018

Saks Fifth Avenue Uses Magic Mirrors To Attract Instore Customers

As part of its efforts to lure buyers into its physical stores and compete with other retailers like Ulta and Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue overhauled its beauty department and installed "magic mirrors”. Customers can opt to have the virtual look emailed to them. Magic mirrors are just one part of the store’s efforts to upgrade its beauty customer experience, which now includes a concierge to assist shoppers and space for treatment rooms and events, such as tutorials and presentations. A move to the second floor has allowed more space for the cosmetics department.

"Saks Fifth Avenue bets 'magic mirrors,' face workouts to beat Sephora and Ulta", USA TODAY , May 29, 2018

L’Oréal Acquires Tech Startup Modiface For Improves AI, AR Services

L’Oréal has acquired its first technology startup, Modiface, for an undisclosed sum to help the group improve how it incorporates advanced technology into its brand offerings. Lubomira Rochet, L’Oréal’s chief digital officer, underscored the importance of global brands adapting to digital developments in order to survive but also said that L’Oréal’s strategy is to determine the most appropriate technologies for its brands and scale them across the group’s websites and stores, but in a way that works for local conditions. It is looking to develop technologies via a number of routes, including acquisitions; Station-F, a startup campus in France; and the Founders Factory, a digital accelerator based in London.

"L'Oréal Snaps Up Startups: AR Beauty Is Just The Beginning Says CDO", Forbes.com, June 04, 2018

Lush Tests New AI App In Package-Free Store

Cosmetics company Lush is testing its Lush Lens mobile application, developed in-house. The app uses combines AI and product recognition, allowing users to scan products and access information, such as ingredient lists, even without packaging. It is being tested at Lush’s first ever “Naked” and package-free store in Milan, where visitors can use the app on the store’s Fairphone devices. Lush plans to roll out the app worldwide. It will also be available for consumers to download on to their smartphones.

"Lush Tests New AI-Based App In Package-Free Store", The Current Daily, June 14, 2018

Wunder2 Partners With YouCam Makeup For Virtual Try-On Website Feature

Wunder2 Cosmetics signed up YouCam Makeup to add a virtual try-on component to its website. The partnership covers the company’s color cosmetics ranges, but other products will be added later. The products can also be accessed through the YouCam Makeup application, allowing the app’s existing users to “try on” makeup looks and 25 items from the range. Wunder2 is also considering offering the service through its retail partners.

"Wunder2 Partners With YouCam Makeup For Virtual Try-On Website Feature", WWD, June 15, 2018

L’Oréal To Roll Out AR And Livestreaming Platform To All Of Its Brands

Beauty company L’Oréal unveiled a new service to be rolled out later this year for its NYX Professional brand. The digital beauty assistant uses augmented reality and livestreaming to bring a personalized makeup counter experience to consumers’ homes. The company plans to roll out the solution, based on its March 2018 Modiface acquisition, for all of its brands across 65 markets. L’Oréal chose NYX as the first brand to offer the service because it is a “very social brand, a pro brand and a retail brand,” according to L’Oréal’s chief digital officer, Lubomira Rochet.

"L’Oreal Is Bringing the Makeup Counter Experience Into Your Home With AR and Livestreaming", Adweek, June 18, 2018

Hype Lags Reality For AI Use In Marketing

Artificial intelligence holds great potential for understanding and attracting consumers yet many marketers are still unable to capitalize on it. Some 85% of executives say AI could give their company a competitive edge yet only 5% of companies have extensively integrated AI into their processes. The gap between the hope and the reality is due the lack of clarity about what AI can do for their business, underlined by the fact that 61% of companies say they do not have an AI strategy in place. Some of the uncertainty surrounding AI can be attributed to AI vendors who, instead of delivering ready-to-action insights, are developing products to solve problems.

"How AI Is Turning the Voice of the Consumer into Marketing Analytics Gold", Business 2 Community, June 19, 2018

Some Issues Present Themselves Before Marketers Planning To Use Voice Technology In Branding

Brands need to consider several points when developing marketing strategies that use voice technology as a branding tool. First, marketers should choose a voice that “represents” their brand, keeping in mind that tone of voice as the most important feature. Next, marketers should integrate diversity when branding a voice assistant, focusing on the gender of the voice and the data set behind the creation of the assistant. Also, while marketers should work to develop natural-sounding voice assistants, they need to consider whether consumers must be aware that they are talking to a virtual assistant.

