Brands may be unable to host IRL events these days, but Bareminerals is still inviting its followers to a seaside villa with Hailey Bieber.

As beauty labels continue to search for alternatives to the physical promotions of pre-pandemic days, Bareminerals will host a shoppable “Virtual Villa” on a standalone site on March 2. With a video game-like format allowing users to click through the space, the experience is guided by videos of Bieber, who serves as the Bareminerals clean beauty ambassador. Users can enter rooms to watch video content from a range of other experts, participate in interactive activities and shop in the virtual online store that links to purchase on the brand’s DTC site. 

 

The villa campaign marks the first virtual event in this format for the brand. It has also hosted video-based virtual events with influencers and experimented with shoppable livestreaming during the pandemic. 

“We had talked about it, but it was never top of mind” to host a virtual event prior to the pandemic, said Jill Scalamandre, Bareminerals global brand president. “Covid forced us all to accelerate our digital and virtual thinking.”

Pre-pandemic, Bareminerals had “done a myriad of different types of events” in person, such as pop-ups and one-on-one appointments in-store, said Scalamandre. “Where this one differs is the ability for us to get reach.” The event is being promoted by Bieber and a network of influencers on social media, who participated in a February 23 preview that granted access to 800 participants. 

Celebrating the launch of the brand’s liquid mineral foundation and concealer, the various “rooms” of the villa feature videos of Bieber with the brand’s makeup and dermatology ambassadors discussing products. Other rooms showcase Scalamandre speaking about sustainability and a partner video with Levi’s offering a DIY tutorial.

Participants have the opportunity to create user-generated content during the campaign — QR codes located throughout the experience can be scanned to record videos or participate in a photo booth on a mobile device. In addition, the brand’s virtual “storefront” allows consumers to click items on shelves to learn more and proceed to checkout.

Brands have increasingly been experimenting with VR formats during the pandemic. Fenty Skin has also hosted a virtual launch party, while brands including Charlotte Tilbury and Maison Christian Dior have created virtual stores. In addition to brand sites, some brands are turning to social platforms: NYX has launched a shoppable experience on Snapchat.

According to Scalamandre, the pandemic has permanently shifted the brand’s strategies with events going forward. Looking ahead to pandemic recovery, she said, “I don’t see us necessarily going 100% back to live events. There’s going to be a new hybrid of things that we’ve learned during the pandemic and things that we used to do; there’s going to be a place for all of it.”