Bloomingdale’s has teamed up with NGO Kind Campaign to launch an initiative to help end bullying among young girls.
The week-long programme will see multiple activations happening across different store locations, including creative workshop stations and pledge walls. The American retailer worked with Kind Campaign to curate different activities, all of which aim to teach the importance of kindness and collaboration to young girls.
One station, a pledge wall, will encourage children to write anti-bullying slogans, as well as share kind words and drawings, with the resulting murals being donated to local schools. The two remaining stations are more directly linked to Kind Campaign itself: one booth will invite children to build bracelets with empowering messages, while the other allows anyone interested in joining the organization to become an ambassador, or even start their own Kind Club in their local community.
The collaboration also includes a capsule collection of t-shirts with uplifting slogans reading “Find Your Kind” and “Kindness is Magic”, with 10% of sale profits being donated to the NGO.
Kind Campaign, which is one of the country’s largest anti-bullying organizations, focuses solely on female bullying as it believes the majority of the behavior is related to verbal abuse, therefore requires a different approach to male bullying.
To learn about how kindness and accountability can help companies further innovate and tap into an engaged community, listen to TheCurrent Innovator’s episode featuring Louise Troen, Bumble’s SVP for international marketing and communications.
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.
With 150 million active daily users worldwide and 25-34 years olds as its fastest growing demographic, Snapchat is increasingly an appealing and pivotal part of social media strategy for fashion brands.
The problem is, with a severe lack of discoverability on the platform (there’s no search nor content surfacing), gaining traction isn’t the easiest task unless you’re spending money on ad products with the company. The same goes for the lack of metrics on hand; meaning building out what that content plan should look like isn’t a terribly straightforward one.
A paid-for strategy might well be for you, of course, and is in fact all that Snapchat itself will support. Burberry, ASOS, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, John Lewis and more, have all done so, working across the three ad products available (Snap Ads, which appear between Stories and Discover content, Sponsored Geofilters, which are location-specific overlays on images and videos taken, and Sponsored Lenses, which are augmented reality additions to selfies taken by users).
But underpinning that, needs to be a strong organic content plan – an understanding of the ways in which to get the most out of the platform year round, and use your other channels as a basis to push followers to it. At our recent #FashMash Bootcamp, a masterclass dedicated to Snapchat, we put forward 10 tips and tricks to get the most out of it, as well as lots of examples of brands to learn from within the fashion industry already doing it well.
1/ Tell stories
The key thing to recognise with Snapchat is how transient the content is. Arguably that affords you the ability to throw bits and pieces up and not worry too much. But more to the point, it means you need to make a big impact in a short amount of time to convince users to return. Storytelling is critical therefore. This is a storytelling platform. You need to think about what you’re creating along those lines accordingly. Even if your content is a basic behind-the-scenes view, does it have a beginning, middle and end? Storyboard out what that looks like before you start in order to capitalise on it to its greatest extent.
In terms of what the content should be, think around providing some seriously unique access – exclusivity beyond what you offer on other channels. Burberry has done this well, so has Agent Provocateur; both of them recognising this is not a place to copy and paste the same assets. The other critical consideration is around humour. Snapchat is all about entertainment. It’s playful, funny and whimsical, which may be an entirely different direction for your brand, but it’s a critical way to think in order to win on this platform. You want your content to have an “I would screenshot that” moment and being emotionally engaging is the secret sauce to making that happen.
2/ Get creative
Use the tools on hand within the Snapchat platform. The very heart of this app is the fun and frivolous nature of its messages sitting hand-in-hand with that humorous storytelling vibe – from the quirky illustrations you can add to the emojis, bitmojis, lenses and filters. Be native to the platform by integrating them into what you send. It will instantly lift your work to be more in line with what users expect to see. Gucci is a great example of a brand that has played with it in this way, thanks largely to its partnership with street artist GucciGhost, aka Trouble Andrew, last fashion week. But also check out the likes of Sophia Webster, ASOS and Primark.
