L’Oréal on how the ‘power’ of diversity transformed the brand

The beauty giant says the power of its previous diversity campaign, which featured a male beauty blogger for the first time, has been “phenomenal”.

L’Oréal Paris says its increased focus on diversity has pushed sales and led people to reappraise the brand.

The campaign for its True Match foundation, which came out in August last year, targeted men for the first time. It decided to pick male blogger and makeup artist Gary, aka ‘The Plastic Boy’, as one of its brand ambassadors, to reflect the fact that more men are wearing makeup.

Speaking to Marketing Week, the brand’s UK general manager Adrien Koskas says the “power of the campaign” has been “phenomenal” and helped the True Match product to become the best-selling foundation in the UK for the past five months in a row.

“But it’s more than that. It has changed the perception of the L’Oréal Paris brand for so many people. Because people see a different face of the brand, they can relate to it and recognise the efforts L’Oréal Paris has made in terms of shades, formulation and advertising,” he says.

“The net value of this campaign is through the roof. Thank God we did it – it was so important to broaden our shades and to show different faces, and consumers loved it. It was an important moment for us.”

Koskas, who will be speaking at the Diversity in Marketing & Advertising Summit on 4 and 5 April, admits that there have been some challenges along the way in terms of becoming more diverse, and that it has had “to fight on my different fronts”.

Thank God we did it – it was so important to broaden our shades and to show different faces, and consumers loved it.

Adrien Koskas, L’Oréal Paris

“It’s a journey. We have to fight on many different fronts. We are the number one brand for beauty and we need to bring the best products to everyone. We have been fighting a lot to get darker shades [into our product range]. We now have 23 shades, while our closest competitor has around 15,” he explains.

Promoting diversity across the business

L'Oreal

Since the True Match foundation campaign, Koskas has been pushing for diversity to gain momentum within the business, which he says has been working “really well”.

“Some people might say – Is this really L’Oréal? But it’s my job to say what we want L’Oréal Paris to be like, and to convince different people that if we want to be modern and relevant, we need to be more inclusive as a brand. That is for me the most important thing. I have to say – things are changing, we are changing the brand and are getting more traction externally as well,” he explains.

More recently, the brand launched an e-mentorship initiative in partnership with The Prince’s Trust, which looks to help 10,000 young people become more confident. The platform will connect young people to e-mentors from companies like L’Oréal and other organisations who can provide online advice and support.

L’Oréal Paris is also changing its slogan ‘Because you’re worth it’ to ‘We are all worth it’ for the remainder of 2017 in a bid to reflect its focus on diversity and be more inclusive.

Koskas is determined to keep pushing diversity going forward, claiming it is “what he does every single day” by picking the models, overseeing the campaigns and pushing his team to come up with ideas that are “diverse and relevant to today’s market”.

He concludes: “We have to be consistent and it can’t be an isolated campaign. L’Oréal Paris is one brand [within L’Oréal], but we need to make sure we walk the talk in everything we do.”

  • Marketing Week is partnering with DIMALYNC for the Diversity in Marketing & Advertising Summit in London on 4 and 5 April. It aims to encourage greater diversity and inclusion within leadership roles and campaigns. For more information and to purchase tickets visit https://dimalync.com/

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