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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.

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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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Editor's pick Retail technology

Macy’s celebrates the holidays with plethora of interactive experiences

Macy's new holiday campaign, Space Station
Macy’s new holiday campaign, Space Station

Macy’s is deploying technology and personalization to celebrate the holiday season, allowing consumers to find their perfect gifts through online tools and offline experiences.

On Instagram, the American department store is creating personalized gift guides in the form of Instagram carousels targeting specific recipients, such as a user’s friend or family member. To join they will have to answer questions about their interests and price range, for the Instant Gift Guide to generate a list they can swipe through, with the final frame being shoppable.

Meanwhile on Pinterest, Macy’s is creating a 360-degree tool that allows users to experience being inside a miniature snow globe that alludes to an element of its holiday commercial, Space Station. The globe will be filled with colorful holiday decor and enable users to pan around to find gifts and inspiration hidden within the scene. Customers will be able to shop their finds as well as share wish lists and send items to themselves.

The use of technology will expand online, as the retailer promotes new ways to trial beauty and visualize furniture. In approximately 50 stores nationwide, the beauty department will introduce an augmented reality mirror for instant try-ons, which will also showcase more than 250 beauty products. The mirror experience will be triggered when the consumer looks into a camera, allowing them to try on different shades from eye shadow to lipstick.

The beauty department at Macy’s most icon store, at Herald Square in New York, is also getting a makeover with the Instagram consumer in mind: the retailer has launched a 270-square-foot space that allows shoppers to discover brands in new ways and snap and share. The space is anchored around revolving themes, with the current one, titled “Beauty on Display”, being set up as a luxury boudoir where visitors can snap photos near a claw foot bathtub as well as shop for products.

As for furniture, Macy’s is following many home goods retailers and deploying virtual reality to enable store visitors to visualize furniture in their homes. The “See Your Space IRL” experience, available in select stores, lets shoppers virtually design their living spaces and place Macy’s furniture within it. Through VR headsets, they can then step into the virtual spaces to help them make more informed decisions.

Small business showcase by Facebook and Macy's
Small business showcase by Facebook and Macy’s

Lastly, the updated Macy’s app will serve as a connected hub so customers can get their goods seamlessly. For instance, it will allow shoppers to scan items while they shop and check out through self-serve machines, thus avoiding the holiday crowds.

The retailer is also diversifying its merchandise offering in order to tap into a broader and more connected consumer. For example at its now year-old The Market @ Macy’s space at selected stores, it is teaming up with Facebook to provide small businesses and e-commerce brands the opportunity to sell in real life during the holidays.

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.

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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 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 Editor's pick

Dove introduces no-distortion labelling across all imagery

Dove “No Digital Distortion Mark”

Dove has introduced the “No Digital Distortion Mark” to represent when an image has not been retouched, as it furthers its approach of representing beauty in an authentic aesthetic.

From July onwards the Mark will be rolled out across all branded content globally, with deodorant campaigns first.

The brand says that by January 2019, the mark will be incorporated across all static imagery showcasing women, including print, digital and social. With the initiative, Dove hopes to showcase women in their most realistic setting and reassure girls and women consuming media content that there is no such thing as a beauty standard.

“When content in the media is not reflective of reality, it has a profound negative effect on the viewer,” says Jess Weiner, cultural expert and adjunct professor at University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Journalism, in the press release from the brand. “By viewing unrealistic and unachievable beauty images it creates an unattainable goal which leads to feelings of failure. This is especially true of young girls who have grown up in a world of filters and airbrushing.”

Moreover, Dove’s strides towards realistic representation of women in media is backed by research that the brand has conducted in this field. According to the 2016 Dove Global Beauty and Confidence report, 77% of women believe that all images in the media have been digitally altered or airbrushed, while 69% of women cited the pressures for advertising and beauty to reach such unrealistic beauty standards play a major role in driving appearance anxiety.

