- CVS debuted an interactive 360-degree video campaign to promote BeautyIRL, a "shop-in-shop" experience that lets customers sample makeup and hair products in stores. Glamsquad, the on-demand provider of salon services, will offer personalized assistance at the drugstore chain's flagship stores in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Florida, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The video ad for BeautyIRL, whose name comes from the social media shorthand for "in real life," lets viewers immerse themselves in a 360-degree view of the store from a smartphone or computer. Clickable hotspots link to more information about Glamsquad and other offerings, like a wall stocked with miniature beauty products for sampling.
- OmniVirt, an ad tech company that develops immersive ads, created the 360-degree video for CVS with agencies Standard Black and Universal McCann.
CVS's immersive ads for its BeautyIRL shops help to demonstrate the in-store experience for shoppers as the drugstore chain touts enhanced beauty offerings and works to distinguish its stores from e-commerce rivals. Beauty retailers Sephora and Ulta have similar in-store strategies that emphasize product demonstrations and personalized service for customers to drive sales, and CVS is among the drugstore chains that are making a bigger push into the beauty category. Rival Walgreens this month bought a minority interest in Birchbox, the digital beauty subscription company, as the drugstore chain also seeks to appeal to millennials and emphasize its personal care products, per CNBC.
Drugstores are a significant marketing channel for beauty and personal care products. The category accounted for $12.5 billion of beauty and personal care sales in 2017, compared to $13.3 billion from beauty specialists, $7.7 billion from department stores and $8.5 billion from internet retailing, data from researcher Euromonitor International shows. The beauty market is forecast to grow to $750 billion worldwide by 2024, per Inkwood Research data cited by the Financial Times, pointing to why drugstores like CVS and Walgreens are racing to boost their offerings in this space.
In doing so, they're looking to engage consumers both in and outside stores with compelling content like augmented reality or mobile video. Completion rates of 360-degree videos are 46% higher than standard videos, OmniVirt reports, demonstrating the value for companies like CVS. OmniVirt has worked with a variety of marketers to boost engagement and brand recall. TravelNevada, the state's tourism board, saw engagement rates from a 360-degree video ad that were nearly seven times higher than standard media spots. Nestlé Canada last summer created a 360-degree spot for its Kit Kat candy bar that doubled YouTube's average completion rate and spurred a 100% lift in ad recall and 35% gain in consideration.