If you’re up for advertising spend, your next best move is indeed a Sponsored Lens or Geofilter. The former tends to drive engagement, the latter is good for reach. Fashion has heavily experimented with both, the likes of Chanel through to Ugg creating entertaining and quite unexpected lenses, while River Island introduced filters to 280 of its stores.
3/ Don’t overproduce it
If there’s one thing that Snapchat isn’t about, it’s a polished, beautiful, laboured-over image. Forget that. It’s raw, candid and in the moment. It’s effortless, but rough around the edges. Again, if you want to feel like you organically fit alongside what a user is viewing from their friends, you don’t want your content to feel like an advert. Amateur is the aim.
Valentino is a great brand in this space, sharing real and regular insights into what all goes on in its showrooms, without feeling too stuffy or produced. Art direction is fine, but it needs to feel native to the platform. Remember it’s shot on a smartphone, which almost instinctively leads to an insider view and a fly-on-the-wall style, so embrace it.
4/ Pick your personality
Another part of treating the platform natively, comes in thinking about how your content is presented. It almost goes without saying that video is critical, but where Snapchat sits differently to most other channels is that success is frequently found in having someone’s face on show within that. Users are used to a very personal view from the interactions and the selfies they have from friends; the augmented reality Lenses only push this further. If you’re approaching this as a brand therefore, it’s about hiring people that can achieve this for you. Are you working with an influencer (see point 7) or can your own team step up as personalities?
Everlane is the prime example here. It uses the platform as its primary social media channel, anchoring each and every post with insights from its candid and personable team members, Red Gaskell and Isadora Sales. They have come to represent the brand, making their stories and what they talk about, must-view content. It works within a feed of friends otherwise, and makes you feel as though you do indeed, know them yourself.
5/ Mix it up
The beauty of Snapchat is indeed the fact that it’s content so readily disappears, giving you the ability to experiment and see what works for you. Such ease of creation also provides the ability to mix up the type of content you produce, however. As with any channel, too much of the same thing gets repetitive. Think about how you can ensure a variety of content to keep it interesting for your team to produce and your viewers to watch – from the subject of them particularly, to whether they are stills or videos, and indeed include any of the creative tools in point 2.
Warby Parker is a particularly strong example of a brand posting regular and very varied types of posts. At this point in time, the industry at large, is leaning most heavily towards posting about product, followed by lifestyle and events, as per the below chart from L2. Can you think outside the box on this and lean towards ever-greater storytelling compared to your competitors, weaving in that piece around humour from point 1?
6/ Engage your community
To truly embrace the candidness of Snapchat, it’s important to engage your community. This isn’t a one-way channel, but rather an opportunity for authentic conversation. It’s about messaging far more than broadcasting. Encourage followers to send you Snaps by asking them questions in your story, invite them to screengrab certain posts you put up, and of course take that view into the real world with on-the-ground activations tied to your Snapchat feed.
Bloomingdale’s for instance ran a scavenger hunt with different geofilters placed around their stores that users had to send selfies of themselves with to win certain prizes. On an even simpler basis, rumour has it the team at Everlane send at least a selfie back to every Snap they receive.
7/ Work with influencers
As with so many other platform, working with influencers is a sure-fire way of authentically gaining traction and relevance with new audiences. It’s more important than ever with Snapchat however, where discovery is distinctly limited, as noted. For users to find you, they either need to know your exact username or have taken a picture of your Snapcode. Using influencers is therefore a smart route of enabling wider reach as well as engagement.
This is something the likes of Rimmel has done with Cara Delevingne and Tommy Hilfiger with Gigi Hadid. The latter has posted about the brand on her own account to drive new traffic to it, as well as hosted the occasional takeover on the Hilfiger channel around key events like fashion week. Treat those partnerships as you would on any other social network – make decisions based around what and who aligns with your brand, not just how many numbers they might extend to.
