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Lancome leverages augmented reality to bring art installation to life

Lancome will unveil an art project this month that can only been seen by smartphone users who have downloaded an application and are standing in David Pecaut Square in Toronto.

The art project, 20 Bloggers for a Rose: The Lancome Virtual Gallery, features photographs of roses ? the rose is Lancome?s emblem ? and leverages augmented reality to make the images viewable via a smartphone app. The installation will be presented from June 14 to 20 during the seventh annual Luminato Festival.

?With the project ??20 Bloggers for a Rose: The Lancôme Virtual Gallery,? we wanted to leverage the theme of the photography exhibition with an experiential component for the audience,? said Alexandra Tanner, interactive marketing specialist at Lancome Canada, Montreal.

?Since the photographs were taken by bloggers, we felt the mobile medium seemed like a natural fit for the project,? she said. ?Rather than displaying the photos in a classic gallery-style set up, we opted for augmented reality.

?The fact that the photos are uncovered by scanning a specific area with a smartphone adds an exciting sense of discovery. In addition, the app created for this project is social by design, it therefore enables users to share their favorite photos via their social media platforms.

Virtual gallery
Lancome worked with The Location Based Marketing Association, Cundari Group and CrowdOptic on the virtual gallery project.

The theme of the Virtual Gallery was inspired by a photography exhibition entitled ??Rôses by??? that will be presented by Lancôme in Toronto at the Luminato Fesitval. The artwork featured in this exhibit was taken by 20 of the world?s most celebrated photographers, all under the rose theme.

For the virtual gallery, the beauty brand asked 20 of Canada?s top beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers to share their personal interpretation of the rose in a photograph.

During the festival, attendees will be encouraged to download an app available for iPhone and Android that was created exclusively for the project to view the gallery. Users will also be able to share the images.

Once downloaded, users hold their phones to the sky and, while rotating 360 degrees, will see 20 pieces of art in the virtual gallery.

A crowd-generated display
The project will also form the basis of a crowd-generated augmented reality display, with user interaction with the gallery during the festival being shown in a virtual heat map shaped like the Lancome rose.

Lancome has made some preliminary moves into mobile and has a couple of mobile apps ? a brand app Lancome SG and one focused on UV protection called Lancome UV Expert.

In December, Lancome ramped up efforts to bring glamour to on-the-go shoppers with a new smartphone site and tablet experience meant to drive mcommerce sales (see story).

?Augmented reality has always been about seeing a layer on top of the real world, but this event will enable us to be a part of that layer as well,? said Asif R. Khan, founder and president of the Location Based Marketing Association.

?We will for the first time, engage in an exercise of simultaneous location-specific viewing and creation,? he said. ?It's art in action!?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York