LONDON: L'Oréal Paris, the French beauty brand, launched a campaign in the UK last year that featured a man in a cosmetics ad for the first time and now the company's UK general manager says the results have been "phenomenal".

Speaking to Marketing Week about L'Oréal's promotion of its True Match foundation, Adrien Koskas said the power of the campaign helped the product to become the best seller in its category for the past five months in a row.

"But it's more than that. It has changed the perception of the L'Oréal Paris brand for so many people," he said. "Because people see a different face of the brand, they can relate to it and recognise the efforts L'Oréal Paris has made in terms of shades, formulation and advertising."

The campaign for L'Oréal, which was created by McCann London, featured Gary, aka 'The Plastic Boy', L'Oréal's first male blogger and makeup artist, who was picked to reflect the growing trend that more men are wearing makeup.

Koskas, a determined advocate of diversity who will be a speaker at next month's Diversity in Marketing & Advertising Summit, said there were some challenges to overcome but that the campaign had been "phenomenal".

"The net value of this campaign is through the roof," he said. "Thank God we did it – it was so important to broaden our shades and to show different faces, and consumers loved it. It was an important moment for us."

And in another bid to raise its focus on diversity and inclusivity, L'Oréal Paris has decided to change its strapline from "Because you're worth it" to "We are all worth it" for the rest of the year.

"Some people might say – is this really L'Oréal? But it's my job to say what we want L'Oréal Paris to be like, and to convince different people that if we want to be modern and relevant, we need to be more inclusive as a brand," Koskas said.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff