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60 students took on a future strategic challenge for L'Oréal

From its inception, Big Picture has been an opportunity to challenge ESCP students with a live brief, encouraging them to bring their knowledge, skills and passion to develop creative recommendations to a key strategic challenge for the L’Oréal Group.
L’Oréal is among those companies that create the future and identify opportunities where others wouldn’t.
This year’s brief was to address opportunities to bring beauty into the gaming experience in 2025. In recent years, gaming has been a cultural supernova, growing at exponential speed.
It is bigger than the music and movie industries combined, and reaches nearly 3 billion players globally, almost half of whom are women.
As ecommerce, entertainment, gaming, streaming and social continue to converge, gaming has become a great way to engage with customers and is positioned to become an important aspect of the future of social and ecommerce. The brief constituted a fantastic opportunity for ESCP students to combine their understanding of digital channels and technologies, marketing and strategy, consumer behavior and more, with their analytical and creative skills, to develop breakthrough solutions on behalf of L’Oréal.

Lubomira Rochet

Outgoing Chief Digital Officer, Lubomira Rochet kicked off the 2021 edition by framing the brief, “Gaming, live-streaming, augmented reality and digital services are going to transform the online shopping experience into something totally new, much more engaging, interactive, fun and paced in between a TV show, a live music festival and a video game”.

60 students (representing ca. 30 different nationalities) from the MSc Marketing and Creativity and MSc in Digital Transformation Management & Leadership helped L’Oréal imagine the future of beauty in gaming.

What is Big Picture?
An inspiring and challenging project

Big Picture is the annual crowning event of the partnership between L’Oréal and ESCP Business School. It propels students into the very heart of strategic innovation, a powerful real life learning tool for students.

Marie Taillard, L’Oréal Professor of Creativity Marketing, ESCP comments:
“Big Picture is a very special opportunity for our students to work on a creative business brief for L'Oréal. Because of  COVID-19, the project was fully online for the second year running. Each team has 5 days to develop a recommendation and to develop a video and presentation to “sell” their recommendation.  On the last day they present their work to a prestigious jury of L'Oréal executives. Rarely do students get to learn as much in one week as they do on this project. Year after year, they tell us that it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that opens up new career horizons and pushes their creative and business skills to new heights.”

Marie Taillard - L'Oréal Professor of Creativity Marketing, ESCP


Marie Taillard, L’Oréal Professor of Creativity Marketing

Each team received a total of 8 to 10 coaching sessions from highly dedicated senior experts. This year, coaches included Estelle Ngo, Vincent Arcin, Julien Aubert, Meriem Abahmaoui, Quentin Habert, Chloé Perrin, Lauren Sarda Dutilh, Cyriaque Houdoux, Margot Khelifi and Marine Drion from L’Oréal; Laurent François, Lenneke Speelman and Ed Howard from 180 Amsterdam; and Professors Hsin-Hsuan Meg Lee, Kamran Razmdoost, Chi Hoang and Marie Taillard from ESCP Business School.

Focus on team creativity

Among the many skills young professionals require as they enter the job market, the ability to work collaboratively to solve problems is a critical one. Big Picture offers a great opportunity for students to practice this skill. This year, students benefited from a pre-Big Picture team creativity workshop offered by our new partner agency, award-winning 180 Amsterdam, a member of the Omnicom Group.  

Led by 180 Content Managing Partner, Laurent Francois and Strategic Director, Philip Jackson, the team creativity workshop compiled best practices on “How to crack a tough brief in a couple of hours”. While there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution, the takeaways are worth noting for professionals across sectors and functions:

  • research and developing insights is not just a phase: it feeds, nurtures, inspires and challenges the whole journey all the way to execution and beyond. Documenting this journey is key;
  • communities grow and evolve: forecasting what a community is ready to absorb and experience now is important, but planning what's next is even better.  In a way, be “flawsome” rather than flawless;
  • “what-if” scenarios are the best way to be both humble and facts-driven: they help open up a way to how different stakeholders will embrace and eventually own your approach.

More on this year's brief

This year, Big Picture was co-sponsored by Vincent Arcin, Global Director of L’Oréal’s Digital Services Factory, and Estelle Ngo, Global Head of Digital Advertising. Together they presented the following brief:

HBig Picture ESCP L'Oréal 2021elp us imagine the services of tomorrow!
What will be the “beauty-in-gaming” experience in 2025.  What is the challenge?


Three questions to address:

Why is this vision innovative?
What value does the experience create for the consumer?
What is the business model behind it?


Jury members feedback

L’Oréal: Vincent Arcin (Global Digital Services Factory Director), Guive Balooch (Global Vice President & CTO New Business Ventures), Diane Hecquet (Media & 360 Activation Director, YSL Beauty), Stéphanie Messner (Talent Acquisition Director France), Estelle Ngo (Global Head of Digital Advertising), Fred Orsita (Director of Innovation, Tech Acceleration), Emma Shuttleworth (Talent Acquisition Director USA), Margaux Velty (Talent Acquisition Manager)
180 Amsterdam: Ed Howard (Content Director), Laurent Francois (Managing Partner, 180 Content)
ESCP Business School: Marie Taillard (L’Oréal Professor of Creativity Marketing)

Big Picture ESCP L'Oréal 2021

Jury members evaluated projects using five criteria: Creativity/Innovation, Analysis, Business Sense/Impact, Execution & Presentation, Teamwork.

“Fabulous and incredible work”
“Many groups picked up a lot of the topics we are currently tackling"
"Impressive deliverables”
“The DNA of L’Oreal was incredibly well understood.”
“Execution, vision and authenticity"

And the winners are...

Team 1

Big Picture ESCP L'Oréal 2021
Congratulations to Varun Behl (India – MDT programme), Lian Al-Qadomi (Palestine / Canada - MMK programme), Daria Borshcheva (Russia – MMK programme), Anne-Louise Bricout (France MMK programme), Kimberly Charles-Bauer (France - MMK programme) and Daron (Lucie) Cheon (South Korea - MMK programme)

Click here to watch their video

As their prize, the winning will get a chance to be embedded into a L’Oréal team for two months in the Autumn Term and work on taking their project forward. What a great way to continue the adventure!

Team 8

Congratulations to Ho Fai (Daniel) Sze (Hong Kong - MDT programme), Caline Geara (Mexican / Lebanon - MMK programme), Sofia Sannazzaro (Italy - MMK programme), Maria Mikhail (Egypt - MMK programme), Kimonas Varvagiannis (Luxembourg / Greece - MMK programme), Olivia Lombard (Switzerland / USA - MMK programme)

3rd Prize: YSL SKNS
Team 9

Congratulations to Xiaoyu Zhai (China MDT programme), Mohamed Maki (France – MMK programme), Carolina Piccolo (Italy – MMK programme), Richa Tiwari (India – MMK programme), Charlotte Nowak (France – MMK programme), Sofia Teternikova (Russia, MMK programme)

Congratulations to all ten teams!


This challenge is brought to ESCP students by the L'Oréal Professorship in Creativity Marketing
Placed under the aegis of the ESCP Foundation, this Professorship with L'Oréal strengthens in a complementary way a major school’s scientific expertise and a leading company’s know-how on a crucial business issue, and on topical subjects such as big data and the use of behavioural sciences in innovation and marketing creativity.

Learn more about the L'Oréal Professorship in Creativity Marketing
Learn more about the MMK Creativity Marketing
Learn more about the MSc in Digital Transformation Management & Leadership