It’s not every day you come across an opportunity to have your business ideas heard by executives from one of the biggest brands in the world at their global headquarters in Paris. So for myself and two other QUT Business students, Jack Nolan and Tom Hunn, L’Oréal’s annual international Marketing competition, Brandstorm, was the perfect opportunity to explore our love of buzz-worthy brand campaigns and leverage our mutually shared case of wanderlust.
Three months of preparation later, our team presented a campaign pitch at L’Oréal’s Australian Headquarters in Melbourne, where we were fortunate enough to be awarded first place and a spot at the International Finals in Paris. This June, we’ll be representing Australia against forty-eight other national teams from across the globe in the hopes of becoming the first Australian team ever to be awarded Brandstorm World Champions.
With a distant dream to say “Bonjour Paris” at the International Finals, we set about crafting a digital innovation strategy to raise brand awareness and uptake of La Roche-Posay products in the youth market. La Roche-Posay is an active skincare brand falling under the L’Oréal umbrella which is highly recommended by dermatologists and heavily representative of its high-end, French origins. Our campaign strategising began with a trip to the Pharmacy, where we formed a first impression of the brand which would guide our entire strategy. After a solid few minutes of browsing the products, we still couldn’t figure out what they were, what they contained or what they could do for us. Exotic French labelling and minimalistic, clinical packaging was both this brand’s charm and its challenge.
To combat this key issue, we created a campaign that conveyed the product benefits and active ingredients seamlessly in an interactive, engaging and immersive environment that tapped into the tech trends and passion points of the youth market.
Our pitch used virtual reality and augmented reality in a global marketing campaign to highlight the products’ benefits. Consumers would scan the product on their smartphone for an immersive experience. The content they saw would describe the products’ active ingredients in the picturesque environments where they were derived from. For the La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, for example, consumers were taken to a 360-degree video of the thermal spring in France where they could learn about the hydrating and soothing properties of the product.
Consumers could access this 360 degree content on their smartphone by scanning either a physical product or digital picture of one thanks to the image-recognition enabled technology of the revolutionary Blippar app. Consumers could also view the experience in full Virtual Reality via headsets in-store.
Five QUT teams made it through to the Melbourne International Finals where we placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd. A plethora of vastly different ideas was presented across the teams, leaving the judges with the very difficult and divisive task to decide which team would progress to the International Finals.
The experience so far has been an incredible learning and networking opportunity. All participants have been able to meet regularly with L’Oréal executives, forming relationships and learning first hand what it’s like to work for a global empire like L’Oréal. We’ve also had the chance to work with a local creative agency, Publicis Mojo, to produce professional standard visuals to accompany our presentation.
As we prepare to represent both QUT and Australia in Paris, we’ll be upping our presentation game and fusing technology with our on-stage performance to create an impactful presence in the hope to stand out amongst the 150 other talented students who have also made it this far. For all students who love innovation in marketing, I would strongly encourage you to jump on board for Brandstorm next year – it’s a competition offering the experience of a lifetime. Finally a special thanks to the QUT Business school for supporting and mentoring us through this process.
Au Revoir until next time!