8/ Think about timing
Ensure you create a rhythm of posting. The whole purpose of Snapchat is to foster FOMO (fear of missing out), meaning you need to give your viewers a reason to return on a regular basis so they feel like they really are missing something if they’re not there. The ephemeral and transient nature of this platform provides the perfect opportunity to do so. Consider having weekly segments like Everlane does with its #TransparencyTuesday campaign and Chubbies does with its True Thighs fictionalised series – both go-to campaigns that viewers know to tune in for.
At this point in time, the fashion industry is otherwise largely focused on delivering content around fashion weeks or other events. Given there’s no back catalogue for users to flick through, that’s often a wasted opportunity. That’s not to say it’s essential to post everyday, but it’s only by regularly being present that you get seen here.
9/ Connect to commerce
All the aforementioned tips around storytelling, personalities and dialogue still stand, but on Snapchat, product reveals and showcases also have a big part to play. Consumers reportedly want to see your stuff, but the question then stands as to how you connect that engagement through to conversion? There is of course no direct route for links to e-commerce pages, nor any metrics around anything you’re putting out (unless you’re paying for ad products, as explained), but there are ways to start seeing uplift if you approach it creatively.
Think outside the box with your content strategy if conversion is a key objective. Can you drive codes through Stories that shoppers can bring into stores, giving you an anecdotal mode of ROI at least? Or could you share direct product codes within your posts, as Ann Taylor LOFT and Revolve have both done? Everlane has even experimented with Snapchat Discover publisher Sweet recently to test the idea of shoppable content via screenshots and emails.
10/ Spread the fun
As noted, discovery on Snapchat is really hard. There’s also no way to know how many followers you have or have gained with a campaign, unless it’s a paid one. Your number one job with any content strategy on the channel is therefore to look at broader means of getting people on board. You should be pushing your Snapcode out to further social platforms, as well as the real world, but more than that, cross promoting what you produce in order to drive awareness around the content itself.
Everything you post can be saved, reuploaded and shared elsewhere; teased and pushed accordingly. Fendi has even used its Snapchat Tour campaign as an opportunity to create an entire series on its own website, letting something that was once 24 hours long, live on long thereafter. Influencers come in again here too in order to help push numbers, but if you have a big following on the likes of Facebook, you might also want to think around some paid promotion on mobile using the “snapchat.com/add/username” link to drive awareness and direct click-throughs to the app and your account.
The see-now, buy-now fashion week circus continues, wrapping up in New York and onto London. All eyes on the Burberry show as that takes place this evening, but before that a round-up of all the other bits you might have missed including J. Mendel’s Instagram Stories show, Hood by Air’s collaboration with PornHub and the role virtual and mixed reality are playing this season.
Also hitting the headlines has been everything from the first Bread & Butter by Zalando attracting 20,000 consumers, and M&S sharing detail on how data and technology can drive innovation and growth. Don’t forget to check out our full list of upcoming events at the bottom too…
The holiday season is to the retail world what the Super Bowl is to big-name brands. Stores on both sides of the Atlantic are pushing out high profile campaigns in a bid to capture that all-important share of Q4 wallet.
Looking beyond the traditional divide between digital and brick-and-mortar outlets, a handful of interactive tech integrations are driving engagement online and in the store space. These creations draw on gaming, augmented reality, shoppable videos and personalised experiences. Here’s our pick of 10 of the best.
Bloomingdale’s interactive windows
Bloomingdale’s is all about interactive windows this holiday season, with a series of gaming experiences tied to the theme of bows. Shoppers are encouraged to participate by connecting to Bloomingdalesholiday.com via their smartphones. Challenges include a card-turning memory game called Memo-a-Bow; a kind of Space Invaders activity called Whack-a-Bow; and Peek-a-Bow, where users have to keep track of a bow hidden under one of several moving boxes. Created by retail innovation company The Science Project, the site also affords participants the opportunity to take selfies on an interactive touchscreen and share them over Facebook, and see tweets posted using the #bloomiesgreetings hashtag appear across the New York skyline behind the glass.
