MS&L Asia SABRE Award - Loreal India


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MS&L Asia SABRE Award - Loreal India

  1. 1. Received SABRE 2009 Certificate of Excellence in the existing consumer products category for launching “Decoding the Hair” Exhibition in India for L’Oreal
  2. 2. <ul><li>Natural free flowing hair is one of the most recognizable and admired elements in the history of civilization and many a secret tips have been passed from one generation to the next (your grandma’s favorite - try mayonnaise or eggs on the hair). Well, not always that exciting as a remedy. </li></ul><ul><li>But when it comes to grooming, seriously nobody wants to be left behind. Since time immemorial, we have heard tales from mythologies where those heavenly creatures spent hours together perfecting their looks; beauty, skin, hair et al… and the modern age seems to be no different (and if not more). With models sashaying down the ramp sporting their extra ordinary hairdo (and did we mention those outfits), one just can’t help imagining the way fashion rules our lives. (And though the fairer sex seems to have all the attention heaped onto them, men folk too are equally romancing the beauty brigade – did anyone say David Beckham!) </li></ul><ul><li>With beauty playing centre stage, the number one (L'Oréal - world leader in cosmetics) from the fashion capital of the world decided to team up with world’s most vibrant society (India) to introduce ‘Decoding the Hair’ (collaborative efforts of The Paris Science and Industry Museum called Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (CSI) and L’Oréal) - a science meets fun exhibition in Mumbai, India, at the Nehru Science Centre (NSC) from 18th December 2008 till 28th February 2009. L'Oréal - world leader in cosmetics is a brand synonymous with quality care products that personify the aura of luxury and style. ‘Decoding the Hair’ aims to help unravel the mystery of the human hair and is one of the most globally talked events which has traveled several countries before finally making its debut in India. ( Since 2001 “Decoding the Hair” has been seen by more than 1.5 million visitors in famous Science Centres of 12 countries in the world.) </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover, with established brands such as Avon, Lakme,Marico,Pantene,Head&Shoulders,Sunsilk,Shikakai etc., it became apparent to project L'Oréal as a company dedicated to R&D and focused on Indian needs. The exhibition in totality was the right approach as it would help connect with the consumers directly. </li></ul>Categories: A3 (India), B9 (Existing Products), C18 (Consumer Prod.) plus B12 (Corp Image), C22 (Technology ) Program: Launching ‘Decoding the Hair’ in India Driving L’Oreal’s Industry Leadership Organization: L’Oréal Agency: Hanmer MS&L Program Story The Strategic Approach With a billion plus population with varying tastes; India posed a challenge as every region was unique in terms of culture and outlook. Therefore it was necessary to highlight L’Oréal’s commitment to research and education in the field of hair-care; and how it truly understood the importance of hair in Indian culture. Research While the composition of hair is identical for all hair throughout the world; scientists at the L'Oréal hair laboratories have noted that hair's physical and physiological properties vary according to its ethnic origins. Indians have thick hair with high density, of the order of 202 hairs per cm². Their diameter is on average 78 microns, half-way between the thickest and finest hair in the world. As in other Asian countries, Indian hair grows relatively quickly, about 1.23 cm / month. So typically, the long, thick shiny hair of Indians is the stuff of dreams…more or less, a gift from nature, often maintained using beauty tips handed down over generations. The main concern today being dandruff, hair loss and grey hair. Supporting this fact, both in town and country, the hair care routine begins with the application of an oil, usually followed by a scalp massage, a shampoo and for the up-market, a conditioning rinse. And though the women folk indulge more in hair care; men too have become equally conscious of their crowning glory. Overall, statistics reveal that 68% of Indian women have long hair, usually worn tied back or plaited. However, half of them complain of the fragility of their hair - too brittle (47%) or split (49%). Therefore, in India; one in two people declare that their hair is too soft and believe their hair is too dry (45%). For this reason, a large majority of the population (57%), both men and women, use coconut or sweet almond oil as a nourishing hair care product. In short, there is no secret: beautiful hair requires meticulous care. Strategy: Having done a detailed study on Indian Diaspora; a proactive and creative approach was planned which would evolve continuously with new ideas and suggestions portraying L’Oréal as a brand dedicated to consumer needs. Therefore, L'Oréal brought the science exhibition with a view to showcase its expertise in the area of science and reinforce their leadership position as the global cosmetics brand that lays great emphasis on research and science (and also in educating its consumers about hair) as well as the fact that though it’s an international brand yet it completely understands the needs of the Indian consumers with the entire exhibition having local relevance (text in Hindi and Marathi), thus establishing that L'Oréal is deeply connected to the roots of the consumer. Furthermore, to sustain the enthusiasm generated; a digital PR campaign using Social Networking (Orkut/Facebook) was launched which would help disseminate information as quickly as possible. Target Audience and Program Insights It is rightly said ‘catch them young’. And with nearly 75% of India’s population below 25 years; hair care is a prime concern for everyone. From schools and colleges, right up to the corporate sector; everyone’s keeping an appointment with their stylist. No wonder we see hundreds of beauty parlours and saloons doing brisk business anytime of the year. And though your local stylist might help you in getting close to your favourite actors’ hairdo; nothing beats the professionalism that is associated with a global brand. The NSC is a landmark in Mumbai city and the prime choice for hosting science and technology exhibitions as it has the best infrastructure, and on an average, visited by lakhs of students every year. Objectives are listed on next page
