The Language of Beauty

Daniel Villarroel spells out how cosmetics-giant L’Oréal creates an emotional connection with Hispanic consumers through organic campaigns

Hispanic women such as Elizabeth Flores, shown here enjoying a touch- up as part of L’Oréal’s 51st Most Beautiful Person campaign, reflect a growing segment of the brand's consumer base.
The secret behind the beauty brand's successful campaigns lies in Villarroel's efforts to "speak to the consumer in a new and meaningful way."

Daniel Villarroel was marketing L’Oréal’s Garnier Fructis hair-care brand to the general population when he was tapped to take on a new challenge: find a way to reach the Hispanic consumer. “I’d never done anything like that before, but L’Oréal knew I spoke Spanish, so they asked me to give it a shot, and I jumped at the challenge of applying what I know about the general market to the Hispanic market,” says Villarroel, who now heads experiential and diversity marketing for Maybelline New York-Garnier-essie, a division of L’Oréal USA. Here, Villarroel outlines some of his most successful campaigns.

 1 51st Most Beautiful Person/Products Campaigns with People En Español 
When both Maybelline New York and Garnier began sponsoring People en Español’s 50 Most Beautiful People issue, which is combined with a highly anticipated event in New York City, Villarroel challenged People en Español to make the sponsorship bigger and better each year. To that end, they created the 51st Most Beautiful Person campaign, whereby a regular consumer can submit his or her picture to be named the 51st Bello.

Up Close & Personal

Getting to know Daniel Villarroel

What is your background?
My parents are from Colombia

How did you get into international marketing?
My first career was in international business; after getting a bachelor’s and a master’s in business administration, I traveled all over Latin America setting up distribution networks for a small beauty company in New Jersey

Did that teach you to market differently to different demographic groups?
We don’t get caught up in trying to speak differently to different market segments; we speak the language of beauty by finding the common terminology. All women understand “split ends,” for example.

Is that a standard practice in beauty marketing?
We’re trailblazing. Recently, someone referred to me as a “crisscrosser.” Instead of crossing over from one market to another, I go back and forth, working both the general market and the Hispanic market. It’s phenomenally interesting and challenging.

Two years ago, Villarroel upped his game again by offering Maybelline New York and Garnier samples deemed People en Español’s Most Beautiful Products in Walmart stores with a significant Hispanic clientele. “We learned that if we touch the consumer experientially, outside of advertising, we’ll gain more of an emotional connection with her, so we created programs with media and retail partners,” Villarroel says. “This ties the whole campaign together in a cohesive, organic way.”

2 Club de Noveleras with Telemundo
Villarroel found another way to reach the consumer across the spectrum of touch points with this Telemundo partnership, which involves television, digital marketing, social media, and events. Club de Noveleras is a unique online community which members can access for behind-the-scenes show information as well as beauty content, including one of the first beauty blogs in the US Spanish-speaking world. Advertising also drives women to events, such as the five large-market tours held in early 2011, where Telemundo offered the talent of its latest telenovelas and Maybelline New York and Garnier provided makeup and hair style touch-ups as well as samples. “Hispanic women love telenovelas and beauty products, and this was a historic breakthrough for the Hispanic market because it allowed us to speak to the consumer in a new and meaningful way,” Villarroel says. “So far, it has exceeded all key-performance indicators.”

3 Fashion Week with Project Runway
Fans of the fashion-oriented reality-television show Project Runway likely remember the presence of Garnier Fructis. The company has been partnering with the show and, in 2009, announced a multiseason-sponsorship deal with Lifetime Television, the show’s new home. It was a perfect fit given Lifetime’s focus on the female consumer. As part of this deal, Garnier provided all the hair-care products for Project Runway and its spin-off, Models of the Runway, as well as sponsoring the grand prizes. There is also a branded challenge as well as a number of co-branded on-air promotions and extensive digital-media content, including a large online sweepstakes. “Last year, Garnier Fructis created on-trend hair styles from the Garnier Hair Studio at Project Runway that consumers could see online and [then]get that look,” Villarroel says.