Target’s & Google’s immersive 3-D adventure
The game is also afoot at Target, where a partnership with Google’s Art, Copy & Code team and creative agency 72andSunny has produced a mobile experience called Bullseye’s Playground. The six games include sledding with Target’s mascot bull terrier, Bullseye, racing in a Hot Wheels car, and enjoying snowball fights and ice fishing. In-store signage prompts shoppers to discover special codes throughout the store that unlock new characters and game levels. In certain stores, the interactive initiative extends to an immersive 3-D adventure; Google’s Project Tango tablets transform the aisles into a winter wonderland as the setting and characters change onscreen as the user moves.
Gap’s Play your Stripes augmented reality experience
Gap might be pushing four short videos directed by Sofia Coppola as the main portion of its campaign this holiday season, but it is also playing host online to a more innovative interactive experience. An augmented-reality gift guide lets online shoppers create music from the stripes they’re wearing. “Play your Stripes” lets users remix Blood Orange’s soundtrack “It Is What It Is” by transforming their own clothing into musical instruments.
Kate Spade’s shoppable video
Kate Spade arguably wins the crown for most amusing holiday film this season, with a short spot called “The Waiting Game” that features Anna Kendrick locked out of her apartment. With time to kill, the actress entertains herself by talking on the phone, singing familiar holiday tunes, and sipping champagne through a straw straight from the bottle. She also tries on various pieces she’s just bought from Kate Spade while posing for her small dog. Users see plenty of pieces from the collection, then can click to buy them thanks to a shoppable tie-in from touchscreen video platform Cinematique. Viewers can tap any product in the film to save it in a gallery on the righthand side of the screen. From there, they can click on any saved item to complete a purchase.
John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin tech integration
Department store John Lewis has melted hearts across the UK with its tale of a young boy called Sam and his pet penguin Monty, created by Adam & Eve/DDB. Accompanying the ad is a fully integrated initiative spanning relevant products for sale including books, plush penguin stuffed animals, penguin-patterned pyjamas and more, as well as an interactive experience in the store. John Lewis and Samsung created these spaces, dubbed “Monty’s Den.” Children can take their photos with the penguin, find out more about his Antarctic friends, check out virtual-reality goggles to see a 360-degree version of Monty’s world, and explore more of the campaign’s story. In the retailer’s London flagship store, a tech-enabled experience centres on bringing toys to life through Microsoft’s 3-D photogrammetry software. Children can scan their own toy, then see it appear onscreen dancing alongside Monty.
Ted Baker’s #SantasElfie Instagram game
Ted Baker has introduced an Instagram-based treasure hunt conceived by Poke London that invites customers to find missing elves. An account called @TedsElfie delivers a series of clues to followers via images curated to mimic a puzzle board. Combined, the squares depict a winter wonderland; divided, each square comprises its own picture with a caption that specifies whether or not the elves are nearby. Some lead to additional accounts in a sort of “choose your own adventure” experience. Visitors who locate the elves may win other prizes, from hip flasks and bracelets to a trip to see the Northern Lights.
Charlotte Olympia’s #spintowin slot machine
British footwear designer Charlotte Olympia has rolled out a festive slot machine on its website for the first 12 days of December. Fans are invited to spin to win iconic pieces from its seasonal collection – all they have to do it get three matching styles over the course of three tries. Charlotte Olympia has also pushed the game via social media; it shares a countdown bauble each day alongside the #spintowin hashtag.
