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Editor's pick product Retail

Puma releases sneaker that triggers interactive AR content

Puma has released a new sneaker that activates augmented reality filters and more content once scanned by the user.

Wearers can scan the LQD Cell Origin AR with a dedicated app, that then uses machine learning and AR tracking technology to ‘read’ the shoe, and trigger the experience on their phones. Users can then experiment with AR filters, learn more about the shoe and even play an interactive mobile game.

“LQD CELL Origin AR is PUMA’s answer to a world in which the line between reality and the virtual realm becomes increasingly blurred,” says the brand.

AR filters show the shoe seemingly bursting into flames, while more styles will be released within the next month. “Inside LQD CELL” is a feature that allows users to learn more about the shoe’s construction, displaying it in its separate layers. Meanwhile, the LQD Dash game challenges players to avoid digital objects from hitting them, and they can even re-scan the sneakers to gain more ‘lives’ within it.

The app also connects to Puma’s website where customers are able to purchase the shoe and other styles within the family, if they haven’t done so already.

Users don’t need the physical shoe to activate the content, however, as the experience can recognise a flat image of the shoe, therefore can be triggered by scanning an image of it on a computer screen.

AR is a popular technology of choice for sportswear or streetwear brands hoping to engage with their young user base. Last year, adidas deployed AR at ComplexCon, much to the frenzy of festival-goers. Previously, Nike had experimented with the technology on everything from a city-wide scavenger hunt to a location-based Snapchat activation.

How are you thinking about innovation? 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 Editor's pick mobile

Hermès launches mobile game as part of year-long celebration of play

Hermès "H pitchhh" game
Hermès “H pitchhh” game

Hermès has launched “H-pitchhh”, a mobile gaming app inspired by its equestrian heritage, as part of its year-long celebration around the topic of ‘play’.

The app allows users to virtually toss a horseshoe, where points are scored based on how close they get it to the stake. The more points users earn, the more they unlock exclusive content such as virtual worlds inspired by Hermès illustrations, as well as different horseshoe pitching objects. Users can play alone or invite a friend to participate in the experience.

The brand, known for its whimsical content strategy, chose 2018 as the year of the “Let’s Play” theme. It has been anchoring its creative direction around a single theme per year since 1987, when Jean-Louis Dumas, former chairman and CEO, launched the “Year of the Fireworks” to celebrate the house’s 150th anniversary.

To further promote the creative direction, visitors to the ninth edition of the Saut Hermès, its showjumping competition in Paris in March, were invited to play with the app or engage on a real-life game of hopscotch.

During the same month, the label launched its store at The Dubai Mall with a pop-up fairground that included a hall of mirrors and a carousel.

Hermès Fantasy in Dubai
Hermès Fantasy in Dubai

Categories
mobile social media

Hollister launches 16-bit skateboarding game for jeans season

Hollister's 16-bit skateboarding game with TreSensa
Hollister’s 16-bit skateboarding game with TreSensa

US teen retailer Hollister has launched a retro, 16-bit game for mobile in partnership with TreSensa to promote its new denim line.

The skateboarding-themed interaction sees two characters, Waxer and Betty, making their way around various parts of Venice in California on their boards, including the pier, the boardwalk and the bike path.

As they go, they have to navigate over and around various obstacles such as lifeguards, traffic cones and hotdog vendors, all the while collecting coins for points and denim items for super powers.

On completion, users can share it with friends via social media, opt to play again, and be in with the chance of winning prizes.

This game follows the success of an earlier surfing-themed one launched by the brand in March. Designed to live in ad space, it gained 27.6 million impressions during that month alone. Users spent an average of 43 seconds playing it, compared with a benchmark of eight seconds for interface with a mobile video ad. Furthermore, a video or display ad interaction rate is usually 5% and the Hollister game saw a 42% average game start.

Said Will Smith, chief marketing officer at the company, at the launch of that first iteration: ” It keeps the brand breaking through in new and unique ways and helps us maintain our relevance day to day. This comes at the customer in an unconventional way and that’s part of our brand ethos of not being staid and traditional—we want to be young, credible and authentic.”

The new game will again live in the ad space, distributed via the TreSensa engagement platform, which has a global reach of over a billion devices. It will also be promoted via Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.

