Estée Lauder's new Messenger chatbot helps identify the right foundation shade
- Estée Lauder has launched a chatbot-aided campaign on Facebook Messenger to promote its Double Wear Foundation range, according to a report in CEW Beauty Insider. The campaign started Monday and is limited to the U.S.
- On Facebook Messenger, Estée Lauder uses a chatbot to guide makeup wearers through a series of questions to help them identify the Double Wear Foundation shade that matches their skin tone and formula preferences, learn how to apply it via an embedded video, read reviews and buy the product.
- The Double Wear Foundation initiative isn’t Estée Lauder’s first on Facebook Messenger to connect with consumers. Over the holidays, the cosmetics brand harnessed the platform to allow shoppers to order gifts delivered throughout London in an hour or less. The endeavor was tied to a pop-up store in the city.
Estée Lauder is the latest brand to take to Facebook Messenger armed with a chatbot to assist consumers. Brands are sorting through how best to present themselves to Facebook Messenger users, a group totaling more than 1 billion people globally, and potentially drive sales on the platform or to stores. The beauty industry has hopped onto Facebook Messenger to chase millennials, many of whom have abandoned brick-and-mortar retailers, notably department stores, and turned to digital resources for beauty advice. Hair color brand Madison Reed released a Facebook Messenger chatbot that recognizes a women’s hair color and suggests a hair dye to match.
At a Facebook event for beauty marketers, Karin Tracy, the U.S. head of industry, beauty, for Facebook and Instagram, pitched Facebook Messenger as a vehicle for direct consumer contact on a massive stage. As reported by CEW Beauty Insider, she said, “It helps create a one-on-one experience at a time when people think that nobody can get personal, but this creates a personal experience where they are ‘speaking’ with the brand.”
Foundation is an ideal product for personal touch delivered expansively. It’s commonly purchased, but dogged by complaints that women have difficulty selecting shades suiting their individual skin tones. Brands may also consider Facebook Messenger an advantageous platform to learn about customers and how they respond to marketing in a messaging environment.
But Facebook Messenger chatbots have their limitations for brands and users. A State of the Chatbots report by Forrester revealed AI-driven chatbots aren’t very effective and cause frustration. They can't replicate the complexities of human conversations — at least not yet. Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation chatbot demonstrates the current confinements of the chatbot realm. While perfectly capable of handling its programmed commands regarding foundation finish, shade and undertone, it couldn’t answer basic questions beyond those delineated areas. A question about stores Double Wear Foundation is available to buy at prompted the response, “I’m sorry I didn’t understand. I’m just a Bot.”
- CEW Beauty Insider Lauder brand launches campaign on Facebook Messenger
- Marketing Dive Forrester: Messaging works but chatbots can frustrate
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