Garnier tweaks social strategy to guide at-home hair colorists during pandemic

Dive Brief:

  • L’Oréal’s Garnier brand, which markets hair color lines Nutrisse and Olia, shifted its social strategy to meet increased demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to details emailed to Marketing Dive. During quarantine, one in three women dyed their hair at home for the first time and 30% used social media for help, per a survey commissioned by Garnier.
  • Garnier tapped influencers, brand experts and executives to create how-tos, live Q&A sessions and other social content to guide women dying their hair at home. The brand launched a livestream series, Hair Color Hotline, and the Consult with a Garnier Color Pro program on Instagram and YouTube to connect consumers with Garnier’s celebrity colorists.
  • The brand also ramped up its focus on online color tools such as the AI-powered Virtual Shade Selector. As a result of the heightened demand for at-home coloring and its social initiatives, Garnier saw a 9.4% lift in hair color sales in 2020 compared to 2019.

Dive Insight:

Garnier’s shift in social strategy reflects how some brands looked to meet consumers where they were as the pandemic altered and accelerated behaviors, with marketing embracing tactics that are likely to continue to be useful as the pandemic persists and people remain at home. Addressing changing consumer needs was especially important for the L’Oréal brand, which quickly realized it needed a way to tap into higher use of at-home hair color products as some consumers avoided salons due to COVID-19 concerns.

“With so many people turning to at-home hair color during the shutdown, we wanted to ensure they had somewhere to turn for help,” said Greg Hui, senior vice president of marketing for Garnier USA. “We want to continue to be a resource and provide info wherever someone may be searching for it.”

Garnier’s new social content and influencer partnerships correspond with homebound consumers’ increase in time spent on mobile. Similarly, the launch of a livestream series on Instagram and YouTube aligns with the countless initiatives by brands across categories to create entertaining and educational content as the pandemic curtailed in-person activities.

The shift in Garnier’s social strategy in response to pandemic-spurred behaviors follows other moves by parent company L’Oréal to reach people over digital channels during the pandemic. L’Oréal Paris in November introduced its first line of virtual makeup for social media in the form of augmented reality (AR) filters available on Instagram, Snapchat, Snap Camera and Google Duo. Previously, Garnier in 2019 rolled out virtual try-ons of hair coloring that used AR and AI.

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