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mobile

Ted Baker turns to gamification for Valentine’s once again

Gamification: Ted Baker's Love Bites Valentine's game
Ted Baker’s Love Bites Valentine’s game

Ted Baker has teamed up with digital creative agency SMACK for the fourth year running to launch a digital game for Valentine’s Day.

Called ‘Love Bites‘, the game features three chattering teeth characters known as silver-tongued bachelor chatterup Charles, love sick broken-hearted Bill and flirty footloose Fran.

In order to score points, users must click to grab items inside each of the mouths, including shoes, hats, handbags and hearts, as they open and close at random speeds. If a tap or click is made when the teeth are shut, the screen shakes to show that the user has been bitten and the game freezes for one second. There are 30 seconds on the clock in total with a global leaderboard to add to the competition and a prize draw for a £1,000 shopping spree up for grabs.

TedBaker-love-bites-portfolio-gif-2SMACK

Discussing the campaign, Lubna Keawpanna, SMACK’s creative director said: “This is the fourth time we’ve worked with Ted Baker on their Valentine’s Day campaign and as ever the brief was to create something as original and in keeping with its signature style.”

The game is available on both desktop and mobile via a responsive design, for customers in the UK, US, Germany, France and The Netherlands.

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Comment Editor's pick mobile technology

Comment counts: Retailers should look to Pokémon Go for location marketing inspiration

Retailers needn’t just jump on Pokémon Go as a sponsorship opportunity, but use it as a starting point to explore all the options around location-based marketing, writes xAd’s Theo Theodorou. 

Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go in-store at Sephora (Image via @BrandiiNycolee on Twitter)

It may have been a time of chokers, bomber jackets, double denim and all things grunge, but the 90s were also the decade that Pokémon was born. For millennials, Japan’s Pokémon was a huge part of growing up. Fast-forward 20 years, and just like those fashion trends, the game is back. Now instead of trading cards, fans are running around the world catching characters in the augmented reality game Pokémon Go.

Released officially on July 6, 2016, the game uses a player’s mobile GPS to show a virtual version of their world populated with Pokémon characters to catch. In less than a week, it reportedly became the number one downloaded app on the app store, gained as many users as Uber and Tinder, topped Twitter’s daily users, and started seeing people spend more time with it than in Facebook. It also caused Nintendo’s share price to increase by more than $7bn.

Aside from realising just how many consumers love games, what can fashion retailers learn from this newest internet craze; one that gamifies our location in the real world, in real-time?


Generation mobile-savvy

Pokémon Go has tapped into the demographic that grew up with its card trading format. Now mobile-savvy and tech obsessed, this generation are demonstrating an immense appetite for a fully online/offline immersed world.

Pokémon Go is essentially the latest poster child for the power of location. Just like all successful location-aware apps like Uber, Tinder and Just Eat, the game delivers a valuable, fully merged experience, and retailers want in on the engagement this connected approach is creating.

Pokémon Go retail
Retailers have jumped on the Pokémon Go phenomenon, even in jest (Image via @Gobobbo on Twitter)

A huge 89% of all retail sales are still happening in brick and mortar stores, yet the world is simultaneously becoming increasingly mobile-first. As a result, it is imperative that retailers link the two worlds. As consumers are influenced by more than one channel now, it is crucial that brands understand how online advertising influences their consumers’ real world actions and vice versa.

Where we go, says a lot about who we are. Just like a player’s location tells us about what character they are looking to catch, location insights allows brands to understand a person’s context and proximity to points of interest, which then influence their experiences and actions in the real world.

Compared to search and social, location speaks the truth about our intentions. Just because I searched for a John Lewis voucher as a present for my niece’s birthday, doesn’t mean that I am the perfect target for future online advertising from them, for instance. However, actions speak louder than words and if, through location-based technology, John Lewis were to know I visited multiple stores on different occasions, it’s far more likely I am a worthwhile consumer to target with personalised advertising.


The power of location

While it’s exciting that Pokémon Go has brought the power of location and its abilities to the forefront by giving them a tangible and obvious consumer use, it is critical that retailers think about the type of relationships they want to build with customers. With brands now interested in investing in ‘lures’ by placing a character outside (or inside) their stores, many are recognising the potential location-technology has in driving store visitations.