The Mark is a continuation of Dove’s Real Beauty Pledge announced in 2017, in which the brand publicly recommitted to only portraying accurate representations of women and beauty. “Last year, we pledged to use images with zero digital distortion,” says Dove’s global vice president, Sophie Galvani. “This year, we want to go one step further and give women a tool to help them understand what is real and what isn’t. The Mark will take help women identify reality and relieve some of the pressure to look a certain way.”

Dove “No Digital Distortion Mark”

The new announcement also sits under the Self-Esteem Project umbrella, which was launched by the brand in 2004 and highlighted a commitment to reaching 40 million young people globally with body confidence and self-esteem education by 2020. Among the education element is the topic of how to counter the negative influence of media, with the hopes to not only teach consumers to be more aware and critical of what they see, but also push other brands to take action in accurate representation.

“Through the work of the Dove Self-Esteem project, we teach children to question what they see in the media and not to take everything at face value,” said Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs, body image expert and consultant to the brand. “However, the responsibility shouldn’t solely be on the viewer. Brands can do more to showcase reality and take this unnecessary pressure away. By doing so, we can have a positive impact on the lives of young girls.”

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business Campaigns Editor's pick sustainability

In-depth: The big takeaways from Cannes Lions 2018

Cannes Lions 2018
Cannes Lions 2018

Pivotal societal movements from gender equality and diversity to environmental sustainability, have been a part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for many years, but there was a greater sense of urgency and action tied to their delivery for 2018.

Beyond the talk

It’s all too easy to step on stage – onto the influential platform that Cannes Lions represents – and talk about a need for change. A need for the industry to be more inclusive, to represent women in positive roles or to bring about a sense of brand purpose that will shift mindsets across consumer groups at large. But it’s another thing altogether to really put that into action.

In a panel focused on female empowerment, Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, said the reason we’re still talking about the same old things is because of the fact progress is frustratingly slow. In a recent review of 40,000 ads, for instance, 29% negatively or inaccurately portrayed women in some way due to objectification, stereotyping or some kind of diminished role.

The landscape is changing, he said, but not fast enough. “There are some good examples, and we should feel good about that, but we know it’s not enough. I am optimistic however. We are getting close to that tipping point. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements changed the narrative forever. So let’s double down, and come together to be agents of change to achieve gender equality in the creative world.”

What’s key to driving this, he said, is seeing equality behind the camera, and throughout the entire creative pipeline. We can’t expect equality in the creative output until we have equality in the creative input, he explained.

Pritchard further highlighted that getting this right is also impactful on business results. Gender equal ads perform 10% better in trust and equity ratings, and 26% higher in terms of sales growth, he noted.

Beyond the trend

Driving change or action was also applied to the diversity conversation this year. Much like with gender equality, the focus here was on getting to the point of not needing to discuss it as a key subject at such an event anymore.

Said Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s editor-in-chief: “For the future, I want to see the marginalized, normalized… I don’t think we’re doing enough, but we’re all here doing our best. It will never be done until we’re not having this conversation anymore, until we’re not talking about diversity.”

Supermodel Naomi Campbell suggested that we’re currently at crunch time as to whether this diversity “trend” has sticking power. It’s got to be more than just a hot topic, she noted.

In an interview that dove into how she spent her early career being paid significantly less than her white counterparts, she explained: “I’m giving diversity another six months to see if it’s a trend, or something that’s here to stay and really change.”

Beyond purpose

Indeed, when something is deemed merely a trend, there’s also risk for brands of being perceived as jumping on the bandwagon should there not be authenticity in their approach. Having “brand purpose” or brands that “stand for something” are fellow trendy phrases, but it’s only through longstanding values that any such focus can ever ring true, speakers agreed.

The current era is a battle for truth, which is what’s placing trust at an all-time low for consumers, explained Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman, which publishes the annual Trust Barometer. “The idea for big brands has to be how do we become part of this ecosystem pushing change? Beyond the idea of purpose is the notion that somehow we’re relevant, and pushing for better,” he commented.

Patagonia hit the stage with an exploration of its ongoing focus on the environment and active support of a better planet, on that note. That wasn’t something that happened overnight however, but a program of belief in the company established over a 20-year period, the brand’s European marketing director, Alex Weller, explained.

