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L’Oreal talent hunts with Brandstorm contest

Recently, university students across Singapore participated in L’Oréal’s 23rd international marketing competition, Brandstorm. This year, the brand of focus was Kiehl’s, an American luxury brand. 88 teams of students competed to devise the best comprehensive multi-channel strategy to recruit and retain male customers for the brand, as well as to increase brand awareness. The champions, National University of Singapore’s “Team X,” comprised of Lee Wei Ren, a finance student and marketing students Krystal Ng and Elyena Lee, will fly to Paris, France in June to compete against other teams from some 45 countries around the world.

Chris Neo, managing director for Singapore said: “Every year, L’Oréal brings Brandstorm to our partner campuses with a new case, a new energy and a new enthusiasm. Our aim is to give students a real marketing challenge – one that covers all aspects of beauty marketing from product development, to consumer insights and integrated marketing communication; plus they live like a marketer at L’Oréal throughout the weeks of this competition.”

The students were restricted from using traditional marketing tactics as Kiehl’s does not rely on classic advertising via paid media, nor do they use paid spokespersons to promote products or the brand. The student campaigns had to be very creative as the brand’s DNA is to build awareness through word of mouth, generous product sampling, PR and digital communication. Kiehl’s is also a brand that takes corporate social responsibility very seriously. The brand supports HIV/AIDS research, Children’s Causes and the Environment.

The competition is highly regarded for its rigorous approach – one that has numerous touch points with L’Oréal’s brand managers. In addition to the €10,000 prize, finalists are often recruited into the company’s local management trainee programme. Many of these recruits have gone on to build international careers within L’Oréal.

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