Jan 28, 2009

Mktg - L'Oreal gets to the root of beautiful hair

L'Oreal India has unveiled an exhibition in Mumbai that will take visitors a long way in understanding human hair. Called Decoding the Hair, the exhibition was set up in 2001, but this is the first time that it is travelling to India. It is being hosted in Mumbai by the Nehru Science Centre. The entry fee for the exhibition is Rs 20, with discounts for groups and students.

The exhibition was conceptualised by L’Oreal in France in partnership with the Cite des Sciences et de L'Industrie (CSI), or the Paris Science and Industry Museum. Since its initiation, the exhibition has travelled to 12 countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Speaking to afaqs!, Dinesh Dayal, chief operating officer, L'Oreal India, says, “Promoting the science behind beauty has always been fundamental to our corporate activities.”

The highlights of the exhibition include the model structure of a hair root, the hair care industry and its research, a fun zone where people can try virtual hairstyles or count their grey hair, and a section on hair in different cultures.

L'Oreal provides the material and technology to depict different aspects of hair for this exhibition. In India, it has been localised to a degree.

Anil Manekar, director of the Nehru Science Centre, says in a statement, "It has been well adapted, keeping in mind Indian visitors. It has text translated in Marathi and Hindi. There is also a Braille version, so that the visually handicapped can experience the exhibition. Popular songs from Hindi and Marathi films on the subject of hair are being aired to make it even more interesting."

L’Oreal claims that the exhibition is attracting around 2,000 visitors per day. “We have both serious and fun parts to the exhibition, which has attracted children, college students and families alike,” explains Dayal. The exhibition is on till the end of February.

The Nehru Science Centre has been promoting the exhibition in publications. Dayal says that 800 schools and 100 colleges have been reached already through the circulars and mailing list of the centre. Apart from this, the company has a presence in social media through Facebook, Orkut, YouTube and Flickr.

Dayal clarifies that the brand is secondary in this exhibition as the idea is to promote the science of hair.

Apart from this, L'Oreal is conducting a corporate social responsibility activity in India. It is offering scholarships of Rs 2.5 lakh each to five women who want to pursue scientific education. So far, 25 women have benefited from this initiative.

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