American Marketer

Fragrance and personal care

La Mer takes consumers to the sea in Shanghai

October 15, 2019

La Mer's Edge of the Sea exhibition. Image courtesy of School House


Estée Lauder Co.’s La Mer is exploring the role that the ocean plays in healing and memory through an immersive installation at Shanghai’s Power Station of Art.

“Edge of the Sea” invites consumers to into a multisensory experience that dives into the brand’s origin story and ocean-derived ingredients. With a name that translates to “the sea,” La Mer often ties its marketing to water.

Diving into beauty
La Mer tapped New York-based creative agency School House to design its installation. The agency collaborated with lighting partner Luciforma, production partner APAX Group and Patten Studio to bring the experience to fruition.

Using projection mapping, the installation brings consumers into an ocean environment.

Art explores the juxtaposition of different forces. For instance, La Mer’s founder Max Huber was obsessed with opposition of sky and sea.

The campaign spans digital and physical experiences. Among the translations of the sea are a moving kelp forest and undulating silk meant to resemble water.

Inside a Creme de la Mer Lab within the La Mer Edge of the Sea exhibition. Image courtesy of School House

Within the installation is a 360-degree visual and auditory experience that looks at the ocean and the shore. Visitors can sit surrounded by photographer Mario Sorrenti and his daughter Gray Sorrenti’s documentation of the sea.

The father and daughter photography duo has also collaborated with La Mer on alternative packaging for its Crème de la Mer.

La Mer's exhibition opened on Oct. 9, and it will be up through Oct. 23.

This installation follows other experiential activations from the skincare label.

La Mer recently created its largest jar yet, allowing travelers at duty free retailer DFS in Hong Kong to interact with the installation.

The 16.4-foot jar allowed shoppers and travelers to experience the La Mer brand on a larger-than-life scale. Celebrating the brand’s moisturizer, the giant jar was located at T Galleria Beauty by DFS, Hong Kong, Causeway Bay, and let guests literally step inside the brand (see story).