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Nars Cosmetics Launches Community Web Site

Social media initiative marks brand’s largest digital media effort to date.

Nars is taking on a new social media strategy with a community Web site set to go live today.

Called, the Web site engages social media in support of founder and creative director François Nars’ new book, “Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself” (Rizzoli), an instructional makeup guide featuring real women (and men), which is hitting bookstores now. The initiative marks the brand’s largest digital media effort to date, noted Louis Desazars, chief executive officer of Nars Cosmetics.

“Given the increasingly prominent role that social media is playing on a day-to-day basis within communications and our industry as a whole, we felt that the subject matter of François’ new book was the perfect platform with which to introduce a significant digital initiative for the brand and take our engagement with our fans and the beauty community to the next level,” said Desazars.

One of the centerpieces of the new initiative is a global gallery that invites users to re-create 12 selected looks from the new book; each look is extensively detailed on the site, with a step-by-step instructional guide on how to duplicate it and a click-through ability to purchase products. Users then can upload their photos via Facebook Connect (allowing Nars to capture demographic information, noted Desazars), along with a comment about how the selected look makes them feel. Other users (“Narsissists”) can then view and vote on the pictures on the site from May 6 until Aug. 31; the pictures will also post to the person’s Facebook wall. The top overall vote-getter will win a trip for two to New York Fashion Week in February 2012.

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The site, developed with Ceft and Company, also allows direct sharing on a number of social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook. A dedicated tab on the brand’s Facebook page will display the winner, plus information regarding book-related events in the U.S. Users will also be encouraged to tweet using the hashtag #MUYMEY. The brand will also support the campaign locally with strategic digital partnerships, promotions and outreach to bloggers.

Another key brand priority, said Desazars, is to expand the role of and training for the brand’s makeup artists globally.

As a result, the brand has restructured and expanded its makeup artistry development, training and education departments, noted Tracy Dennis, executive director, global artist training, development and makeup artistry. “François has a passion for artistry and we want to instill that passion in our makeup artists,” said Dennis. Three key appointments have been made, said Dennis: James Boehmer as director of global artistry, Alex Hanson as national director of stylists and events, and Uzo Ukaeje as international makeup stylist. Boehmer will be responsible for developing artistry workshops to elevate the skills of Nars stylists, defining seasonal beauty trends, enhancing artistry activities in seasonal seminars and communicating the Nars brand message as a spokesman through various media channels. Hanson will develop strategic programming and unique event concepts in an effort to help grow the overall business and take the brand to the next level, while Ukaeje will work with key regional and national media outlets and photographers, as well as play a stronger role in fashion week and celebrity relations.