In a location perhaps better known for rats and urine, cosmetics brand L'Oreal Paris is bringing beauty in what it calls the first-ever intelligent vending experience in the New York City Subway, the L'Oreal Paris Intelligent Color Experience.
Launching November 4, the installation works as a three-step process that detects the colors in a woman's outfit, picks the most prominent and related palettes, recommends L'Oreal Paris products and allows women to purchase those products on the spot, the brand says.
The installation includes a single vending machine with three separate points of engagement, including what the brand calls its "magic mirror" with cameras and sensors that detect the colors an individual is wearing, says L'Oreal Paris spokesperson Lisa Capparelli. The middle screen shows and demonstrates recommended products and allows shoppers to purchase them via touchscreen while the third unit showcases content from five New York bloggers to provide inspiration for those using the system and to entertain those who are waiting their turns, she adds.
A dedicated section of the L'Oreal website also features blogger content that complements the posts featured on the unit. As the L'Oreal Paris Intelligent Color Experience is a two-month pilot program, Capparelli says the brand will not likely add additional content at this time.
Eye, nail and lip products will all be available for purchase along with the brand's newest mascara line, Voluminous Butterfly. Prices will be in line with other New York City retailers, L'Oreal says.
"From the time the mirror scans a woman's look to when the products are in her purse, the entire experience takes less than two minutes," L'Oreal says.
The L'Oreal Paris Intelligent Color Experience is open through December 30, "helping women look and feel beautiful on-the-go throughout the holiday season," the brand adds.
"We wanted to be omnipresent when it comes to beauty," Capparelli says. "The Subway is a very unexpected place."
In addition, the Intelligent Color Experience builds off of the brand's premise of personalized, customized beauty that is reflected in the website it launched January 31, she adds.
According to the brand, L'Oreal used some of the latest technology available to "collect and understand women as they engage on the site" so that "every time they come back, it offers a more of a personalized experience," Capparelli says.
L'Oreal is using the hashtag #BringYourBold to share the experience.
"#BringYourBold is our rallying call to women to really kind of experiment with color and just to amp up the color that they wear in their cosmetics and to have fun with color," Capparelli says.
L'Oreal Paris has 52,000 followers on Instagram, as well as 2.1 million likes and 119,000 followers.
The L'Oreal Intelligent Color Experience was developed by digital agency R/GA and is part of a partnership with R/GA and out-of-home media company CBS Outdoor. L'Oreal Paris says it was chosen as the inaugural brand to participate in the two-month program, which is located in the Bryant Park Subway station and can be accessed from the entrance on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. It will be open weekdays from 7:00AM - 9:00PM and on weekends from 10:00AM - 8:00PM, with limited hours on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT