Behind the influencer strategies of two luxe brands

How recent campaigns for L'Oreal's Cacharel and Biotherm helped drive greater engagement with young audiences.

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A slew of Canadian influencers were at the heart of recent campaigns for two L’Oreal luxe brands, helping them drive engagement among younger demographics.

The initiatives, led by Montreal influencer and digital marketing agency Image Motion, supported the launch of perfume brand Cacharel’s Yes I Am fragrance, as well as new and rebranded products under skin care brand Biotherm’s Life Plankton and Aquasource labels.

Each campaign featured 100 Canadian influencers posting on Instagram, with the chosen partners selected based on the brands’ respective goals.

Cacharel is a French brand that is less well known in Canada than it is in Europe, especially among younger shoppers, says Jennifer Garcia, PR lead on the brand. Launched in May, the Yes I Am fragrance was designed with younger consumers in mind.

The campaign, which began in June and ran for more than a month, featured a mix of influencers from across the spectrum (top-tier, mid-level and micro influencers) who worked to showcase the brand and fragrance, with particular attention to the design of its bottle, according to Garcia.

Garcia says the cosmetics industry is facing the challenge of a “grey area,” with so many people calling themselves influencers. For L’Oreal, that has posed the challenge of deciding which ones to work with from a ROI perspective.

Working with three types of influencers presented different opportunities for the brand: more expensive, top-tier influencers gave the campaign scale and visibility; mid-level influencers offered slightly higher levels of engagement; and micro-influencers drove the highest levels of engagement, trust and authenticity, according to Garcia.

That strategy also helped Cacharel gauge the difference between a paid and non-paid influencer campaign. The goal was to compare the results of this year’s paid campaign with one ran by Biotherm in 2017 that was unpaid – and the results, Garcia says, have proven that paid efforts are worth their investment.

In particular, a paid effort that involved having influencers post on Instagram Stories (with links to the brand’s page on Shoppers Drug Mart) allowed it to gain insight into a channel for which it generally does not have direct access, making ROI decisions more difficult, says Garcia.

Whereas Cacharel went with a mix of influencers, a pair of Image Motion-led campaigns for L’Oreal’s Biotherm brand focused exclusively on “rising influencers,” according to Tanya Alain, integrated communications lead for the brand.

The efforts supported the recent rebrand of core Aquasource products, including Aquasource Gel, and the launch of new products under the Life Plankton line, including a new sheet mask.

Whereas top-tier influencers could have helped Biotherm reach a larger audience, Alain says the goal was to work with influencers who are closer to their followers and who therefore see higher levels of engagement and trust.

The brand looked to maximize reach elsewhere, namely through organic social posts, an ecommerce strategy and sampling, as well as traditional print and online ads, as part of  a larger campaign managed internally by L’Oreal.

Alain says the brand plans to use the content generated by the 100 influencers in future executions.

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