YouTube Ups Beauty AR Game With YouCam Partnership – WWD

In a session Wednesday at its YouCam Digital Forum, Perfect Corp. unveiled a strategic partnership with Google that will allow brands to run augmented reality try-on over YouTube.

The YouCam beauty app developer said the deal would allow brands to plug the catalogue of beauty AR products in the YouCam Makeup platform into YouTube’s InStream Video Ads.

The viewer would simply rotate the phone to vertical portrait mode, hit the “try on” button and, if need be, grant permission for the program to use the camera. With a couple of taps, the shopper can digitally apply products like lipsticks and eye shadows and then open the brand’s mobile site or e-commerce page to buy the item, depending on the brand’s preference.

The goal, according to the company, is to reimagine YouTube’s beauty content as something more experiential using YouCam Makeup’s AR and AI. The artificial intelligence underlying its AR allows for the sort of realism consumers need in a virtual try-on experience.

“We are thrilled to partner with Google to amplify their YouTube video content through the introduction of hyper-realistic virtual beauty try-on effects and invite makeup brands to try the new service,” said Alice Chang, Perfect Corp. founder and chief executive officer. “This exciting partnership puts YouCam Makeup AR technology in front of millions of beauty fanatics to help them discover and experiment with products in an entirely new, fun, and interactive way.”

e.l.f. piloted a YouTube beauty AR program ahead of Perfect Corp.’s announcement on Wednesday. 
Courtesy image

Perfect Corp. works with some of the industry’s biggest beauty companies, offering augmented reality features for shoppers of brands such as Estée Lauder, Benefit and e.l.f. cosmetics, the latter of which completed a pilot program for the YouTube AR video ads.

The announcement speaks to YouTube’s proactive effort to build up its tech offerings for the beauty sector.

L’Oréal chief digital officer Lubomira Rochet revealed in a press conference last week that the company’s ModiFace group — a rival to Perfect Corp. — is bringing its own AR technology to Google’s video platform.

“The idea here would be that you would be looking, for example, for an eyeliner or for a lipstick on Google’s search bar and directly from the research results page you will be able to trigger a virtual try-on,” Rochet said. Viewers could also access try-ons through influencer videos.

Rochet emphasized that it’s the first time Google is permitting a third party to integrate in its back-end.

There’s no question that beauty is a key category for YouTube. The platform sees a large pipeline of related searches and as many as 2.5 billion beauty videos per year.

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