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Monday 21 March 2016

Big Picture Videos - A Disruptive Vision of Beauty and Cosmetics for the 21st Century

As Founding Member of the Creativity Marketing Centre, L'Oréal offers our students unique opportunities to apply their creative skills to some of their strategic and business challenges.

A recent example is the Big Picture project, where 25 of our MSc in Marketing and Creativity students travelled to Paris to work alongside colleagues from Institut Français de la Mode in February.  

Students were divided into nine teams. Each team was asked to define the meaning of beauty in 2025 and express it through a series of Instagram-format, 15-second videos.

For the first couple of days, student teams worked hard on imagining how beauty would be redefined in a context of increased digitalisation, globalisation, mobility, lack of natural resources, overcrowding and climate change. Many groups observed that beauty was effectively evolving into two separate manifestations: a public beauty designed to appeal to one's "audience" which could be quickly adapted to contexts and moods; and a private, personal beauty that is more subdued and authentic. This reflects our growing awareness of the need to manage both our private lives and our digital identities.

Whether the dichotomy explored by our student teams will in fact develop remains to be seen, of course. While we clearly have the tools at our disposal to manipulate our digital identities, research also suggests that we're developing a growing need for transparency and authenticity.   

Other strong themes that emerged from the students' analytical work included the emergence of a generic beauty transcending gender and culture, the "right to beauty", pharma-beauty, a highly impersonal form of beauty that allows humans to compete in a world of robots, and a survivalist beauty materialising out of a world of natural and manmade disasters à la Mad Max.

The final two days were devoted to shooting and editing. All footage and sound had to be original. Casting calls were made overnight and crews spread around Paris to film around the clock. Time and formatting constraints were rigorous – creativity was pushed to its limits.

A jury panel consisting of senior executives from L'Oréal and from the media and advertising sectors joined faculty from both schools on Friday afternoon to screen the nine entries and discuss their visions.

This project has prompted us to create our own Instagram account, @CreativityMktg, where we will be publishing the series of videos created by the nine teams over the course of nine days. We will leave it up to you to tell us who you think created the most groundbreaking vision of beauty for the year 2025. Follow us on Instagram to view the videos and to let us know what you think!

Prof. Marie Taillard
Academic Director - MSc in Marketing & Creativity
ESCP Europe Business School



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