November 14, 2013
Beauty marketer Estée Lauder is relying on both audio and visual touch points to promote its latest women’s fragrance Modern Muse on Pandora’s mobile application.
The layered effort uses an abbreviated version of Estée Lauder’s video campaign for Modern Muse as well as a pop-up mobile ad that appears over the featured artist’s artwork. By using a dual approach Estée Lauder is more likely to catch the listener’s attention, which is likely not concentrated on the screen.
"With mobile consumers in mind, short-form video creates an all around better viewing experience and allows users to absorb the content on a smaller screen," said Gustavo Andriani, vice president of North America marketing at Estée Lauder, New York. "Given the current success of Estée lauder Modern Muse, this strategy has already proven to be a win within this type of advertising environment.
"Pandora allows the Estée Lauder brand to have a personal connection during key listening moments throughout a consumer's day," he said.
"Music and fragrance is a form of expression for many women, which is why we banded together as partners."
In between tracks on Pandora’s mobile app Estée Lauder’s Modern Muse video campaign begins to play automatically.
The video shows model Arizona Muse walking down a sunlit street in a navy blue dress. Although the full version of the video is 31 seconds, the clip on Pandora is shortened to about 15 seconds to fit the platform's format.
Estée Lauder’s full video shows Ms. Muse’s face in a translucent bottle of Modern Muse as she continues her walk. She looks up at the sky continually until the viewer sees that she has entered a spiral atrium lined with onlookers gazing down at her.
The people surrounding her seem involved in conversation but take notice of Ms. Muse as she begins to spin around slowly. Fittingly, musician Bruno Mars’ “Amazing” plays throughout the short scene.
Estée Lauder Modern Muse
Pandora’s version ends on the same note as the extended video with Ms. Muse holding up a bottle of Modern Muse.
Once the video ends, the music channel commences. However, a pop-up mobile ad rises from the bottom of the listener's screen to accompany the new song.
Mobile pop-up ad
The mobile ad mimics the closing scene of the video but shows a sketched version of the bottle with the prompt to “discover it now.” The ad also includes the hashtag #ModernMuse to generate additional conversation about the fragrance.
A click-through lands on the Modern Muse product page but does not leave the Pandora app. This allows consumers to quickly investigate the price points without being entirely disrupted.
The product page features Estée Lauder’s limited edition Modern Muse gift set, fragrance and body lotion. The fragrance, set in the middle of the product page, shows the number of reviews and a rating of stars.
Modern Muse product range
From here, the consumer can select a product from the Modern Muse collection and be redirected to Estée Lauder’s mobile site to make a purchase. Modern Muse products range in price from $42 to $98.
Sounds of simplicity
Pandora can be used by brands looking to give a straightforward message to consumers that does not contain the extra layers of other mobile ads.
For example, U.S. label Michael Kors illuminated store locations with a banner advertisement on Pandora’s mobile Web site to push in-store traffic rather than mobile commerce.
The ad features a blunt call to action that limits the landing page to a store-locator function. By skipping the standard fare of bare-bones mobile commerce, the brand may appeal to Pandora’s users who are listening to music rather than reading content (see story).
On a larger scale, audio can communicate a branded style to consumers while in-store or online.
For instance, luxury brands that create playlists and maintain a profile on Internet music provider Spotify can show off their identities and further engage with consumers through shared music interests.
Brands including Bergdorf Goodman, Pierre Balmain, Hugo Boss and Rebecca Minkoff have used Spotify to create and share playlists that embody the brand’s character. Through a program like Spotify, brands are able to connect with consumers through a more emotional form such as music (see story).
Although audio ads can be an annoyance, if the effort is embedded into a parallel activity it may be lucrative.
"Audio-enabled ads, including videos, are best served through an app or mobile site that audibly engages the end user," said Shuli Lowy, marketing director of Ping Mobile, Beverly Hills, CA. "If a user is interacting with an app or mobile site that doesn’t have an audio experience, he or she may be listening to music in the background on some other device or application.
"When the ad comes on, a volume battle will ensue between the two, which lends to an unpleasant ad experience," she said. "But when audio-enabled ads are served on audio-based apps and mobile sites such as Pandora, we know that the user is listening to music but that the music is temporarily stopped so that he or she can listen to the ad without any background music.
"Estée Lauder’s strategic choices to serve video ads on Pandora will certainly increase awareness for the Modern Muse fragrance."
Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York