Hall of Legends 2012 – Dominique DeCelles

L'Oreal Canada SVP, Builder

Chosen by a jury of their peers, the four 2012 Marketing Hall of Legends inductees come from four different corners of the industry. But all four share extraordinary records of professional accomplishment built upon personal foundations of insight and intelligence, passion, determination and vision.

Dominique DeCelles – Senior vice-president, L’Oreal Canada’s Active Cosmetic division


Marketing Hall of Legends Inductee 2012 – Builder

As a Canadian marketer in a massive multinational, Dominique DeCelles has had the not-so-unique challenge of working with advertising from the company’s headquarters abroad.

What stands out is DeCelles’ ability to develop smart sponsorship opportunities, promotions and product placements in ways that are interesting and unique
to the Canadian market.

In 2003, L’Oréal aligned itself with Canadian Idol. Aside from 30-second brand spots, L’Oréal had opening and closing billboards, web presence and on-air sponsorship announcements. But what made this partnership unique at the time were the in-show segments that included L’Oréal products. Sales shot up more than 30% during the Idol promotion. The goal was 25%.

The success of the Canadian Idol partnership was one of the reasons Marketing named L’Oréal Canada 2003 Marketer of the Year.

“As with any global programs, it can be a huge challenge to be innovative in a local market. Her programs are easily recognizable for their impactful approach which give her brands a life beyond the typical beauty spot on TV,” says Craig Lund, a member of the MHOL steering committee and president of Marketing Talent Inc. “The beauty industry is about as cut throat as it gets, and Dominique deserves huge accolades for her accomplishments.”

DeCelles joined L’Oréal Canada in 1985 as a marketing assistant and has since held numerous roles within the consumer and luxury products divisions. Today, she’s the senior vice-president of the company’s active cosmetic division, which includes brands such as Laboratoires Vichy and SkinCeuticals.


Who was the most important person you’ve ever met in business?
Mr. Philippe Dalle, founder of L’Oréal Canada. He gave me my first job at L’Oréal and trusted my abilities despite my young age and inexperience. He also allowed me to make mistakes!

What one lesson from your parents contributed most to your career success?
Rewards stem from perseverance, determination and hard work. They also taught me a strong sense of ethics: truthfulness, honesty and transparency.

The mistake that made me a better person/ professional was…
To believe the old adage “you are never as well served as when you do it yourself.” It’s so untrue in business. I learned that it’s the talent that surrounds you and their motivation that creates business success.

Patience is a virtue, but in this business so is…
A sense of humour!

The most exciting thing about the industry today is…
Consumer empowerment in the digital age. One individual can become brand ambassador and an instant voice.

What advice would you offer anyone starting their career today?
Be yourself and trust your instinct. Work hard, but find a balance early in your career—well balanced individuals tend to be more successful.

Marketing Hall of Legends 2012 Inductees
Allan Gregg
Paula Gignac
Miles Nadal

The Marketing Hall of Legends gala takes place Oct. 18 in Toronto. Tickets are still available.

Photo: Marc Rimmer

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