The makeup brand NARS is getting an online makeover.
To promote the founder and creative director François Nars’s book, Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself, the brand created a microsite that is both a makeup tutorial and a Facebook contest. The prize? A backstage pass to New York Fashion Week.
The community aspect of the campaign is a perfect extension of the book, in which François Nars bucks the supermodel trend he helped create, and instead gives breathtaking beauty makeovers to real people.
The site offers visitors 12 beauty looks from the book, in addition to step-by-step instruction to do your own makeover. Once you finish crafting your newly-beautified self, you can take a photo and upload it to the site for all to see. The more users <3 your look (their emoticon, not ours), the higher the chance you could win an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City for next year’s Fashion Week. In addition, twelve runner-ups will receive an exclusive NARS gift set.
As Mashable notes, the social engagement of the campaign is very strong: you have to connect to Facebook to vote and comment on the looks, or share them on your profile. And uploading the photo automatically updates your newsfeed with “[Your name here] is a NARSissist!” (a bit questionable whether anyone would actually want to be labeled as such). But the prize gives great incentives for participation, plus one of the best ways to promote a how-to book is showing hundreds of people successfully using it.
Still, the campaign has some apparent road blocks. First, the laborious process of remaking yourself into 12 different beauty looks is not exactly something an average woman would do — in reality, the target audience is a small cohort of makeup lovers who could spend all day dabbling in cosmetics. Second, the forced Facebook connect seemed a bit intrusive: there’s no way to participate in the contest without announcing your NARSissist ambitions to everyone who reads your wall.
That said, we’re sure plenty of fashionistas have done a lot worse for insider access to the runway. Would you spend a Sunday afternoon playing with NARS makeup for a free trip to Fashion Week?