What’s key right now, he said however, is that consumers want to take action themselves. “In what increasingly feels like a stormy world, people are looking for hope. They’re looking for it in grassroots organizations, and increasingly in brands…. People are asking what can I do, how can I help, how can I take action.”

What the team realized was that if it really wanted to scale the movement, it needed to get out of the way a bit. “That bottleneck was us,” Weller said. The Patagonia Action Works platform, a microsite intended to facilitate interactions between like-minded activists, was the resulting initiative. “The end goal is that we and our community get to participate in things we care about to actually take action. To go from giving a shit to actually doing something,” he explained.

Once again, proof lies in the pudding. Weller explained that Patagonia has been growing at between 15-20% year-on-year. “We believe there is correlation between our movement building and our commercial performance. And the more direct correlation is, that the more we grow, the more we can do,” he noted.

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Campaigns

JW Anderson turns to user-generated content for SS18

JW Anderson social media call-out for SS18 campaign advertising photographersBritish designer JW Anderson is crowdsourcing its upcoming SS18 campaign imagery from members of the public, with the slogan Your Picture/Our Future. Announced on social media, the call-out targets professional and amateur photographers aged 18 to 30.

“By asking for submissions in this way, it really feels like the right way? to find new imagery. We have taken a chance on image-makers in the past, and we decided to do it in an even bigger way now,” Jonathan Anderson, the designer, said.

The designer stresses this is a chance to give new talent a wider platform, and help the chosen photographer develop a more distinct voice. “I felt as if we were given a chance. We were all young, new and coming through together, particularly when we launched our campaigns. It felt right to give somebody else that opportunity. Fundamentally, it is about talent giving a chance to talent —this is something I really believe in.”

To select the winner, Anderson is working with Benjamin Bruno, the brand’s creative consultant, and creative studio M/M (Paris). He also has plans to curate the submissions for a show that will take place in London.

The campaign will be launched online, in select print publications and outdoor in the style of fly-posting.

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Editor's pick film

3 new sportswear ads you need to watch – Adidas, Reebok and Nike

FKA Twigs x Nike - sportswear campaigns
FKA Twigs x Nike: Do You Believe in More?

Unsurprisingly, inspiration for great storytelling, and for films that don’t merely push product, but sell big ideas, often come from outside the fashion space.

Sportswear, albeit only one step removed, is one such area. It always has been.

Three weeks into the New Year and we’re already seeing why that’s set to continue for 2017. Below are three new campaigns from Adidas, Reebok and Nike that you might want to pay attention to…


Reebok: Be More Human – Hands

Reebok is back with its “Be More Human” campaign, once again focusing on the idea that physicality unlocks a better version of yourself. At the heart of that is a 60-second spot called “Hands”, which highlights the idea of our hands as the “perfect metaphor for the change that happens when you are physical”, Yan Martin, Reebok’s VP of brand management and creative direction, told AdWeek.

“Because as we push and pull and fight, our hands collect calluses, and blisters and scars. They’re almost like journals in this way. But as our hands, and bodies, change, we also change on the inside. Becoming braver and kinder and more connected,” he adds. “We’re not just talking about fitness for the sake of fitness, or winning and losing. This is about the transformation that happens when we move—physically, mentally and socially. So that gives us a lot of areas to play in, and a lot to respond to within culture and the current mind-set of the world.” The ad was created by Venables Bell & Partners and is accompanied by a handful of additional spots following the same theme.


FKA Twigs x Nike: Do You Believe in More?

Nike Women has launched a new campaign fronted by FKA Twigs, who also plays the part of creative director. The result is a two-minute music video set to the artist’s new song Trust in Me and starring a cast of 12 athletes alongside her. In a statement, Twigs said: “When Nike first came to me with this project, I saw it as an opportunity to let young people know they have the power to become the best versions of themselves. I put together a cast of 12 incredible athletes to show that it’s about what you do in fitness gear. It’s about how you train. It’s about how those things help your movement.”


