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Campaigns technology

Emporio Armani creates life-like 3D printed ad

A new outdoor advertising campaign from Emporio Armani has turned to 3D printing to make its designs come to life.

The ad features a 3D version of the model’s right leg extending out of the billboard, making it seem as though she is stepping into the real world.

The effect was created by an Italian 3D printing and industrial photography company called Colorzenith, which printed the foot and a partial leg to then attach it to the billboard.

The company explains that for the project it used a Gel Dispensing Printing (GDP) technology, which differs from the more mainstream application of other polymer-based 3D printing processes.

Out of home advertising is getting a new lease of life in a digital-first world, with other brands increasingly using the medium in innovative ways.

For example last year Adidas Originals launched a campaign to promote the launch of its P.O.D. shoe, for which it set up a series of personalized outdoor ads in Los Angeles and New York, which each spoke individually to a group of influencers.

While this is new territory for Emporio Armani, the label has been expanding its focus on lifestyle and hospitality, having very recently re-launched its Empori Caffè and Ristorante in Milan, which now sits in the same building as the Armani Hotel and the Emporio Armani megastore.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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product sustainability

Ocean Outdoor creates accessories out of recycled billboards for London Fashion Week

UK outdoor media owner Ocean Outdoor is teaming up with eco-label VIN + OMI to launch an exclusive collection during London Fashion Week that will be manufactured entirely from vinyl panels taken from billboard displays.

The partnership will feature men’s and women’s accessories and not be available for sale. Instead, Ocean will donate the pieces to its charity partner, the Marine Conservation Society, to help fund the fight against plastic pollution in order to protect the world’s oceans and marine line. This is in one with Ocean’s commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation, as the majority of its out-of-home advertising is already purely digital.

“As a 95 percent based digital media company, Ocean is actively moving away from the use of vinyl,” said Liliana Teixeira, Ocean’s senior marketing executive. “That said, it’s important we find the best possible way to upcycle the vinyl we do still use. This partnership also allows us to support emerging creative talent which adds to its scale and impact,”

UK-born VIN + OMI works in developing recycled polyester (rPET) textiles, including silk-like finishes and wool which are spun from salvaged plastic primarily sourced from rivers and oceans. For this project, it will be working with students from Oxford Brookes University who will help design the collection. This means that in addition teaching a new generation how to work with sustainable garments, the project will further bring together a community with the common goal of raising awareness to the cause.

The range will feature at VIN + OMI’s London Fashion Week show on February 14, while Ocean will display highlights of the presentation on February 18 across its The Grid digital displays country-wide as well as on the iconic Piccadilly Lights display in Piccadilly Circus, London. Last fashion week season, Ocean teamed up with designer Victoria Beckham to livestream her show on the same screens, marking the first time the company streamed live content on its 4K displays.

Are you thinking innovatively enough about sustainability? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns Podcast social media

Missguided on the relevance of reality TV

Missguided's Jonathan Wall
Missguided’s Jonathan Wall

UK hit reality TV show, Love Island, is all about meeting the customer where she lives, says Missguided’s chief digital officer, Jonathan Wall, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent.

“Love Island for our sector, it’s kind of like the annual peak, or the annual Christmas, of [other retailers]. It’s our nirvana. You could not find anything else that’s absolutely spot on to our bullseye customer,” he comments.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

The fast fashion multi-channel retailer saw its sales spike 40% during the show this summer, which all came down to reigniting and re-energizing lapsed customers of more than six months, he notes. Product placement, which is essentially what this was, isn’t new in strategy – but it’s effective when it’s done right, he explains. In this instance, his team designed looks and dressed all of the stars in the show.

Wall’s strategy is focused primarily on relevancy to the shopper, much of which comes from the fact his team internally are those individuals themselves.

“One of the big big advantages we’ve got as a business, is that our customers are actually our team… Our average age in our business is 25, and guess what, our average customer age is also 25. You cannot overemphasize the advantages you get when every single day you are walking amongst your customers. It’s a tremendous advantage.”

Missguided x Love Island
Missguided x Love Island

It’s that laser-sharp focus on who they’re targeting that also let’s Missguided play with partnerships, he adds. The brand launched a collaboration with Playboy this summer that was met with a heavy dose of debate, but ultimately succeeded because of how relevant it was to the shopper it was intended. “It again hit the nail on the head for our customer,” Wall explains.

In conversation with Rosanna Falconer at a FashMash event in Missguided’s hometown of Manchester in the north of England, Wall also shares his views on what’s coming next in influencer marketing, which of the big social channels he’s focused on, and just why he likes to court a little controversy along the way.

