L'Oreal courts 'authenticity' with unbranded global content hub

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

L'Oreal courts 'authenticity' with unbranded global content hub

Related tags Advertising

Beauty giant L’Oreal has taken the brand vs. beauty blogger battle one step further, through the launch of its completely unbranded content-sharing platform.

Fab Beauty (‘flair, artistry, beauty’) is a website which hosts beauty-related lifestyle content in a blog format, and is available in multiple languages.

It avoids any explicit brand endorsement, despite being owned and run by L’Oreal, attempting instead to attract key beauty influencers and so generate consumer engagement with beauty more broadly, according to the company.

"We've always said our job is to launch brands and products, but also to promote and endorse the industry of beauty. It's an industry people relate to, and we are lucky that it's so inspiring and engaging​," An Verhulst-Santos, president of the L'Oreal professional products division, told AdAge.com​.

Authentic brand presence

It’s been described as a savvy step for L’Oreal to take by industry commentators, as consumers increasingly look for ‘authenticity’ when engaging with cosmetics companies - a trend which, until now, has led to the rising popularity of beauty bloggers at the expense of brands’ online presence.

This is nowhere more apparent than on video sharing site, YouTube, which is dominated by beauty video bloggers (known as vloggers): they control 97% of conversations around beauty on the site, according to Pixability, with branded content generating just 3% of views. 

Vbloggers are doing better [than cosmetics brands] because they’re being authentic,” ​Merrily McGugan, Pixability’s marketing manager, has stated, noting that this is a ‘solvable problem’ for brands.

L’Oreal’s bold step into unbranded digtial content suggests its one brand leading the move to assert beauty brands’ presence within the internet sphere.

Driving digital

The launch of the Fab Beauty site confirms once again L’Oreal’s primary focus is building its digital dominance.

Indeed, the company recently confirmed​ it is set to propose the appointment of Google vice-president and managing director for UK and Ireland, Eileen Naughton, at its upcoming AGM.

The move would follow a string of strong appointments of digital experts within the beauty brand’s senior leadership over the past three years, and its steadily increasing spend on digital: 25% of its media budget now goes to digital.

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