L’Oréal CMO on how to market a beauty brand in 2024

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

With Dubey's support, L’Oréal has embraced generative AI for creativity and trialled brands in Web3 and metaverse beauty
With Dubey's support, L’Oréal has embraced generative AI for creativity and trialled brands in Web3 and metaverse beauty

Related tags Marketing Cosmetics L'oréal AI AR metaverse Skin

L’Oréal’s chief digital & marketing officer Asmita Dubey recently won the World Federation of Advertisers’ (WFA) Global Marketer of the Year award. We spoke to her to learn more about her award-winning strategies and how the business is navigating generative AI...

With Asmita Dubey’s support, the L’Oréal Group has embraced the potential of generative AI for creativity and trialled brands in Web3 and metaverse beauty, which resulted in the first multi-brand Avatar partnership on Ready Player Me. One of its colour cosmetics brands, NYX Professional Makeup, also created the first artist collection for GORJS (the first beauty decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO)).

Some of the Group's brands, including Maybelline and Armani, focused on gaming early on and now have a global community of 3.4bn. While other innovations have included introducing new virtual try-ons for hair and makeup, as well as skin diagnosis through AI, which has attracted more than 40 million users in the past year.

There have also been plenty of other awards and accolades for marketing efforts at numerous L’Oréal brands. Maybelline won the Silver award at Cannes Lions in 2023 for its campaigns in gaming, social and influence; CeraVe has been named as one of the best brands on digital and social by marketing publication Ad Age;​ and Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris, CeraVe, Lancôme and NYX Professional Makeup have all made the list of the ‘top 10 personal care brands in the US’, according to US-based research company Gartner.

Here Dubey – who is currently WFA’s Global Marketer of the Year – shares more about what L’Oréal has been doing and what she sees as the future of beauty marketing...

Embracing augmented marketing 

"Augmented marketing is the future. For the past decade our beauty marketing has been:

  • Augmented by purpose - sustainable and inclusive by design.
  • Augmented by O+O+O – our beauty experiences are now physical, digital and virtual.
  • Augmented by data use, across business levers.

Now, our marketing is augmented through generative AI. Creativity and technology will be brought closer together than ever before, and the true opportunity will be found at the meeting ground of the right brain and the left brain.

Gen AI, data and tech will allow us to augment the creative process to new heights. With our 37 global brands, we are exploring multiple augmented marketing use cases with generative AI across: content/creativity, services, search, and consumer care.

We started our digital transformation journey more than a decade ago, and back in 2018 we introduced beauty tech to harness a new kind of relationship with our consumers, one that is based on data, technology and AI. Our goal here is ultra-personalisation; to bring beauty for each- powered by beauty tech.

Our beauty tech innovations are driven by people with a dual scientific and technological expertise: 4,000 scientists in 20 research centres worldwide, 6,300 digital talents and 3,200 tech and data experts encompassing data science, algorithm developers to data privacy specialists.

In 2024, we are again on a new frontier of technology with Generative AI, which promises to change marketing and the way we create. The L’Oréal Group aims to lead this revolution in the beauty industry."

Fostering responsible and trustworthy use of generative AI

"L’Oréal has used AI for years in multiple ways and we have developed unique expertise here.

Based on our ethical principles: Integrity, Respect, Courage and Transparency, we have established seven ‘Principles for Trustworthy AI,’ working with external experts to define this framework guiding us in the development, deployment, and use of AI systems. These are:

  • Human Oversight: to prevent overreliance on algorithmic decision-making.
  • Safety and Reliability: to ensure careful implementation of data sets and algorithms.
  • Privacy and Data Protection: to provide consumers with appropriate information and control over their data.
  • Transparency and Explainability: to inform consumers when and how they interact with AI systems.
  • Non-Discrimination and Fairness: to represent the diverse populations with which we engage.
  • Accountability: to guarantee risk-prevention and quality management systems.
  • Sustainable AI: to leverage sustainable development commitments and monitor environmental footprint of these systems.

At L’Oréal, we have been in a ‘controlled experimentation’ period, to assess the potential of augmented creativity through GenAI. We are testing multiple ways in which we can reinterpret content creation with the aid of GenAI. 

