YouTube’s Beauty Try-On campaign allows consumers to participate in—and stop ignoring—advertisements, but will it be more than a gimmick?

Why it matters

  • As a home to major beauty bloggers, YouTube’s decision to debut the AR tool in partnership with MAC Cosmetics makes sense.
  • Customers can virtually test lipstick shades while an influencer speaks to them about the product, essentially creating a shoppable vlog. AR is tempting to many consumer brands, from Sephora’s Virtual Artist App to Target Beauty Studios, both of which are powered by ModiFace, a virtual tech company acquired by L’Oréal in March 2018.
  • In contrast, Google, YouTube’s parent company, owns Beauty Try-On, which is just one of a developing suite of services for advertisers seeking interactive solutions.
  • YouTube has 2 billion active monthly users. But that doesn’t necessarily mean AR ads will catch on in a meaningful way.