L’Oréal is betting on bloggers to spread its brand message.
The Paris-based beauty brand has tapped 15 digital influencers to take part in a yearlong program, “L’Oréal League,” where fashion meets art blogger Pari Ehsan of Paridust to former Miss USA Olivia Culpo will create content and promote L’Oréal Paris across their social channels.
During their yearlong tenure, the inaugural “League” class will attend award shows, global red carpet events, master classes and preview product before it launches.
“It’s a real departure from how we were working in the past with influencers. [Before] it was on a campaign-by-campaign basis,” said Kristen Comings, vice president of integrated consumer communications at L’Oréal Paris. “We took learnings from a lot of those interactions…and what worked best is to really have a deep relationship with them, which for us meant forming a yearlong partnership.”
Wendy Nguyen of Wendy’s Lookbook; Mary Phillips; Stephanie Lee of Beauty by Lee; Grace Atwood; Christina Caradona of Trop Rouge; Sona Gasparian of Simply Sona; Carly Cristman; Monica Veloz of Monica Style Muse; Liza Lash; Jade Chapman; Katy Bellotte of Hello Katy; Jessi Malay, and Ashley Brooke of Ashley Brooke Designs round out the group.
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Comings said L’Oréal Paris has consolidated its blogger efforts within the League. Previously, she called the one-off partnerships and single campaigns with digital influencers “more transactional” and done to support a single launch or event.
“It’s not a campaign, its more of a partnership. Campaign sounds like a product launch,” Comings added.
This is not the first time the company has spent big bucks on digital influencers.
The formation of L’Oréal League follows the news in October that L’Oréal tapped blogger Kristina Bazan, the founder of Kayture, as its new brand ambassador in a reportedly seven-figure deal. Bazan’s exclusive, one-year pact is said to be the highest ever inked by a digital influencer, with her ambassadorship extending beyond the realm of digital and similar to those of A-list actresses from Julianne Moore to Naomi Watts.
Comings declined to comment on Bazan’s deal or fees for L’Oréal League members, but said that each contract is custom to the individual. Sources told WWD that compensation is considerably lower than Bazan’s blockbuster deal, with the brand paying influencers anywhere from $40,000 to more than $100,000, depending on reach and engagement, to partake in the program. Taken together, this is a considerable investment in the blogger space for L’Oréal, who sees the League’s millions of social media followers as untapped consumers.
Comings said this deal is not exclusive, which means that the 15 influencers are free to work with any other beauty brand they desire — and also explains the lower pay than Bazan.
There is no set amount of posts, and content depends on preferred platforms, which for some, like Ehsan, is Instagram, and for others, like Lee or Gasparian, is YouTube.
Comings, who called the group non-traditional spokespeople, said that “in order to maintain how powerful they are with consumers, they should still be able to talk about other brands.”
The first big push for the League is skin care, and Comings said that consumers can expect to start seeing posts appear from the bloggers in early July when the $12.99 Pure Clay Mask goes on sale.
L’Oréal is bringing masks to the mass market, and influencers got a preview of the product so they could start to seed content. Comings said that content supporting core products is also central to the program.
Ehsan, who created Paridust to meld her passions for art and fashion, said she’s in the midst of conceptualizing an “art-inspired looks beauty story” which she will shoot next week. In the three years since starting her blog, she has worked with beauty brands such as La Mer, Nars and Bite Beauty.
“I’m going to call it Stardust and play with this painterly effect where you create a gradient across the eye or lip, an ombré type thing,” Ehsan said of the upcoming shoot, where she will incorporate L’Oréal’s Colour Riche Eye Shadow Quads in Avant Garde Azure and Violet Amour.
Instead of her typical photos, which show Ehsan in a designer look that mirrors a painting or installation and set in a gallery or museum, she will only picture her neck up, with the detail shots serving as the art.
She wants to use products to “reappropriate” and experiment with the boundaries of makeup. For instance, Ehsan will post an image this week where she used L’Oréal Infallible Lacquer Eyeliner in Dark Slate as a matte lipstick (with Midnight Blue Infallible Eyeshadow used all around the eye). She’s sick of the “conventional use of makeup that’s really proliferating on Instagram,” she explained, and through this partnership, plans to advance the idea of makeup as face art.
“There is no recipe to beauty, it is personal and fluid. I hope to inspire others to experiment and to use products in new and unexpected ways, to see past concealing and conforming and be empowered to let your true self come through,” Ehsan said.