Diane von Furstenberg has teamed up with wholesale marketplace Ordre.com to present its spring 2018 collection to buyers using virtual reality (VR).
Using the platform’s online showrooms, retailers will be able to review the new ready-to-wear and accessories line in this 360-degree virtual sense. All partners will be provided with Ordre headsets to also experience the show that took place during New York Fashion Week on September 10.
This technology will help to create an overall understanding of the fit, movement and fabrication of the collection, the press release explains.
Jonathan Saunders, creative director at DVF, said: “As a designer, I want to embrace the digital world as a way of presenting our collections and we are excited to introduce a number of new technologies to our business marketing, as well as enhancing our consumer experience.”
DVF will still be hosting physical showrooms in New York, London and Milan during fashion month, but this virtual showroom is designed to otherwise enhance and facilitate order taking in an efficient sense.
Melissa Sussberg, EVP of domestic sales and global merchandising at DVF, added: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult for our valued retail partners to constantly travel to showrooms. Our partnership with Ordre will allow them to understand the detail of the collections and place wholesale orders remotely.”
The digital assets created by the collaboration will also be trialled for consumers – both in-store on interactive touch screens and online.
You’d be hard pushed to find anyone thinking about campaign integration quite so much as British fashion brand Ted Baker these days. Its latest campaign for the season includes everything from a 360 VR experience, to an interactive window display, a shoppable video, over 2,000 different assets for social media, a contest-led Instagram Stories initiative and a digital look book.
And that’s just the half of it.
Keeping Up With The Bakers, as the initiative is called, centres in on a young family living on Tailor’s Lane – a (pun-intended) fictional street that is reminiscent of something between Stepford Wives and Pleasantville – a sort of suburban utopia with a strange undercurrent.
That feeling is represented in the 360-degree video more than anywhere else – a combination of stills and cinemagraph-like animations, it sees each of the looks displayed on the characters available to shop, all the while all sorts of other activity and hidden content takes place around it. A girl waves from the window, a car boot opens, a shadow passes in the doorway, the fire flickers, an oven opens, the washing line rotates, and more.
Gail Dobinson, global head of marketing and PR at Ted Baker, says the team learnt lots from its holiday film Mission Impeccable about doing shoppable content well. On the one hand, the clarity of the clothing needed to be stronger, she explained, while consumers also wanted to be able to save just one part of a look and not the whole thing. Both of those factors are represented this season.
The creative work was no mean feat either – the team built the entire set, including the kitchen, garden, supermarket and more. Done in partnership with Happy Finish and Wirewax, the film is available on TedBaker.com as well as exclusive UK and US partner sites ASOS.com and Nordstrom.com. The VR version meanwhile is presented via Google cardboard, of which Ted Baker is distributing 20,000 in key stores, though the resulting content is not shoppable.
In-store the brand has then teamed up with Nexus Studios’ Interactive Arts division to create interactive windows that invite passers-by to peek into the Bakers’ private affairs. By placing their hands onto palm print sensors on the windows, they will trigger cameras that catch them in the act and composite their images onto elements of the window set including a television, window and portrait on the wall. Facial recognition technology has been utilised to make that a reality without a green screen background.
Simultaneously, the same photo will be composited onto an emblematic image from the ‘Meet the Bakers’ world and will be published on the Ted Baker website. From there users will be able to share it across social media channels.
Over on Instagram meanwhile, Ted Baker worked with longtime digital agency partner Poke once again, to invite users to complete daily challenges through the Stories feature. That part of the platform particularly, was turned into a “neighbourhood gossip channel”, with episodic content making the story into somewhat of a soap opera.
All in, Dobinson said the team used 2,000 assets across channels, edited down from near to 8,000. Each platform was thought about individually so as to ensure the creative work fit within the specific parameters each one entails. “In the past we would have retrofitted to channels, but all is now really thought out before and integrated across the board,” she said. It really is about thinking 360-degrees in every sense.
Jean Paul Gaultier has released a second set of 360-degree videos tied to its fragrance business. For the launch of Classique and Le Male Essence de Parfum, the brand is inviting fans to explore the perspective of being a single drop belonging to the scents, exploring them as though within the bottle itself.
