August 11 2023  |  Fragrances, Cosmetics, Skincare & Haircare

Shiseido Travel Retail launches NARS #LightTheWay O2O experience in Hainan

By Hibah Noor

The NARS #LightTheWay virtual world is fronted by two metahumans, deepening the immersive brand experience and interaction

Shiseido Travel Retail has launched an omnichannel experience for prestige beauty brand NARS titled Light The Way, in partnership with China Duty Free Group (CDFG).

According to the company, the experience is meant to drive awareness of the brand's’ travel exclusive products through a seamless O2O journey led by a WeChat Mini Program, elevated with Web3 elements, and culminating in a high-impact physical activation in Hainan in August.

Evelyne Ly-Wainer, Chief Commercial Officer, Travel Retail Asia Pacific at Shiseido Travel Retail commented, “I am thrilled to unveil the next chapter in NARS’ exciting digital journey. Connecting directly with travelers to strengthen brand equity is at the heart of Shiseido Travel Retail’s strategy to drive sustainable growth, and NARS Light The Way supports this by elevating our online and offline brand storytelling to new heights. I thank our longstanding partner, China Duty Free Group, for its ongoing support for NARS as we explore how the NARS Light The Way universe can create a truly unforgettable travel journey to Hainan.”

Dorothy Liu, Deputy General Manager of Perfume and Cosmetics Department, Central Merchandising Division at China Duty Free Group, added, “It is a pleasure to partner with Shiseido Travel Retail to bring another ground-breaking digital innovation from NARS to life. Standing at the crossroads of personal expression and brand immersion, I am confident that NARS Light The Way will inspire a new generation of beauty shoppers in Hainan. We thank the team at Shiseido Travel Retail for their partnership in helping us to push the boundaries for traveler experiences across the virtual and physical worlds in travel retail.”

In a first for NARS Travel Retail, the Light The Way virtual world is fronted by two metahumans, deepening the immersive brand experience and interaction. AjA, a sporty enthusiast with a strong passion for fashion and beauty, guides users through larger-than-life Augmented Reality (AR) experiences in the virtual world; and MonoC, a leading “Metahuman Artist”, inspired the world’s AR filters and digital collectibles through her style.

The NARS Light Reflecting Ultimate Face Palette Set is among the channel-exclusive products showcased during the campaign

Building on the success of NARS’ debut virtual animation in 2022, Light The Way represents the prestige brand’s digital-first mindset in engaging Chinese travelers. The campaign reinforces Shiseido Travel Retail’s role, as a leader in beauty innovation within travel retail, and its commitment to creating unique value for travelers and driving engagement through digital experiences. Inspired by NARS bestsellers and travel exclusives, the Light The Way WeChat Mini Program hosts NARS’ virtual world in a #LightTheWay universe:

  • NARS Mini Program registration: Create a NARS Passport to join the #LightTheWay community and fully experience the interactive elements of the Mini Program
  • NARS Light The Way Campaign Video: Watch the #LightTheWay video and learn how to navigate around the Mini Program
  • NARS AR Interaction: Pan the phone to enter and explore the virtual universe with AjA; and interact with the larger-than-life NARS products in the virtual world
  • NARS Digital collectibles: Complete tasks within the Mini Program to earn and accumulate points to redeem limited-edition digital collectibles inspired by MonoC, including try-on AR Filters curated using the metahuman’s artistry and signature floral motifs
  • NARS Purchase NARS Products: Browse through the assortment of new products and bestsellers, and purchase through China Duty Free (CDF) e-commerce

The NARS Light The Way experience reaches a crescendo in Hainan from July 31 to August 29, with the campaign’s digital strategy, WeChat Mini Program and amplification via CDF channels driving travelers to an illuminating physical activation. At the NARS Light The Way animation, visitors can redeem exclusive gifts using points accrued in the Mini Program – engaging travelers throughout their O2O journey.

At CDF Sanya International Duty Free Complex, NARS invites travelers to explore the Light The Way universe inspired by its signature brand codes and bestsellers. Making a bold statement, the architecture of the animation is anchored in the iconic NARS colors of red and black. Led by metahuman AjA, travelers are transported into the NARS world through the ‘Aura Detector’ by drawing a circle on the interactive screen, revealing their personal aura and recommended products. The aura reading also transforms the color of the virtual universe, enticing guests to take a picture with their respective auras. The NARS travel retail exclusive range is showcased through a Discovery Bar and TREX Display, and makeup demonstrations are running at the NARS counter on L2.

The NARS Light The Way Collection comprises bestsellers, novelties and exclusives: Jumbo Light Reflecting Setting Powder (TREX); Light Reflecting Ultimate Face Palette (TREX), incorporating Light Reflecting Setting Powder in a palette for the first time; and a CDF-Exclusive Set.

NARS Light The Way is supported by a 360-degree marketing strategy to drive traveler awareness, traffic to the WeChat Mini Program, and sales via CDF e-commerce and the physical animation. Targeting Chinese digital natives via online and offline channels throughout the planning, travel and post-trip phases, the program includes a media buy across digital channels in China; the appearance of NARS brand friend, Guo Jun Chen, at the animation; and KOL & retailer social amplification, including a brand-led livestream with CDF.


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