  3. 3. <ul><li>For any kind of work, planning is necessary and with everything in perspective; it is the execution – the final onslaught that matters. And for a brand such as L’Oréal, it was imperative to match the level of enthusiasm associated with it. Because, the world over ‘Decoding the Hair’ has met with enormous success and the same was to be replicated in India. The best possible approach suggested was to have weekly workshops and seminars to educate the masses about hair industry and its business perspective in India. In order to get these things rolling – we had banner ads at strategic locations across the city; got prime coverage in leading media; managed celebrity profiles who would be gracing the event – all in all, it was thrill-a-minute in managing the day-to-day operations for L’Oréal. </li></ul>Program and Execution Objectives and Results Objective: Create awareness about the exhibition (‘Decoding the Hair’) and its various features and also position L’Oréal India as the true experts of hair care with its focus on R&D. Result: The ongoing hair exhibition saw an average of more than 2000 visitors coming per day to Nehru Science Centre . The right marketing and PR activities has helped built a positive image about L'Oréal India – now it is very much recognized as a brand that has customised itself according to the needs of Indian people. Objective: To highlight the various interesting aspects of the exhibition related to R&D including hair of the world, the metamorphosis salon, the science of the product. Result: This would be the first of its kind exhibition and therefore would set a precedent for cosmetic companies wanting to showcase their expertise in R&D. The unique touch and feel theme of the exhibition drew enormous crowds through word of mouth publicity, and overall it also enriched the visitors’ science quotient. Objective: Digital PR - Create L’Oréal communities on Social Networking sites like Orkut/Facebook for regular updates, beauty tips, ultimately leveraging the groups for additional communications. Result: After 45 days the community has grown to more than 500, several leaving comments and discussing the exhibit – a very strong start. Objective: Secure positive media coverage in influential beauty and lifestyle media. Result: Print Media – prominent English dailies, focusing on the lifestyle segment such as Elle, HAIR, Verve, Cosmopolitan, and mainline dailies. Online portals –,,, etc.TV coverage – Zoom, ZeeBusinees, STAR and other leading channels. <ul><li>Program execution part </li></ul><ul><li>The Nehru Science Centre in Mumbai is a well known exhibition point which houses some of the best infrastructure in the country catering to science and technology. With models of space travel, human anatomy, real aircraft on display; and other equally state-of-the-art exhibits, it was the defacto choice for staging the three month long exhibition. To enhance the overall experience a proper stage was set with installations, multimedia kiosks, objects, models, salon chair – the works. </li></ul><ul><li>The exhibition primarily looked into four sections and guided the visitors through the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Of life and matter – Back to the science class. Here, the visitors get to know about hair - its structure and properties using a model of hair root. </li></ul><ul><li>The science behind the products – With emphasis on research in the industry related to hair care-shampoos, hair care products, hair colors... from the research stage through to product manufacture. </li></ul><ul><li>The metamorphosis room – This is where the real fun starts. The transformation zone is an area where visitors can try over 40 different hairstyles in a multimedia simulation game and get several creative ideas for a new look by changing their hairstyle. </li></ul><ul><li>Hair of the world – Folklore. This section enables visitors to explore different cultures of the world in the context of hair, hair paintings, popular idioms related to hair, songs from all over the world having hair as the main theme. </li></ul><ul><li>Walking around the exhibition was a treat in itself. The theme of the exhibition was to encourage the audience to touch and feel the hair models on display, and see and judge for oneself the scientific basis on what constitutes hair. This unique experience enthralled the visitors thereby invoking their curiosity and overall science quotient. Besides, what really set apart the exhibition being the ‘differently-abled’ people namely students who enjoyed themselves as they could relate to the subject matter. And it would be pretty modest to say in L'Oréal’s context that 'Decoding the Hair' is a real scientific, aesthetic, historical, geographical and social voyage of discovery! All things said and done, Hanmer MS&L has lived up to its reputation of portraying L'Oréal in a unique Indian flavor and we look forward to de-code another hair-raising experience. </li></ul>