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L’Oreal Maybelline The Eraser Product Launch Fail

Recently, I saw a television ad for a new women’s makeup foundation by L’Oreal Maybelline, but only caught part of the name as “Age Eraser.”  Out of curiosity of how effectively L’Oreal spends its marketing dollars, I grabbed my smartphone to search for the product.  What I found is a good lesson for marketers everywhere.

The first result that came up is Maybelline’s website and is titled Maybelline New York: Products: Age Rewind The Eraser Treatment Makeup.  First of all, the name is just way too long.  I found out that “Age Rewind” is the collection name and “The Eraser” the product name.  Why not just say “The Eraser” and drop “Age Rewind” for simplicity?

The Maybelline website is not optimized for phone viewing, which is important these days especially for a consumer goods company.  Instead, the site comes up as several large buttons:

  • Find Your Mascara << I was looking for The Eraser, not a mascara.
  • Find Out More About Great Lash BIG! << I have no idea what this is and I don’t care.
  • Wallpapers & Ringtone << What, are we in high school?
  • Great Lash BIG Takes NYC: Watch The Video << I don’t yet have a phone that supports video, and I still don’t care.
  • Sign Up for Text Alerts << There are no compelling reasons to sign up for text alerts.

On my desktop, the website does show information about the product but some of it makes me laugh and some things I would like to see aren’t there.

  • They boast a “patented Micro-Corrector Applicator.”  The bottle looks like one of those glue bottles you get from an office supply store, that you squeeze to wet a sponge on top.  You know marketing has gotten a little out of control when a sponge is now a “Micro-Corrector Applicator.”  Just call things what they are and don’t get silly about it, please.  There is some concern about the sponge getting gross, but apparently most reviewers are satisfied by the “antimicrobial fibers” in the sponge.  I still would be concerned.
  • On their site, they offer a “MyColorAdvisor.”  I simply click on my skin shade (light) and eye color (hazel), and (gasp!) they suggest my best color tones as all of the light tones.  What amazing powers of insight they have!
  • I wanted to know the ingredients of the makeup but this is nowhere on their site.  I went to Target to see the product in person.  Looking at the ingredient list was like reading another language.  The only thing I noticed that is natural is water, and it was the second on the list.  It’s amazing what women will put on their face.
  • It’s a “breakthrough formula with active ingredients!”  I looked at what “active ingredients” there are, and found it said 7% Octinoxate, an organic compound found in some sunscreens.
  • The site could be more interactive.  Something that makes more sense than MyColorAdvisor?  Please?
  • Where can the product be purchased?  I found it at Target, but where else? Why don’t brands tell people where to buy their products?
  • At Target this product is $8.99 on sale but $10.99 regular price.  The exact same product in a regular bottle is $6.09 on Amazon and in a pump for $2.49 – $5.98 on Amazon.  Instead of paying such a premium for packaging, I’d rather go buy some good applicator sponges.

The next search result was a review of the product by Elke Von Freudenberg, who says the sponge doesn’t cover well and is too small.  She said the product has an oily feel to it, but after setting it with a powder this goes away.  On the positive side, she likes the coverage and long-lasting results.  A few more results down, another review of the product at Frugirl said she likes the product’s coverage also, and felt it absorbed into her skin rather than sat on top.

I then looked at their Facebook page.  Despite taking time to scroll all the way to the bottom, which wasn’t difficult as it was only a month old, there is nothing said about this product.

In summary, were I in the market for The Eraser, I would have been turned off when I couldn’t access the Maybelline website on my smartphone, by the price when the same product is available for much less in different packaging, by the lack of information on the brand’s Facebook page, and lack of interactivity on their website.  The couple of reviews I did see, however, might have made me reconsider.  It would be in Maybelline’s best interest to address these Fails and send influential bloggers in the beauty space a free sample for review.

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  1. June 17th, 2010 at 17:07 | #1

    Thank you for a great story, Rebekah!! I am often stumped by “marketing gurus” attempts to appeal to us and your blog made me laugh. I can totally relate and have moved on so many times when they miss me on the first capture. You were persistent!!

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