"Voice Assistants As An Extension Of Your Brand: Three Things Marketers Should Consider", Forbes, July 23, 2018

Snapchat Introduces Speech-Recognition Lenses With AR Capabilities

Multimedia messaging app Snapchat launched its speech-recognition lenses. Compared with the company's Lens visual lenses, the augmented reality-enabled lenses offer various applications for social media and business. At present, the company's AR business is already generating revenue, accounting for $281 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

"Snapchat's New Voice-Activated Lenses Point To A Wild Future For AR Advertising And Commerce", Forbes.com, August 01, 2018

Social Media Grabbing Bigger Piece Of Marketing Pie, Survey Reveals

According to Hanapin Marketing, the number of marketers spending over half of their budget on social campaigns increased 200 percent in the past year. Data from the survey showed 88 percent of marketers invest in Facebook, compared with 93 percent in the previous year. Also, Facebook has remained the top choice for advertisers, with 66 percent of respondents picking the social media platform over its rivals.

"Even Search Marketers Investing 200% More In Social", MediaPost, August 02, 2018

Marketers Use Add-Ons To Turn Alexa Into Voice-Enabled Branding Tools

Brands are using voice technologies, including Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, as a marketing tool. Alexa lets users add “skills” to Amazon's voice platform in the same way that consumers add apps to their smartphones. City-guide service Time Out has added a skill to Alexa to allow users to find attractions and things to do in cities by asking the voice assistant. Whiskey brand Johnny Walker's Alexa skill offers personalized experience for consumers, teaching them about whiskey and enhancing the brand's connection with them. Detergent brand Tide has developed a skill for Alexa providing consumers with tips on how to remove stains from their laundry.

"How Brands Are Marketing with Voice Technology", Business 2 Community, August 06, 2018

Owners Of Alexa Devices Not Using Them For Shopping, Report Shows

According to The Information, only 2 percent of consumers who own an Alexa-enabled device said they have used for shopping. Data from the report showed 90 percent of respondents who said they have used the device for shopping used it only once. People are still using the devices for trivial applications, such as getting weather forecasts and playing music.

"Alexa isn’t the shopping behemoth Amazon hoped it would be", The Next Web , August 06, 2018

Most American Adults Lose Brand Loyalty When Buying With Virtual Voice Assistants

In the US, 85 percent of adults who have made an online purchase using a virtual voice assistant say they have purchased, at least once, the top recommendation by the VVA instead of the specific brand they planned to buy. Results of the Digitas online survey covering more than 2,000 American adults showed voice assistants may adversely affect brand loyalty. Some of the study's key results include millennial VVA purchasers are more than twice as likely as their 45-64 years old counterparts in purchasing the first option offered by the VVA. Also, 78 percent of respondents said they would be likely to check other options if they were using a VVA with screens.

"Brand Loyalty vs. Virtual Voice Assistants", Digitas, August 08, 2018

Second-Generation Chatbots Gain Multi-Language Skills And Enhanced Customer-Facing Capabilities

Chatbot technology has arrived and been accepted by companies and customers alike, with 57 percent of marketing firms using chatbots or planning to start doing so by the end of 2017, according to Forrester. Results of one survey revealed 69 percent of customers prefer interacting with chatbots for immediate contact with brands, while another study found out that 40 percent do not care if contact is with a human or chatbot as long as help is received. Today, the second generation of chatbots, powered by artificial intelligence, shared open-source technologies, and advances in natural language processing, are capable of conversing in multiple languages. These innovations, in turn, help huge corporations and small businesses in managing global operations and providing services to international customers.

"How Multilingual Chatbots Will Change The Voice of Business", Forbes, August 13, 2018

Virtual Assistants Compete With Each Other For Right To Shape Customer Experience

Today's competition among virtual voice assistants represents a “strategic” battle for customer experience expected to determine the course of consumer marketing in the future. As industries move to adopt virtual assistants, brands need to fully understand how accepting assistant technology truly affects consumers in order to implement required improvements that drive customer experience for the long term. Challenges faced by brands include accurate voice recognition and providing consumers full autonomy over their customer experience.

"3 Ways Virtual Assistants Can Overcome Road Blocks and Stand Apart From Competitors", Adweek, August 14, 2018

L'Oreal Faces Need To Rethink Marketing Due To Voice Technology

Voice technology is expected to make L'Oreal rethink some aspects of the beauty company's marketing and branding strategies and practices. According to L'Oreal global ecommerce acceleration director Antoine Borde, these issues include many customers' inability to pronounce the name of brands, such as Maybelline. Related to this, marketers at beauty companies may need to stop using fancy names for their brands.

"How L'Oréal is thinking about voice", WARC , August 14, 2018

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