First, we have created a GenAI Content Lab for beauty that is using a WPP-Nvidia engine as well as some other LLM models to generate ideas. The use cases include:

  • New visual codes of beauty using generative AI. During the keynote at CES, our CEO Nicolas shared a vision of the future of beauty. Some of the images in this inspirational future were envisioned by the GenAI Lab.
  • Through creating storyboarding for our new product launches. This is helping marketers and agencies to discuss ideas faster and have a common understanding of the creative vision.
  • A new way to generate product pack shots and ecommerce product page content including text and imagery.
  • Create newly imagined, fresh and interesting social content.
  • Faster language translations /adaptations.

The GenAI Content Lab is enabling the continuous upskilling and is evolving the understanding of generative AI technology of our teams, so this technology can be seamlessly implemented into a marketer’s repertoire of tools for creativity. We are also aware of the crucial importance of IP Rights and Confidentiality. We want to embrace responsible content credentials and transparency when we produce and create using Generative AI.

We believe that beauty is an essential human need. It is personal, about self-expression, self-confidence, it is deeply social, therefore, we have decided that we will not use AI-generated ‘life-like’ faces or hair to enhance product benefits when it comes to the external representation of beauty. AI-generated face/hair can be used for internal storyboarding, for inspiration and for idea generation only."

NYX Professional Makeup created the first artist collection for the DAO, GORJUS

Democratising beauty services

"We are democratising beauty services using Gen AI. We have just launched L’Oréal Paris Beauty Genius, a Generative AI-powered personal beauty advisor, that is available 24/7 in our customer’s pockets. 

Many people have a hard time to find the right products, with 70% feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices available.  So, they ask friends, search online, or watch videos to try and make sense of the sheer number of products on store shelves. This is where L’Oréal Paris Beauty Genius comes in, bringing: product curation; a suite of service offerings; and consumer care, all in one.

The service uses a combination of technologies: Generative AI, AI, AR, computer vision and colour science.

With these we meet real consumer needs:

  • Product curation
    Personalised education curated from social media and brand platforms. Personalised recommendations for over 750 skincare, makeup and hair colour L’Oréal Paris products. 
  • A suite of services
    Personalised diagnostic of both skin and hair. Consumers can also virtually try on the makeup and hair colour products before they buy them.
  • Consumer care
    L’Oréal Paris Beauty Genius can also help with a personalised Q&A, answering questions about sensitive topics, such as acne, dandruff, and hair loss.  It can also help avoid uncomfortable or intimidating situations without having to speak to a ‘real person’.

We bring our century-long expertise on beauty, skincare science and the power of AI to offer our consumers O+O beauty services like Virtual Makeup and Hair Try-ons and Skin Diagnosis, in store, on our sites, on retailer platforms and also on Microsoft Teams. 

We have our SPOTSCAN by La Roche Posay service. Acne is one of the biggest skin concerns worldwide, affecting 80% of teenagers and 40% of adults. Access to a dermatologist is not homogenous everywhere. La Roche Posay SPOTSCAN is a free diagnostic tool for acne sufferers. It is based on AI and developed with leading dermatologists.  It requires just three selfies to analyse and score imperfections, based on global acne severity scale recognised by dermatologists. It provides a personalised routine or directs the user to dermatologists.

We also have our Maybelline NY beauty app for Teams. ‘Ready in a Click’ by Maybelline will bring some colour to Microsoft Teams meetings. With just a click, you can apply any of the 12 virtual makeups, enhancing your natural look effortlessly so you can feel your best. It is powered by L’Oréal’s Modiface AI and it recognises 70+ points on your face, creating a 'virtual map'."

Following the changing needs of our target audiences

"We know that our consumers engage with beauty in the physical, digital, and virtual worlds, so we are constantly reinventing the beauty experience.  We are digitalising the beauty consumer decision journeys with new touchpoints, new adapted content, new influence, new beauty tech services and devices, in new channels of distribution, where our consumers are.

We know that in a rising creator economy, beauty seekers want an authentic two-way communication between brands and consumers. This leads to a new beauty influence. We are proud to be number one in Beauty Share of influence, with a 29% share globally. We are collaborating with over 50K influencers, and thousands of advocates and prescribers in beauty – like skin-fluencers, beauty tok creators on TikTok, med-fluencers and ‘glamors’ in the gaming world."

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