Catch up with all of our episodes of TheCurrent Innovators here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns e-commerce

ASOS and Boursorama team up to create extra-long discount code

ASOS and Boursorama Banque
ASOS and Boursorama Banque

ASOS has teamed up with French bank, Boursorama Banque, to launch an analog campaign with an extra-long discount code, in a bid to grab the attention of their mutually young demographics.

The code, which can be redeemed on purchases at ASOS.fr, aims to publicize the fact that the Société Générale-owned bank is the cheapest in the country for young people.

Printed on newspapers and outdoor displays at French university campuses, it reads: “WeAllKnowThatYoungPeopleDon’tReadAdvertsForBanksSoJustToSayThatWeAreTheCheapestOnlineBank
ForYoungClientsInsteadOfPublishingAnAdThatYouWouldn’tHaveReadWe’reSayingItInThisVeryVeryLongDiscount
CodeThatYouAreGoingToHaveToRetypeToGetYourClothesCheaperOnASOS”

In order to redeem the code online, customers then have to read through the entire copy and type it up during checkout on ASOS. In creating this unusual approach, the bank manages to find a new way to communicate with a customer base that is notoriously adverse to advertising.

Alexander Wang x adidas
Alexander Wang x adidas

Recently, brands have begun to deploy traditional advertising techniques as a way to pique the consumers’ curiosity and temporarily unglue them from their phones. To celebrate football player Cristiano Ronaldo’s historic move to the Juventus football club, Nike ran a billboard campaign in Turin, Italy that listed off his main accomplishments in heavy text, followed by a line saying: “Now forget it all, and do it again.”

Meanwhile, for the launch of the second season of the Alexander Wang x adidas Originals collection, the brands plastered key cities such as London and New York with fly posters that only read “TEXT TO BUY”, accompanied by a phone number and the brands’ logos. Ferdinando Verderi, creative director responsible for the campaign, spoke at length about their campaign and its approach to subverting established rules in fashion advertising, on a recent episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent.

How are you thinking about retail innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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business Campaigns Podcast social media technology

TheCurrent Debate: Is there real value in CGI models?

Balmain CGI Models
Balmain CGI Models

CGI models are having a moment in luxury fashion right now, but it’s up for debate as to whether they hold true value for the brands embracing them, according to the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent.

Co-hosts Liz Bacelar and Rachel Arthur, who discuss various technologies pertinent to the industry every month on this show, bring opposing viewpoints to the table.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

CGI or virtual models have been used in fashion advertising campaigns to an increasing degree over the past few years, with big name brands including Louis VuittonPrada and Balmain all employing them. Some of those involved, including one called Lil Miquela, and another named Shudu, have generated enormous buzz and impressively large social media followings as a result, as though they were indeed influencers in their own right.

Lil Miquela for UGG
Lil Miquela for UGG

Most recently, Lil Miquela featured in UGG’s 40th anniversary campaign, blending in seamlessly alongside two real-life influencers as though she were a natural part of the cast. For the unsuspecting onlooker, it’s not immediately clear she’s not.

One of the questions raised during the episode is whether such a move is merely about gaining from some of the hype such models currently present, or if they can in fact drive ROI for the brands making use of them long term. Rachel presents some interesting statistics that show how engagement of for CGI remains significantly lower than any example of a ‘human’ influencer, but Liz counters that view with the argument that what we’re looking at here is a form of artistic expression.

The duo also dive into what such flawless representations of women mean for beauty ideals in the era of fake news we currently live in, as well as the notion that we may all have a CGI or avatar version of ourselves in the future, not least the real life influencers who could ultimately gain increased revenue opportunities for themselves, even posthumously.

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns social media

CGI model Lil Miquela’s latest ad is for UGG

Lil Miquela for UGG

Digital model Lil Miquela is joining a roster of real-life influencers, such as model Adwoa Aboa and streetwear designer Heron Preston, for UGG’s 40th anniversary campaign.

According to the brand, the computer-generated model, whose full name is Miquela Souza, represents an “entire generation that is revisiting identity, reality and storytelling”. In the ads, she is seen against the same surrealist backdrops that other models in the campaign are photographed in, as if to blend seamlessly among the cast.

Created by Los Angeles-based startup Brud, the avatar straddles the line between digital and offline, and resurfaces the question of what the future of fashion influencers is. Similar to her real-life counterparts, however, Lil Miquela represents more than just a pretty face, as she has used her online platform to advocate for causes such as body positivity, immigration and most notably, the Black Lives Matter movement.

