BREAKING NEWS & VIEWS
Marie Claire and Chanel Partner on iPad Beauty App
Friday, December 16, 2011
The 99-cent app is not quite free, but the pittance you pay seems to underscore that the app is not another branded throwaway. The editorially-directed content highlights four beauty trends that the reader can explore and test on a virtual model. The app is an ongoing editorial project, as there is space on the home page for updates of new trends that the publishers promise are coming soon. Reuse is important to an app like this so it is effective when the makers communicate to the reader that the project is dynamic and ongoing.
The app is much like advertorial in that it tutors the user in each of the major trends with pages of illustration and instructions, highlighting the Chanel line. But the iPad technology is leveraged to make the testing process interactive. The reader can apply make-up virtually by tapping an eyeliner or blush, lipstick or skin treatment and apply it to relevant areas of the model. The looks can be saved to one’s own book. The functions are executed smoothly, and the testing feature virtualizes a dress-up ritual and make-up testing use case that makes sense within the app. The interactivity is not gratuitous but functional here. The design keeps you tapping without wearing out the effect’s welcome.
In an app like this there is always room for more content. It all feels a little slight for a 99-cent app. It has the price and brevity of an impulse buy at the check-out counter, and we get that the app is aiming at a breezy and casual mood. Still, it doesn’t take much in a world of endless digitized content to add some heft with a video here and there or some galleries. Curiously, there are no sharing tools included. Don’t most make-up testers like bringing a friend for a second opinion? Still, the Chanel sponsorship is blessedly light-handed. The products of course are from the sponsor but the content generally is pitch-free. This is a generally fun if understated brand partnership.
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