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Facebook’s head of luxury on interactivity, AR and VR

September 11, 2018

Morin Oluwole is global head of luxury at Facebook and its Instagram unit Morin Oluwole is global head of luxury at Facebook and its Instagram unit


By Morin Oluwole

It is an undeniable fact that Internet users nowadays consume and share content primarily via mobile and video.

According to eMarketer’s forecasts for 2018, United States consumers will interchange between mobile (83 percent) and desktop (84 percent) to go online this year – with an increasing number being mobile-only consumers (16 percent) – and 82 percent of them will watch videos online regularly.

The transformation on the horizon today is immersion.

Brands that can innovate to bring consumers into their world by offering added value are the ones that will win their hearts, especially in the luxury sector.

Three trends support this major shift: interactivity, augmented reality and virtual reality.

Interactivity to reinforce customer relationships and reflect user behavior

Interactive experiences based on consumer knowledge and behavior on the platform can generate significant rewards.

For example, Dutch luxury lifestyle brand BALR launched an advertising campaign using Instagram Stories on Black Friday last year, featuring an eye-catching cinemagraph accompanied by prominent copy highlighting its Black Friday promotion and encouraging people to swipe up to discover more.

This interactive campaign led to a 12.6x return on ad spend, reaching more than 1.5 million people across 70 markets.

Augmented reality to bridge the gap between the retail experience and mobile use

Although 38 percent of luxury consumers buy online, bricks-and-mortar stores remain the main retail channel and deliver a unique tactile feel. Yet, this status quo is shifting, as millennials become higher earners.

Thanks to augmented reality, brands can now offer experiential services to their customers and prospects on their mobile phones. This is what L’Oréal did recently by launching an experience with its NYX brand that enable consumers to try on cosmetics thanks to augmented reality integrations on Instagram and Facebook.

Virtual reality, a still-futuristic technology for total immersion

Even if it still is an emerging technology, virtual reality has enormous potential for connecting people and offering new forms of entertainment.

For example, we are convinced that Facebook Spaces, our VR social network launched in April 2017, will soon provide brands with opportunities yet to be explored.

As far as immersive experiences are concerned, Dior has been investing in this technology.

The fashion brand developed content and interactive experiences to be offered in boutiques, creating added value to the physical location and giving access to exclusive branded experiences to consumers.

MANY SIGNS POINT to the fact that brands will need to develop immersive storytelling to continue attracting customers.

However, the most effective formats and tools will be determined by behavior and usage patterns of consumers themselves.

The key is in luxury brands’ DNA: harnessing brand heritage and creativity to develop new relationships and create added value for consumers.

Morin Oluwole is Paris-based global head of luxury at Facebook and Instagram.