British model Aboa, on the other hand, is also the co-founder of Gurls Talk, an online platform for young women to discuss important issues pertaining to their lives, such as sexuality and self care.

For now, the use of CGI models seems more closely linked to the good publicity it brings rather than pushing a bigger conversation.

Back in 2016, Louis Vuitton was the first to deploy a digital model when “Final Fantasy” character Lightning posed for its S/S 2016 campaign; earlier this year, Prada enlisted Lil Miquela to promote a series of Instagram Stories stickers and GIFs alongside its Fall 2018 collection; and most recently, Balmain replaced its usual cast of supermodels with three virtual influencers.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

 

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business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media Startups sustainability technology

ICYMI: Apparel manufacturing coming home, shopping by voice, French brands focus on startups

Is apparel manufacturing coming home?
Is apparel manufacturing coming home?

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Is apparel manufacturing coming home? [McKinsey]
  • Voice command: is it the future of online shopping? [FashionUnited]
  • French retail and fashion groups deepen focus on startups [WWD]
  • Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are sending a clear signal that Amazon is the future of fashion, and it’s terrible news for department stores [Business Insider]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Magic Leap is real and it’s a janky marvel [TechCrunch]
  • Fast Retailing signs deal to fully automate warehousing [WWD]
  • ‘Building the digital factory’: 3D printing comes to Shopify [Digiday]
  • Chinese investment into computer vision technology and AR surges as US funding dries up [TechCrunch]
  • Amy Winehouse is going on tour as a hologram [Hypebeast]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Dove gets certified cruelty-free [FashionNetwork]
  • Why fashion’s anti-fur movement is winning [BoF]
  • The Maiyet Collective’s concept store: reshaping ethical lux [Stylus]
  • You buy a purse at Walmart. There’s a note inside from a “Chinese prisoner.” Now what? [Vox]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Amazon Fashion to launch London pop-up [Drapers]
  • Brandless is launching a pop-up shop in NYC [TechCrunch]
  • Supreme envy: The drop model gets used for burgers, tacos, toothbrushes [Digiday]
  • Jenna Lyons is back, and she’s returning with a brand-new multi-platform venture [Vogue]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Three Nasty Gal ads banned by watchdog [FashionNetwork]
  • ASOS unveils campaign and collection for new Gen-Z label Collusion* [TheIndustry]
  • Adidas launches new membership program [HighSnobiety]
  • Why brands are launching secret apps for superfans [BoF]
  • Snapchat becomes the mobile HBO with 12 daily scripted Original shows [TechCrunch]
  • Superdry unveils disabled mannequin shop window for Invictus Games [TheIndustry]
PRODUCT
  • Alexander Wang is launching a new Uniqlo collaboration that’s all about underwear [Vogue]
BUSINESS
  • Judge removes Deciem founder from CEO role [BoF]
  • Sears files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy [WSJ]
  • Superdry issues profits warning [Drapers]
  • Coast falls into administration and is bought by Karen Millen [TheIndustry]
  • Walmart acquires online lingerie retailer Bare Necessities [Reuters]
  • Lyst launches French version after LVMH investment [FashionNetwork]
CULTURE
  • The most diverse fashion season ever on the runway, but not the front row [NY Times]
  • Met Costume Institute embraces ‘Camp’ for 2019 blockbuster show [NY Times]
  • ‘Gender Bending Fashion’ to be focus of new show at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston next March [WWD]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns Editor's pick technology

Ralph Lauren celebrates 50 years with immersive installation and epic NYFW bash

Ralph Lauren and Oprah Winfrey
Ralph Lauren and Oprah Winfrey

Ralph Lauren celebrated its 50th anniversary at New York Fashion Week on Friday night, with a star-studded affair that kicked off with an immersive installation.

Held at the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in Central Park, guests were welcomed into the venue with a journey through the brand’s history. Enormous LED screens towering like sculptures played some of the designer’s most memorable collections, while iconic campaign imagery was next projected across the walls of a tunnel. Ralph Lauren himself narrated the tale.

The show that followed saw a diverse cast of over 150 models, followed by a dinner, with guests including Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Kanye West. It was more than just a fashion week show, and rather a slice of Hollywood entertainment.

The company called it “a multi-brand, multi-generational celebration of the World of Ralph Lauren and the next chapter of iconic American style”.

Chief marketing officer Jonathan Bottomley added that it was all about storytelling and the power of a story. He accordingly built the event out online too, with a strategy that spanned IGTV, WeChat, Line and live streaming, as well as via 125 digital influencers and celebrities.

That move was aiming to build on the success of last September’s show in the designer’s classic car garage, which saw over 1 billion social media impressions.

