Revlon is getting engaged and hoping millions of women around the world will, too.
A new digital initiative called The Revlon Expression Experiment — which will be launched on Monday — will present consumers across the U.S. with a series of beauty challenges, beginning with a red lip.
This story first appeared in the July 6, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“This is a social media campaign which we believe will become a social movement toward experimentation,” said the company’s executive vice president and global chief marketing officer, Julia Goldin. “We have set out on a journey to inspire and encourage women.”
The online initiative via Facebook, which will offer participants a new beauty task each month, will also allow participants to post and share the experience with friends — who they can also invite to take the challenge.
“We are reigniting the heritage of the Revlon brand,” said Goldin, who cited the brand’s classic Fire and Ice print ad as an early example of Revlon’s focus on consumer engagement. “It’s about getting an idea of what a red lip feels like, it’s not just about product. The world has changed but our point of view hasn’t.”
Coinciding with each challenge, users will be offered a corresponding tutorial by Revlon’s global artistic director, Gucci Westman. Participants can also utilize Revlon’s shade finder, via revlon.com, to match and sample various colors to achieve the desired look.
“Gucci is a big believer in helping people to try new things,” said Goldin.
Upcoming challenges include a colorful eye for August, a daring nail for September, vintage glamour for October, a foundation-matching challenge for November and a holiday-appropriate sparkle-and-shimmer task for December.
“At the heart of Revlon, there is a desire to inspire femininity and bring out the fabulous selves of customers,” said Goldin. “This is the same original idea of expressing emotions, but it’s first person for the consumer. It is a way of showing instead of telling about something inspirational.”
In order to make the experience as authentic as possible, Revlon supplied bloggers with boxes of product and tasked NYU film students with creating their own videos, sharing their thoughts on their new looks.
“We want to get women to tell their story,” said Goldin, who added that another objective is to create “brand advocates,” or “true friends” of the band. “We are not out for likes,” she said. “We see this as a long-term platform, continuing and evolving over time.”
To that end, Goldin said the project will be expanding and entering countries like South Africa, Australia, China and India within the next 12 months. Although each locale will have its own culturally tailored Facebook page, Goldin said there will be digital “connection points,” meaning a participant in the U.S. could look through slide shows of women sampling looks on the other side of the world. For Goldin, the potential scope of the initiative is limitless.
“This is just the beginning,” said Goldin. “The platform will bring people together around similar issues and experiences and allow them to be in a community where they can share and express their points of views in social channels. Every woman can find something in common.”
The initiative is also designed to help women address reservations they have with trying out new makeup and highlighting some of Revlon’s newest products. “We are throwing to women both a challenge and an inspiration to experiment with their makeup and different looks,” said Goldin. “It’s a way to engage with women on a new level.”
As far as advertising for the digital platform, plans are in place to utilize all of Revlon’s brand ambassadors. Halle Berry will be featured in the introductory video.
To build buzz for the Expression Experiment, Revlon will leverage everything from bloggers and consumer events to digital advertising and media partners.