MTA Pilots Virtual Retail in Subway

The MTA is welcoming a new type of “virtual retail” into the New York City Subway to evaluate whether it can be replicated and scaled up as a new form of commerce that could enliven subway stations and generate rental revenue to help support mass transit. In a pilot program being managed by the MTA’s advertising contractor CBS Outdoor, L’Oréal Paris is launching an Intelligent Color Experience in the 5 Av-Bryant Park subway station on November 4, 2013.

The interactive kiosk works as a three-step process. It first detects the colors in a woman’s outfit and picks out the most prominent and related color palettes, then recommends L’Oréal Paris products to match and lastly allows women to quickly and easily purchase those products on the spot.

“The MTA is very pleased to see a brand like L’Oréal Paris out in front of the emerging virtual shopping trends that promises to blur the lines between traditional outdoor advertising, traditional bricks and mortar retail and etailing,” said Jeffrey Rosen, MTA Director of Real Estate. “The MTA and our advertising contractor, CBS Outdoor, will be watching this program closely to see if it can be replicated and scaled up within the MTA network. As the advertising industry continues to test and demonstrate new ways to reach consumers in high traffic environments, we’re happy to facilitate such experimentation within our system.”

Marc Speichert, Chief Marketing Officer of L’Oréal USA, said: “We are proud to continue L’Oréal Paris’ digital leadership by being the first brand to bring women a highly customized and convenient way to shop beauty in a place they would least expect it – the New York City subway. It marks the latest ‘stop’ in our unparalleled quest to combine the latest in technology with the highest in quality to help every woman embrace her unique beauty.”

From Stepping Up to Standing Out: How it Works

When a woman approaches the L’Oréal Paris Intelligent Color Experience, she sees her reflection in a full-length, well-lit mirror. She is then immersed in a world of color. Digital animations that represent her silhouette and the colors she is wearing appear alongside her reflection and suggest expertly-coordinated eye, lip and nail shade recommendations that “Match” or “Clash” her outfit. Women can experiment with a variety of personalized looks from L’Oréal Paris’ best-selling Colour Riche franchise, beloved for its luxurious formulas and rich shades. From the time the mirror scans a woman’s look to when the products are in her purse, the entire experience takes less than two minutes.

The kiosk was developed by digital agency R/GA. “R/GA's deep understanding of customer behavior, technology and innovation uniquely enabled us to design the right experience for L’Oréal Paris in the Bryant Park Station,” says Erin Lynch, R/GA Group Executive Creative Director. “It’s an unexpectedly immersive, playful experience designed to make her day more beautiful. “

To help officially unveil the machine, model and New York City “it girl” Coco Rocha joined L’Oréal Paris for a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony. Known for her bold, trend-setting beauty looks, she is encouraging women to stop by the machine and experiment with color for themselves – whether looking for a quick touch-up on the way to work or a wanting a whole new look before a night out.