#Bethedrop, as the campaign is called, takes the user on an immersive journey through different notes in the fragrances, from fresh wood in Le Male to spicy chantilly in Classique. They are able to control their perspective throughout both virtual films, rotating the view left and right as well as up and down. Each of them end on an outside perspective looking back at the bottle.
They are viewable on both the brand’s website as well as on its YouTube channel (as below). They also follow a previous campaign from the brand earlier this year called #BetheBottle, which provided a slightly racier view from the perspective of the bottle while models posed and cavorted alongside.
Other fragrance and beauty brands playing in the virtual reality space include Charlotte Tilbury, Benefit and Dior. Within fashion and retail it has spanned Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff, Topshop and JC Penney.
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a big obsession going on with 360-degree videos on Facebook (and elsewhere) these days. Forget those basic experiences just showing you inside a showroom, sat on a catwalk or enjoying a certain inspiring view, however, those doing it really well are focusing on storytelling.
Front and centre is Shinola. The Detroit-based company has introduced a new immersive video that provides a tour of its factory complete with entertaining narration and guidance from Luke Wilson.
The actor/director worked with brother Andrew Wilson, and creative studio Reel FX to provide an eccentric, and oftentimes clumsy view on life inside the maker of watches, bicycles and leather goods. He explores various different rooms, chats to certain members of the team, cycles around the space and trips over various boxes, all the while looking to recruit people for his Shinola sports teams.
Combined, the experience takes the idea of behind-the-scenes tours to the next level – moving on the bland perspective, both in single-view and more recently in the 360 (or virtual reality) space, by introducing a heavy dose of personality to the proceedings.
“In 2012 we built a watch factory in Detroit and called it our home. The city and the people who assemble our products are at the core of everything we do. This film allows those who cannot make a trip to Detroit to take a peak into why we chose Detroit and what drives us everyday. The combination of Luke’s sharp humor and this new technology was the perfect match to express the brand in a way that is both fun and informative,” said Shinola CMO, Bridget Russo.
That new technology refers to the fact the team used the new Nokia OXO camera, which is touted as the first VR camera purpose-built for professionals by making use of real-time HMD monitoring to streamline camera placement and shot composition.
That, combined with Reel FX’s proprietary postproduction workflow tools, allowed the team to spend their time on the creative process, rather than the technical challenges often inherent in the emergence of this style of filmmaking, reads the write-up.
A separate making-of video, which features the original track “Detroit Seal” by Pato Motown, takes a closer look at this in action. The 360-degree film is available in select Shinola retail stores, on Facebook Live and on the brand’s dedicated landing page. There is no detail about whether the team are activating the 360-video with virtual reality headsets in store, but it would certainly be viewable as such.
Primark is hosting live 360-degree video content from its autumn/winter press day in London today, providing fans with immersive access to its new collection through the eyes, and hauls, of certain influencers.
Based on the idea of haul videos – the popular term for video bloggers revealing what they’ve just purchased – the aim is to enable the retailer’s global social media audience of 7.8m to experience new product in real-time.
“We wanted to be able to put our fans right at the centre of our AW16 press days, make them feel immersed in the event space and ask some of our favourite influencers to pick out their favourite pieces from our ranges by carrying out the first ever live Primark Hauls in 360-degrees,” says Olly Rzysko, head of digital communications at the retailer.
For reference, searching for “Primark Haul” on YouTube currently delivers over 370,000 results, which is what Rzysko says inspired this campaign. “It’s a huge part of the Primark online DNA, it inspired our UGC platform Primania and it’s all created by our customers and fans, so we thought we would do something special that’s not been done before to celebrate this.”
The videos will be viewable in 360-degrees on both YouTube in real-time, and later posted to Facebook (which doesn’t yet take live 360 video) and to Primark.com. The team will also be simulcasting to Facebook Live throughout the day.
The 360 hauls will feature influencers including Dolly Bow, Becky Sargeant, Mark Hayes and Charlotte Hole and will cover womenswear, menswear, home, kids and beauty (click each for live links). They begin at roughly 12pm GMT and run until 7pm, though all can be found via this playlist link, which will be updated throughout the day, too.
Rzysko says live video is a key part of the Primark strategy today. This campaign follows a successful live tour of the retailer’s new Milan store, which saw 250,000 real-time viewers and a further 1.2m after the event. Primark will next take the 360 Haul campaign to Dublin on June 16.