#MarketingEventsAwards 2021 highlight: Guerlain uses AR bee to create buzz around brand offerings

#MarketingEventsAwards 2021 highlight: Guerlain uses AR bee to create buzz around brand offerings

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Guerlain Paris is an established French perfume, cosmetics and skincare house in the beauty industry. Given the rise of the experience economy, and the growing importance of “retailtainment”, Guerlain wanted to create a game that would excite customers in a way like never before by using WebAR technology and gamification. 

By combining retail and entertainment, Guerlain wanted to put the active user engagement at the centre of its brand experience. 

The primary objective of this experience was to educate Guerlain’s customers on the benefits of its Abeille Royale products by going through a series of interactive experiences guided by an AR bee. This project was done in collaboration with Trinax, and secured the team a silver award for Best Retail/Shopper Marketing at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s Marketing Events Awards 2021. 


Guerlain’s target audience was customers and visitors to its pop-up store. One of the key challenges it faced was to educate customers about its products in an engaging and entertaining way. To do so, the luxury beauty brand needed to think of innovative ways to present product information in a concise and interesting manner. 

Another significant challenge was the creation of a seamless user journey for its customers. To create a smooth pathway for them, it needed to find a way to integrate and connect the multiple touch-points to each other in the pop-up store. 


To overcome these potential challenges, the brand decided to use a retailtainment concept that contained a series of interactive games to offer customers a refreshing brand experience that prioritised user engagement. 

Guerlain then approached Trinax to develop “Follow the Black Bee”, a retailtainment experience to be featured at its pop-up store. By using a 3E customer-centric framework, Trinax’s concept revolved around enhancement, empathy and expansion for the brand. 

During the planning process, many key concepts that had to be incorporated in this retail experience were highlighted. With an emphasis on building a user-friendly experience, the multiple touch-points had to be seamlessly incorporated. To do so, the idea of using an AR bee was suggested to develop a smooth customer journey. 

With the aim of creating an engaging game that encouraged active participation among customers, both parties knew the importance of developing interactive activities at each touch-point. This gave rise to a wide range of activities such as a memory game and gauge-filling activity. By blending educational content with fun activities, this retailtainment game was on its way to engage Guerlain customers like never before. 

Furthermore, a great amount of attention was paid to the visual design of this retailtainment experience. Understanding the significance of attractive visuals, Trinax worked to develop a game that would be visually appealing to players. For example, unique visuals such as bee signs would help facilitate the AR functions. Additionally, these visuals had to be useful in reinforcing Guerlain’s brand commitment. 

For instance, the purposeful use of an AR bee aimed to reinforce Guerlain’s commitment to bees. Combining both functionality and attractiveness were key aspects in creating appealing visuals for the game. 

Not forgetting the important role of instant gratification, incentives to win rewards upon completion of the game were also incorporated into this experience. This would play a key role in motivating customers to complete the retailtainment experience. Once these key principles were identified, the Trinax team worked to develop a novel retailtainment game for Guerlain’s pop-up store. 


Customers were able to access the retailtainment game upon scanning the QR code located in the story. To start the game, customers had to find the Black Bee using their devices. Upon spotting the Black Bee, they then had to tap on their screens to catch it. 

To travel through the various touch-points in the pop-up store, customers had to scan a uniquely designed bee sign in 3D to access zone-specific content. In each zone, customers were tasked to complete certain challenges to earn their golden bee. 

After earning all the golden bees from the various zones, customers were then able to redeem attractive prizes. 

Customers were thoroughly engaged with a wide variety of activities across the multiple touch-points. Upon entering the first zone of the pop-up store, customers were first introduced to the natural identity of Abeille Royale by answering some multiple choice questions. 

In the next zone, customers were able to participate in a texture visual choice activity to learn about the iconic texture of Guerlain’s Advanced Youth Watery Oil. Following that, customers could put their knowledge of the benefits of the Abeille Royale products to the test with a memory game. 

Additionally, customers could also unleash their competitive spirit with the “flying bee” game where they were tasked to catch certain items while avoiding obstacles. To learn wellness tips, customers participated in a gesture images order activity by rearranging the images in an accurate order. 

The final zone saw customers participate in a gauge-filling activity to find out more about Guerlain’s dynamic Black Bee repair technology. By inviting customers to participate in a series of fun and interactive games, Guerlain said visitors got to learn more about the brand’s history and the making of its products. 

With the use of AR, the game allowed customers to experience the seamless integration between physical and online channels. The use of an omni-channel framework also played an important role in enhancing the user experience.

By getting customers to scan the gold stickers and catch the AR bee on their devices, customers also experienced a novel way of interacting with their physical environment. 


Within seven days of the launch, Guerlain said its campaign registered more than 450 new sign-ups. The back end system also tracked an average of 15 pages per session, with session durations averaging two minutes and 40 seconds. The use of the AR bee helped bridge the gap between physical and online channels.

More importantly, this retailtainment experience also met the marketing objectives set out by Guerlain as it delivered educational content in an engaging and interactive manner. Using interactive games located in each zone, customers could learn about various aspects of its Abeille Royale products in an engaging manner.


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