Adidas Originals: Original is Never Finished

Music is also central to a new global campaign from Adidas Originals to relaunch its EQT shoe line. The above 90-second film, called “Original is Never Finished” features a version of Frank Sinatra’s My Way, to reinforce the idea that despite being a track that’s been covered multiple times before, original is indeed, never finished. Stars include Snoop Dogg, hip-hop artist Stormzy, basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, skateboarder Lucas Puig, artist Petra Collins and more. It was created by New York agency Johannes Leonardo.

Alegra O’Hare, VP-global communications at Adidas Originals & Core, said: “We have in the past challenged ‘outward’-facing concepts like what it meant to be a superstar, or the dystopian notion of the future. For the first time ever, we decided to point the attention in, and challenge the very ethos of our brand and the notion of what it means to be a true original.”

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business Comment data Editor's pick technology

Cannes Lions 2015 – a recap of the top trends and big ideas

After seven days, over 300 speakers and more magnums of rosé than even the Carlton probably dares to think about, Cannes Lions has wrapped for another year. Whether you were stuck at home or just spent too much time on the beach instead, here’s a round-up of the trends to know about from the Palais for 2015.

canneslions_flags

Data and creativity

If there was one word used more than any other this week, it was data. This wasn’t just about debating the need for “analytics” or “insights”, or even repeatedly raising “big data” as a buzz phrase, but how we take the fact we know that’s happening and still combine and integrate it with our creativity.

Speakers referred to data as being the linchpin to creating more emotional content. They called for greater collaboration between the industry – from creatives to technologists – as a way of moving people’s hearts. Professor Brian Cox said: “Every creative person needs data to keep them rooted in reality.”

AI as the next big era

Spinning off from that focus on data came numerous references to artificial intelligence (AI) as the next big revolution in tech. Mike Cooper from PHD referred to us as being at “11.59pm on the eve of AI”. He highlighted that over $57bn has been invested in AI to date, and that number is increasing 60 per cent every year. “Success in inventing AI will be the biggest success in human history, and it may be the last,” he joked.

But Cooper also highlighted that this is going to lead to a radical reorganisation of marketing; that we will have to change from frontal cortex decision-making companies to algorithmic ones. “AI is not just heading for our industry, it’s going to pass right through our backyard,” he added.

Virtual reality and beyond

AI also made an appearance along La Croisette with a personal robot called Pepper winning visitors over, but elsewhere technologies grabbing attention largely surrounded virtual reality (VR).

Google Cardboard won the mobile Grand Prix, despite not being an actual mobile initiative per se, but an enabler for it. Speakers said there was no longer any doubt VR would be successful; the question more is when is it going to reach mass adoption?

SapientNitro introduced its new VR experience designed specifically for shopping. Created as a retail prototype, it’s an immersive piece of content that takes the user on a virtual journey to The Apartment by The Line store, in New York’s Soho. Success, said the team, comes down to storytelling.

New content formats

Creating content for VR might be one thing up ahead of us, but the here and now, according to Cannes Lions, is about big growth platforms including Tinder and Snapchat. Founders of both apps took to the stage to talk about creativity, new consumption habits, and how to be unique with what you do.

Sean Rad of Tinder said consumers arrive in the frame of mind that they’re willing to absorb content, and seemingly that includes content from brands. He called on the audience to create things that are new, exciting and unique, that will encourage users to swipe right and opt-in for relationships with them.

Calls to action

Further rally cries from the podium focused on calling upon the power of the audience and their own connections to help achieve greater goals. It was about public health from Jamie Oliver; poverty through to climate change from Richard Curtis and Sir John Hegarty; and cyber-bullying from Monica Lewinsky.

The latter referred to herself as “patient zero” in the new blood sport of viral online shaming. She asked the industry to help change that culture; to determinedly move away from a click-baiting model buoyed by public humiliation, where the media entities benefit from a revenue perspective, and the damaged individuals left behind are forgotten. It was one of the most powerful sessions of the week, and the only full standing ovation of the year.

