Unpacking Clinique’s Metaverse Campaign, How Beauty’s Approach To Web 3 Is More Than Just Skin Deep
For its latest campaign, ‘Metaverse Like Us’, Estée Lauder Group owned beauty brand Clinique has tapped three artists — Tess Daly, Sheika Daley, and Emira D’Spain — to create NFT make up looks which will be gifted to holders of PFPs from the Non Fungible People avatar community.
Non Fungible People is a collection of 8888 hyper realistic PFP NFTs representing women and non-binary people. 60% depict people of color and 20% show those facing challenges such as mobility issues, loss of hearing, Down Syndrome and the Vitiligo skin condition.
So what exactly is an NFT makeup look?
It’s an additional digital layer ‘burned’ onto — in lay terms, superimposed over — an existing NFT, thus giving it an additional trait which becomes part of its official digital identity.
PFP dressing is already a trend which has seen fashion brands such as Gucci partnering with the Bored Ape Yacht Club franchise. But while Non Fungible People has previously collaborated with Champion sportswear and Louis Moinet watches — the latter via a competition engineered by luxury fashion platform Exclusible — this is a first for makeup.
“We wanted to do something no one had done before,” enthuses Jessica Rizzuto, SVP E-Commerce at Non Fungible People’s parent company Daz 3D.
This week 5,904 NFT makeup looks will be airdropped as blind tokens to a random selection of Non Fungible People holders. Then in July, August and September, the 1,968 created by each particular artist will be revealed every month. Each artist created two looks — an everyday and a more fantastical version, the latter being more rare. The number 1968 is a nod to the year that Clinique was founded.
Recipients will have the option to sell their looks at secondary market, keep them or burn them onto their own PFP.
On brand in the metaverse
“We are a brand constantly focused on problem solving,” says Carolyn Dawkins, SVP Global Marketing, Online and Analytics at Clinique. “Clinique has been built to tackle all skin types so this idea of inclusivity and diversity is inherent to how we create our products.”It was this mentality they Clinique translated into the metaverse space.
According to research conducted by Clinique, referencing a 2021 report by ArtTactic, only 20% of metaverse users and creators are women, and NFTs depicting avatars of color and disability are valued substantially below those of white avatars.
The celebratory ‘Metaverse Like Us’ campaign not only draws attention to this lack of diversity in the Web 3.0 space but also attempts to redress the balance in a concrete way — augmenting the rarity and desirability of the Non Fungible People franchise via additional traits with the intent of increasing its monetary value also.
When it comes to the metaverse, beauty doesn’t automatically lend itself to Web 3.0. It has to work harder and think outside the box but Clinique has got it right with a project that is genuinely innovative and true to brand identity.
The Estée Lauder Group has form when it comes to the metaverse. Estée Lauder itself was the only beauty brand represented at Metaverse Fashion Week in Decentraland and it employed some real lateral thinking to stake its claim within the space. It created sparkle filters for avatars to reference the powers of its hero Night Repair Serum to create a radiant morning after complexion.
Moving within the metaverse
It’s not just the ethos behind Non Fungible People that makes the project interesting. Because the NFTs are 3D files they have utility beyond that of a simple profile picture (PFP): cross metaverse portability for one.
“Unlike other NFTs that are just an image, Non Fungible People NFTs can also be used as avatars which can travel with you to different metaverse spaces or games powered by Unity or Unreal Engine,” says Rizzuto.
Speaking via Google
Back to reality
Back in the real world, customers can shop the products that inspired the digitally applied NFT looks and each month, starting July, Clinique will run additional social activity tied to each artist. First in line is Tess Daly who has a prosthetic arm so the corresponding campaign will have a physical disability focus.
‘Metaverse Like Us’ is Clinique’s second NFT project. The first, in October 2021, rewarded customer loyalty and promoted engagement. It gave its Smart Rewards program members the chance to enter a short story competition. The three winners received an NFT artwork plus a selection of Clinique products every year for the next decade.
For both projects Clinique worked with web 3.0 strategist Cathy Hackl, a woman of color herself who is also a champion for women in the tech universe.