L’Oréal targets women through an unusual place: On Xbox Live

Some say it’s pointless; traditional girl gamers do not care about dressing up, let alone beauty regimes and make up. Others say it’s a smart way to tap into an untouched and potentially huge market. I say it’s just…surreal.

At first glance, I was confused to why I was hearing about L’Oréal’s new beauty app named The Next Level not on a mobile app, not on a tablet app, but on a male-centric game console Xbox app.  This whole idea is just so surreal to me. It is so surreal that something so utterly unrelated to gaming is appearing on a video game console. I remember when Xbox 360 first came out, and it was just about the console games. Since then, Xbox 360 has evolved drastically, and it wasn’t until I came across the L’Oréal app that I made that realization.

The Next Level is the first female-tailored app to launch on Xbox. Designed to be a one-stop beauty and style hub targeted for women, users can watch how-to videos, gain more information, tips and purchase L’Oreal products.  The app is customizable; allowing users to create personalized event calendars, shopping lists, and receive weather-based beauty recommendations, as well as receive reward points that can be redeemed for L’Oréal products. Here is a video describing the app in more detail:

So, is this app pointless to Xbox users? I wouldn’t get to that conclusion quite yet. According to Microsoft’s data, a full 40 percent of its 20 million Xbox Live users are female. So although the traditional girl gamer stereotype may not care for beauty tips, with Xbox evolving into a family entertainment unit, women who couldn’t care less about traditional console video games can have access to this application. If L’Oréal’s partial goal is to try and tap into the potential market of ‘gamer girls’, I will suggest them to include a part of their application to revolve around Xbox games that they play. An example will be to do a makeup tutorial video on a gaming character they play – afterall it is almost Halloween. However overall, it is better to say that L’Oréal isn’t targeting girl gamers, but just targeting at women interested in fashion and beauty who happens to have access to an Xbox 360.

As for how smart this move is? L’Oreal is the first of its kind to move into the Xbox market, which is a bold move. However if it is successful, it can potentially revolutionize the idea of a beauty magazine. More and more people are seeing Xbox as more than a video game console, so who knows? Maybe this is naturally the next step for the multimedia hub; personalized applications tailored to the users needs.

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Maybe it’s because I still associate Xbox as a game console, but shopping for mascara and receiving beauty tips on my Xbox still seems a little too surreal to me. As an avid mobile and tablet user, I see this app more likely to succeed in those portable platforms. However, with that said, this concept is a great example of the advertising philosophy:     “to invite audience engagement rather than interrupt entertainment.” It will be interesting to see how this application will do.

So what do you think? Do you think you or your friends will take advantage of L’Oréal’s The Next Level app? Do you foresee it being successful, or will it be a bust?

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2 Responses to L’Oréal targets women through an unusual place: On Xbox Live

  1. dkennard says:

    Personally, I think L’oreal is the first and only woman brand to do this for a reason. I know very few woman who know how to use an Xbox control let alone would use it enough to actually do any shopping on it. If L’oreal happens to be successful they will be touching a target audience that has never been reached and could revolutionize gaming systems. But I do not think this idea is even reasonably possible. Why would women all of a sudden want to use an Xbox just to look at L’oreal products it seems more like an inconvenience than anything else. They can go online and use their phone so what would be the motivation to use the Xbox app? I do not think this is a good idea at all and is waste of time for the company. I will be extremely surprised if the ‘Next Level’ app is successful at all.

  2. limthong says:

    I agree with dkennard. I myself have never been interested in Xbox and it is true that some women are interested in gaming but that’s not common. I have a friend who’s into games and she’s also into Cosplay which involves a lot of cosmetics but looking from the communication from these visuals and videos, I don’t think they can attract any cosplay fans.

    Recommendations:
    1. I would recommend L’Oreal to collaborate with Nintendo instead of Xbox only because Nintendo is more women-friendly.
    2. I would also suggest L’Oreal to change their visual communication direction and aim towards a more niche market like girls game/manga fans.