Macy’s has partnered with Hearst to place an augmented reality ad in the October issue of Cosmopolitan. The virtual make-up “try on” will allow both brands to promote digital engagement with young consumers.
For the first time, digital Cosmopolitan readers with an iPhone will be able to try on make-up using augmented reality. The ads will appear in the online version of Hearst’s lifestyle magazine next month to promote beauty products offered by Macy’s. According to WWD, the marketing strategy includes a new look to “try on” each month.
Macy’s shuttered around 100 stores in 2016 to focus on its digital strategy, which seems to be paying off. The legacy department store brand reported double-digit growth for its digital business in the second quarter of 2018. The legacy department store brand attributed this success to “a healthy brick & mortar business, robust e-commerce and a great mobile experience.”
Cosmopolitan‘s core reader base is between the ages of 18-34, so the publisher has been focused on integrating digital into its print strategy as well. In December, Cosmopolitan began printing Snapchat icons in the magazine that direct users to a product or ad through Snapchat Discover. The brand also partnered with Amazon to let digital readers explore product pages and make purchases.
Offering augmented reality would allow Cosmopolitan‘s advertisers to engage with this core demographic on a personal level, especially when selling make-up. Beauty ads are a staple in any lifestyle magazine, but readers have traditionally been limited to their imaginations—gazing on a professional model and wondering how the style would translate to real life.
For this reason, augmented reality has been a key piece of technology for the prosperous beauty industry. In an age of personalization and individuality—not to mention selfies—the ability to virtually sample a product has become a significant draw for young consumers.
Macy’s AR ad was developed by YouCam, a makeup app brand that has 470 million downloads in Google Play. L’Oreal integrated its worldwide makeup brands and collections into the app last year.
“AR connects the dots to create a very unique experience that cannot be replaced by any other channel,” Alice H. Chang, CEO of Perfect Corp., the parent company of YouCam Makeup, told AList in a previous interview. “Try-before-you-buy gives customers greater confidence in the purchase decisions. The impact of AR try-outs on cosmetic sales is real.”