Suppliers discover beauty of interactive advertising

The barriers between traditional and interactive marketing are dissolving, and interactive marketing spending in the United States is projected to hit $61 million by 2012, according to recent research. Evidence of such growth is increasingly infiltrating the beauty market, as beauty brands aim to drive shoppers to brick-and-mortar mass-market doors and bolster brand awareness.

According to a recent study by Forrester Research, a technology and market research company, interactive marketing spending in the United States will more than triple over the next five years.

The forecast is based in part on a survey of 344 interactive marketing professionals and their budget decisions affecting display ads, search, email marketing, online video and emerging media (social, mobile and adver-gaming).

More specifically, the study found that mainstream marketers are turning to search marketing, which is expected to grow the category at a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent to $25 billion by 2012.

Online video will experience a 72 percent increase in ad spending to $7.1 billion by 2012, as more consumers adopt online video.

Meanwhile, mainstream adoption will boost spending in such emerging channels as social media, mobile, game marketing, widgets, podcasts and RSS, according to Forrester. Spending on social media alone will grow to $6.9 billion, as marketers understand how to use and measure this channel.

Such trends already are evident in the mass-market beauty industry as, in April alone, several brands launched new online campaigns and revamped sites to make them more interactive.

One such example is L’Oréal USA’s Softsheen-Carson ethnic hair care brand, which announced in April the redesign of its online presence at www.softsheencarson.com.

The site, according to the company, has been restaged with new technology, interactive elements, enhanced graphics and entertainment features. The site also links to the new “SSC Lounge.” Within the SSC Lounge, visitors will find, for example, a Colorscope, which is similar to a horoscope but tells visitors about themselves and their hair; a Style Transformation Station that enables visitors to upload their photo and try on a new cut, color or style; and a Rewards Store where visitors can redeem points for exclusive gifts.

Markwins North America debuted in April its new wet n wild Beauty Benefits Web site, located at www.wnwbeautybenefits.com, to promote the new line of Lotus Marine mineral makeup and brushes.

The brand developed the online community so women can learn about the products and get beauty tips, as well as receive advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle via the Lifestyle tab. There’s also a monthly contest that awards women who are doing positive things in their lives to achieve beauty both inside and out.

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Co. is promoting its Melt Away Stress line of skin care products via a new online campaign at the www.JohnsonsForYou.com/escape Web site.

Tapping Glam Media’s network of 450-plus Web publishers, Johnson’s is targeting young women to build brand awareness, stimulate interaction and build excitement for the new products beyond ad banners.

Components of the site include a user-generated content contest, Jamaica getaway sweepstakes, expert and celebrity videos, and an embeddable quiz widget. Visitors to the site will also have access to an exclusive free trial coupon.

Also in April, Unilever’s Dove brand announced the relaunch of Dove.com as the Dove Digital Channel. According to the company, the new media channel signals a new approach to Dove’s online marketing and has raised the game in the digital space by forming a marketing alliance with OgilyInteractive and Microsoft’s MSN.

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