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For the second time in 20 years, the L’Oréal Brandstorm championship title was a draw between two countries—Chile and the Philippines. Team Brand Up from the University of Chile and Team Eves from the University of the Philippines were crowned the Brandstorm 2012 winners out of 36 teams representing 43 countries following the final leg of the international competition held in Paris. Third place went to Team Alemela from Austria, while Belgium, represented by Team 5th Element, earned the Best Communications Campaign Prize. The People Choice Award, a new prize voted by fans of the competing teams on Facebook, was also presented to team Team Eves from the Philippines who garnered almost 13,000 likes in two weeks.
Responding to students’ desire to gain hands-on professional experience, L’Oréal began this marketing competition 20 years ago, allowing young talents from around the world to put themselves in the shoes of an international brand manager. Every year, Brandstorm challenges teams of three undergraduates to unleash their creativity to propose a product or service launch for one of L’Oréal’s 27 international brands in line with the latest market developments and trends.
For this latest edition, teams were invited to create a new iconic product or product range for The Body Shop while respecting the brand’s values in order to reflect the group’s commitment to ethical beauty. With digital communication becoming increasingly indispensible in today’s marketplace, one of the challenges to students was to incorporate this aspect in their strategy. During the six-month journey, from the national to international level, teams get to work closely with L’Oréal executives, gaining extensive professional guidance. This year, students who made it to the finals also got to interact with a prestigious jury headed by Marc Menesguen, executive vice president, strategic marketing, L’Oreal; Sophie Gasperment, executive chairman, The Body Shop; Jérome Tixier, executive vice president, human resources, L’Oreal; Ann Massal, international brand director, The Body Shop; and Trefor Thomas, partner and creative director, Brand Advocate.
Brandstorm is also a recruitment tool for L’Oréal, allowing the group to identify the best talents in marketing from around the world while giving students a chance to discover careers within the company. Of the program, Marie-Dominique Jacquet, employer branding director, L’Oréal, said, “I am deeply impressed by these students from all over the world and bravo to each and every one for having taken up the Brandstorm challenge. Through Brandstorm, we are able to spot and attract the best young talents who are the driving force behind our business. Looking forward, L’Oréal is committed to continuously developing and innovating Brandstorm in order to make it pertinent and exciting for the students. The 2013 edition will see this unique business game enter a new digital phase with the L’Oréal Paris brand.”