Unboxing Clinique’s Metaverse campaign, how Beauty for Web 3’s approach is more than skin deep
For its latest campaign, ‘Metaverse Like Us’, beauty brand Clinique, part of the Estée Lauder Group, has tapped three artists – Tess Daly, Sheika Daley and Emira D’Spain – to create NFT makeup looks, which the owners of PFPs are gifted by the Avatar community Non Fungible People.
Non Fungible People is a collection of 8888 hyper-realistic PFP-NFTs depicting women and non-binary people. 60% represent people of color and 20% depict people facing challenges such as mobility issues, hearing loss, Down Syndrome and the skin condition Vitiligo.
What exactly is an NFT makeup look?
It is an additional digital layer that is “burned” – colloquially superimposed – onto an existing NFT, giving it an additional property that becomes part of its official digital identity.
PFP dressing is already a trend, with fashion brands like Gucci collaborating with the Bored Ape Yacht Club franchise. But while Non Fungible People has previously collaborated with Champion Sportswear and Louis Moinet watches – the latter via a competition developed by luxury fashion platform Exclusible – this is a first for makeup.
“We wanted to do something that nobody had done before,” enthuses Jessica Rizzuto, SVP E-Commerce at Daz 3D, Non Fungible People’s parent company.
This week, 5,904 NFT makeup looks will be airdropped as blind tokens to a random selection of unrepresentable holders. Then, in July, August and September, the 1,968 created by each individual artist will be unveiled each month. Each artist created two looks – an everyday version and a more fantastical version, the latter being rarer. The number 1968 is a nod to the year Clinique was founded.
Recipients have the option to sell their looks on the secondary market, keep them, or burn them onto their own PFP.
To the brand in the metaverse
“We’re a brand with a constant focus on problem-solving,” said Carolyn Dawkins, Clinique’s SVP Global Marketing, Online and Analytics. “Clinique was designed to appeal to all skin types, so this idea of inclusivity and diversity is inherent in the way we create our products.” It was this mindset that Clinique translated into the Metaverse space.
According to a study conducted by Clinique, referencing a 2021 report by ArtTactic, only 20% of Metaverse users and creators are women, and NFTs depicting avatars of color and disabilities fall significantly below those of whites avatars rated.
The celebratory Metaverse Like Us campaign not only draws attention to this lack of diversity in the Web 3.0 space, but seeks to restore the balance in a tangible way — by highlighting the rarity and desirability of the non-fungible people franchise additional features with the increased intent to increase its monetary value as well.
When it comes to the metaverse, beauty doesn’t automatically lend itself to Web 3.0. It needs to work harder and think outside the box, but Clinique got it right with a project that’s truly innovative and true to the brand identity.
The Estée Lauder Group has form when it comes to the Metaverse. Estée Lauder itself was the only beauty brand to be featured at Metaverse Fashion Week in Decentraland
Moving within the metaverse
It’s not just the ethos behind Non Fungible People that makes the project interesting. Because the NFTs are 3D files, they have a utility beyond that of a simple profile picture (PFP): cross-metaverse portability for one.
“Unlike other NFTs, which are just an image, Non Fungible People NFTs can also be used as avatars that can travel with you to different Metaverse rooms or games powered by Unity or Unreal Engine,” says Rizzuto.
Talking about Google
Back to reality
Back in the real world, customers can purchase the products that inspired the digitally applied NFT looks, and starting in July, Clinique will be hosting additional social activities each month tied to each artist. First up is Tess Daly, who has a prosthetic arm, so the relevant campaign focuses on physical disabilities.
Metaverse Like Us is Clinique’s second NFT project. The first, in October 2021, rewarded customer loyalty and encouraged engagement. It gave its Smart Rewards program members the opportunity to enter a short story contest. The three winners received an NFT artwork and a selection of Clinique products each year for the next decade.
For both projects, Clinique worked with Web 3.0 strategist Cathy Hackl, herself a woman of color who is also a champion of women in the tech universe.