Female empowerment

Gender equality was another big part of Richard Curtis and Sir John Hegarty’s Global Goals Campaign, a worldwide initiative aimed at raising awareness of the United Nations’ “to-do list for the planet”.

Women as a focus carried through the rest of the week too – from Grand Prix campaign winners like Always’ Like a Girl and Under Armour’s I Will What I Want, featuring Gisele, to yet more speakers on stage addressing the role of women. Meanwhile, actress Samantha Morton and Dazed founder Jefferson Hack introduced their Female Firsts Film Fund, which aims to help more female directors source funding for their first and second feature movies.

Vulnerability and naivety

Each year at Cannes Lions brings new schools of thought around how to inspire creativity. Failing fast, taking risk and creating white space for ideas have all been key buzz phrases in the past. According to experiential artist Emilie Baltz, this year it’s about going out to embarrass yourself. “Think about one place you feel vulnerable and try to do 1 per cent of it. Putting yourself in a place of that discomfort often means you’re there before others. It’s a place of innovation,” she said.

Ben Jones, CTO at AKQA, turned instead to inspiration from children. He urged the crowd to seek naivety, to ask questions, and to become a deliberate beginner.

Intention as the new authenticity

Pharrell Williams was one of the headline celebrity names on the schedule (Kim Kardashian, Will.i.am and Adrian Grenier being others), bringing with him a message about intention over anything else. He said intent should be the number one ingredient in any of your work. “It’s intention that makes consumers feel something,” he emphasised,

But it was Marilyn Manson, a man who chose his stage name, his look, wrote his autobiography and even booked his first venue before he had written a song, who spoke to authenticity more than anyone else. He reminded us there’s nothing more important than being real. “Consumers see through the fake faster than ever these days,” he explained.

This piece first on The Drum

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Comment Editor's pick social media

Why are autumn campaigns already releasing? The fashion industry needs a rethink

When did ad campaigns for autumn/winter start launching in May? I returned to my desk today after a couple of weeks travelling to see notifications about ads released from Marc Jacobs, BOSS by Hugo Boss, Roberto Cavalli, Isabel Marant and Mango, to name a few. That’s far earlier than normal. Late June used to be the first release, and it would tend to be from Burberry.

Ciara-Roberto-Cavalli-Fall-Winter-2015
Ciara for Roberto Cavalli A/W 15/16

In some instances, those already out seemed to have been leaked, but in others, these have been legitimate announcements. Perhaps it’s indicative of a certain number of designers trying to beat the rest of the industry to the punch – after all, there comes a time each season when yet another campaign story across blogs and social media is incredibly tiresome. (Mind you, do read this great post from Lou Stoppard of SHOWstudio last season).

But as a larger issue, this is emblematic of a fundamental problem with the fashion industry, its complicated seasons and their even more confusing timelines.

It is now just June (and may I add the sun has finally started to shine). Spring collections are in-store but heavily on sale, and pre-fall is waiting in the wings, if not already on the shop floor.

Cher-Marc-Jacobs-Fall-2015-Ad-Campaign
Cher for Marc Jacobs A/W 15/16

It goes without saying the majority of consumers are not yet in the mindset for buying winter-wear. Cher in a full-length black embellished skirt and gloves for Marc Jacobs (as above) might turn heads, but unlikely directly impact a sale. Even if it wanted to, it couldn’t yet – that product is not available.

And that’s the point. If fashion weeks are so far off store deliveries as we know (resort collections are coming out thick and fast at present just to confuse matters even more), shouldn’t we be trying to utilise the hype our marketing can also generate to actually lead to conversions. The power of social media would be far better leveraged if the items on show could be clicked and bought – that’s not possible from the catwalk in the majority of cases, but it is from ads. For once we might actually be able to make sense of the lines and when they’re released if so.

At the very least, let’s take these high profile campaigns, their celebrity signings and big production values, and team them up directly with current stock. That would be significantly better than just wistfully hoping a release might drive traffic by association.

Edie-Campbell-Hugo-Boss-Fall-2015-Campaign
Edie Campbell for BOSS by Hugo Boss A/W 15/16

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs