NEW YORK CITY -- L'Oréal is bringing the beauty counter to straphangers by way of an interactive makeup vending machine located at the 42nd Street-Bryant Park station in New York City.
The Intelligent Color Experience vending machine, housed in a vacant newsstand at the subway station, stands 7 ft. tall and 14 ft. wide. It is merchandised with two dozen varieties of L'Oréal Paris mascara, eye shadow, lipstick and nailpolish. Prices will range from $5.99 to $9.99, and purchases will be made with credit cards.
The cosmetics vender, which reportedly uses the VE Connect door made by Vendors Exchange International, features a full-length mirror in conjunction with cameras and color-recognition technology to recommend L'Oreal products to passersby. A digital animation of the patron's silhouette appears on one screen, while a second screen allows her to choose one of the colors she's wearing and "Match It" or "Clash It" with various L'Oreal products.
Customers can then purchase the recommended products with a tap on the touchscreen display and a swipe of their cards. Or they can opt out of buying anything and choose to email the recommended looks to themselves.
The beauty giant partnered with digital agency R/GA to develop the interactive cosmetic vender. Also involved in the project are CBS Outdoor, which sells advertising space in the subway system, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The Intelligent Color Experience machine will make its official debut on Nov. 4 and will remain in the subway station until Dec. 30. L'Oreal brand ambassadors will be on hand for the first two weeks to help customers use the kiosks, according L'Oreal spokeswoman Lisa Capparelli.
Paul Fleuranges, senior director for corporate and internal communications at the MTA, said the city's subway system has retail space that is not currently under lease and vending machines like the L'Oreal pilot present promising possibilities to generate revenue from those assets.
VE Connect, which supports 46" and 55" touchscreen sizes (1080p), transforms a vending machine into a fully interactive platform capable of displaying targeted advertising, promotional videos, detailed product images and nutritional information, among other content. It was the centerpiece at the Maybelline exhibit during last year's New York City Fashion Week. | SEE STORY