Harvey Nichols’ “Could I Be Any Clearer” personalised gift cards app
Adam & Eve/DDB is also behind Harvey Nichols’ ‘Could I Be Any Clearer’ campaign, which comprises a line of gift cards designed to help shoppers ensure they get what they really want this season. The cards feature six traditional Christmas designs (robins, doves, wise men and more); each one features copy wishing the reader “Season’s Greetings” or “Good Tidings” before requesting specific presents. Consumers can create their own versions of the tongue-in-cheek cards online and use a dedicated Christmas-card app to customise digital cards for every product featured on the retailer’s website. Each can then be printed, emailed or shared via social media.
Tesco’s Secret Scan-ta
UK supermarket giant Tesco has introduced a service that browses Twitter to suggest what to buy for specific users. The Secret Scan-ta app created by We Are Social scrapes information from accounts in a bid to highlight users’ precise interests based on who they follow and what they post. The apps showcases suggestions ranging from technology to fashion alongside animated Santa GIFs; links to the website for Tesco’s loyalty card let members get double loyalty points as well as the chance to win bigger prizes.
Virtual fitting room startup Metail is running a campaign that invites shoppers to see what they’d look like in a series of different Christmas-themed outfits. #Tryonxmas provides access to some of the best looks from high-street stores, as well as the likes of a Miss Santa, Christmas pudding and Minnie Mouse costume. Users enter their measurements to see how each look will work for them; when they’re satisfied, they can share the results with friends.
US department store Bloomingdale’s has introduced a series of interactive windows tied to the theme of bows as part of its 2014 holiday campaign.
Gaming is the focus with passersby encouraged to connect to Bloomingdalesholiday.com via their mobile phones to participate in the action.
From there they can get involved in three different games directly in the windows. “Ready Set Bow,” reads the intro before offering up Memo-a-Bow, a card turning memory game; Whack-a-Bow, like a kind of Space Invaders; and Peek-a-Bow, where users have to keep their eye on the bow under the boxes as they move. Each can be played alone or with up to four players.
Photograph-a-bow is then the name for an experience powered by FaceCake that allows users to take a #selfie on an interactive touch screen to share with their social following. The resulting shots can be accessed via a Facebook app, where you can see and Adore-a-Bow the Incred-i-Bow attempts of others (seriously this one is never ending).
Shoppers are also encouraged to share their special holiday messages and ‘Put a Bow on It’ using the hashtag #bloomiesgreetings via Twitter – each tweet then appears across the New York skyline in yet another window.
Last but not least is Charit-a-Bow, a window featuring a giant teddy bear made by Gund covered in hundreds of gold bows and holding a screen that encourages viewers to donate to the Child Mind Institute.
British contemporary brand, Whistles, has launched a short video directed by Garance Doré to celebrate its further expansion into the US and France.
Called #bellesandwhistles, the spot features a cast of “modern, sharp and stylish” women living in the US, UK and France. Among them are Yasmin Sewell, a London-based fashion consultant; Elle Strauss, fashion director of Shopbop and Brit living in New York; Vashtie Kola, an American artist and DJ; Jeanann Williams, an American stylist; French actress Rebecca Dayan; and French DJ and creative consultant Cecile Togni.
They are each seen clapping, dancing and whistling along to the tune, as overlaid copy reads: “The Whistles woman is independent, quietly brilliant, relaxed, discerning, elegant, intelligent, sharp, stylish.”
Jane Shepherdson, chief executive of Whistles, referred to the campaign as a digital first for the brand. “We see a great synergy between the aesthetic of both Whistles and Garance, which has been brought to life in the #bellesandwhistles film. To have such inspiring women working on and in the film is representative of the brand’s DNA, it’s like working with friends who understand you.”
The video launched on the Garance Doré website today, May 19, while shorter versions are also being posted to Instagram with the #bellesandwhistles hashtag. Consumer are simultaneously being invited to submit their own ‘whistling’ clips on the platform for a chance to win a shopping spree in the store.
Whistles is opening its first brick-and-mortar presence in the US, with a concession at Bloomingdale’s in New York. It is also supplementing its already established concession at Le Printemps, with Le BHV Marais this month and will roll out a French language website this summer.