Ralph Lauren's 50th anniversary installation
Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary installation

For those who weren’t there in person, the digital strategy now extends in person, with the installation otherwise appearing at the brand’s Madison Avenue flagship in New York, and in additional locations worldwide in the coming weeks.

Building on the brand’s see-now-buy-now strategy, a selection of the 50th-anniversary collection has also been made available to buy immediately following the show, both online and at the brand’s flagship stores, as well as via key partners including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

In a continuing use of technology, Ralph Lauren was also awarded Design Legend of the year award by GQ magazine last week in London, for which he beamed in via hologram.

Such a move is classic from the brand. Though it has been quieter in recent times, for many years it led the way with innovative uses of technology, especially around fashion week. It has previously showcased its Polo Ralph Lauren collection via holographic water projections for instance, and used architectural mapping to bring a variety of its stores to life in an experiential way. There’s also been everything from connected fitting rooms to wearables.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns

Juicy Couture’s latest campaign pokes fun at influencers

@charlenealmarvez for Juicy Couture

Juicy Couture’s newly launched campaign for fall 2018 nods to influencer behaviour on social media by satirizing sponsored posts.

Using the hashtag #JUICYAD, all photos feature the headline “Paid Partnership with Juicy Couture”, which is also the exact phrase that appears on influencers’ branded posts on Instagram. The campaign also stars influencers themselves, who chose to be in on the joke and create commentary around increasingly stricter social media standards.

As for casting, the brand worked with Winston, a proprietary influencer software, developed by ABG, the owner of Juicy Couture. The software identifies, recruits and manages influencer campaigns and connections such as this ad.

The cast includes seven social media influencers recruited from different parts of the globe, with the aim to express individuality. They include Devon Carlson (@devonleecarlson), Tanya Kizko (@tanyakizko), Issa Lish (@issalien) and Charlene Almarvez (@charlenealmarvez).  Each influencer worked with stylist Daniel Packar to showcase the pieces in a way that corresponds to their personal styles.

To further amplify the collection, Juicy Couture will activate the #JUICYAD hashtag throughout the season, as well as launch a content series on social media. #COUTURECHRONICLES will highlight specific influencer’s lifestyles and how the brand impacts their lives.

Juicy Couture has been undergoing a major revamp over the past few years. A growing nostalgia for 00s fashion and pop culture has given the brand a much needed boost. In 2017, it released a version of its iconic velour tracksuits with what was then the buzziest brand in the industry, Vetements. This year, it held its first ever New York Fashion Week show for the Fall 2018 season in February.

@nissapouncey for Juicy Couture

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns Editor's pick film technology

Moncler explores emotional intelligence with Sophia the Robot

Moncler - "Emotional Intelligence"
Moncler – “Emotional Intelligence”

Moncler has enlisted Sophia the Robot to launch a digital campaign exploring the relationship between man and machine.

The campaign, which was developed by the New York Times’ creative agency T Brand Studio, promotes the label’s newest collection under the Genius line, this time by Japanese designer Kei Ninomiya. In the short film, Sophia is accompanied by actress and musician Ryan Destiny in a garden, exploring the definition of friendship.

“Sophia’s presence catalyzes new questions about the future of the social zeitgeist,” reads the accompanying copy. “In a new age of art and technology, will A.I. beings — all far more advanced than Sophia — become our friends? Will they develop their own capacity for thought and free will?”

The choice of Sophia comes down to not only its realistic features, but how it was conceived in the first place: the robot has been developed to portray emotions and warmth, not too dissimilar from a real human.

Moreover, the man versus machine theme is particularly relevant to Ninomiya’s collection as its clothing merge traditional origami traditions with futuristic designs, thus converging craft and technology.

The short ad campaign is available to watch on Moncler.com and through paid advertising on Instagram Stories.

This is Moncler’s sixth iteration of the Genius line, which takes inspiration from the ‘drop’ model made popular by streetwear labels, where merchandise is released on a recurring basis, rather than the traditional seasonal retail model. In following suit, the Italian brand hopes to engage with a younger generation who has become accustomed with having faster and more differentiated access to fashion.

As for Sophia the Robot, the humanoid has quickly catapulted into pop culture for its extensive coverage across TV and print. Earlier this year, it graced the cover of UK-based Stylist magazine, which dedicated an entire issue to machines. In June, TheCurrent’s founder Liz Bacelar interviewed her on stage at Impact festival in Krakow, Poland.

This month, the Italian luxury label also launched Moncler Beyond, a wider advertising initiative highlighting 19 men and women who are “pushing the limits”, including British actor John Boyega and Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.