However, retailers shouldn’t just jump on Pokémon Go, but explore all the options around location and what it has to offer. The pertinent question to ask is would retailers rather use a bribe essentially unassociated to the brand to get people there, or use location intelligence based on real-world behaviours to meet their needs better? With its ability to drive the right customer to a store, at the right time, brands can use location technology to drive engagement and build long lasting, loyal relationships instead of just visitors who want to ‘Catch em all’.

While the technical ability to map locations has existed for several years its accuracy has significantly improved. Now, through Blueprints technology like xAd’s, brands know whether a person is inside a store or just walking down a street – knowledge that is the difference between delivering messages of value or something of irritation to a potential customer. This level of precision means that brands can be sure impressions are meaningful and made on the right audience.

Ultimately, retailers want to drive revenue by enticing customers into their store to buy their products or services. Location technology enables brands to do this by providing intelligence about a customer based on where they go. This means the retailer can then personalise and enhance the customer experience. In a mobile-first world, where we start our path to purchase journey online and complete in the physical world, it is critical that brands grab the opportunity to join the dots between these two worlds.

Theo Theodorou is the MD of EMEA at location-based mobile advertising technology company, xAd. Comment Counts is a series of opinion pieces from experts within the industry. Do you have something to say? Get in touch via info@fashionandmash.com.

Categories
Editor's pick mobile social media

Juicy Couture launches virtual collection on new Britney Spears game

Britney-Spears-Juicy-Couture

We know gaming is a lucrative space these days. Just look at Kim Kardashian’s mobile version which has reportedly brought in $100m since its launch in 2014.

The company behind that, Glu Mobile Inc, also runs the new “Britney Spears: American Dream” game, which is quickly following in similar footsteps and integrating numerous brands within it. First up in the fashion space, is Juicy Couture.

The result sees users able to buy a range of 20 digital Juicy Couture Black Label looks for their avatars, including sunglasses, dresses, jeans, jewellery, shoes and handbags. They do so with B-Gems, the game’s currency, and then wear them while doing things like making and performing songs and competing with one another to make it to the top of the charts.

“We’re excited to see the impact adding a fashion brand has to Britney Spears: American Dream. It’s something that has proved quite successful in other Glu titles so we’re looking forward to future opportunities,” Glu chairman and CEO Niccolo de Masi, told WWD. “These types of integrations add significant value to the player by providing an immersive brand experience in an authentic way. We deliberately select brands that align well with each title and celebrity partner.”

Juicy Couture might sound like an interesting choice, but as Racked reports, the classic Juicy tracksuit is supposedly making a comeback after being spotted on various celebrities once more. Bloomingdale’s is also releasing an exclusive capsule collection of Juicy Couture Black Label classic tracksuits (in real life) this July.

The typical player of the Britney Spears game is reportedly female between the ages of 18 to 35.

The Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game has included brand integrations such as Balmain, Karl Lagerfeld and Nars cosmetics.

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digital snippets e-commerce Editor's pick product social media technology

Digital snippets: Mid-tier blogger power, the robotics opportunity, Alibaba’s anti-counterfeiting feud

midtierbloggers

After a week refreshing the mind and the soul at Futuro in Ibiza (an awe-inspiring experience), we’re back with a round-up of everything you might have missed in fashion and technology news (and beyond) over the past fortnight or so. Read on for highlights from mid-tier bloggers and robots to Alibaba, Victoria’s Secret, Levi’s, WeChat and more…


  • The power of the mid-tier blogger [Racked]

  • How robots can help fashion companies drive business efficiencies [BoF]

  • Inside Alibaba’s anti-counterfeiting feud [Associated Press]

  • Why Victoria’s Secret won’t be mailing out any more catalogues [AdWeek]

  • Aerie refused to Photoshop its ads for two years and sales spiked [Mashable]

  • Project Jacquard: Google and Levi’s launch the first ‘smart’ jean jacket for urban cyclists [Forbes]

  • Fashion shake-ups go beyond designers to the C-suite [NY Times]

  • Fashion industry faces disruption from outside — and from within [FT]

  • Why lux brands love Line [Glossy]

  • With 92% of luxury brands on WeChat, here’s how they can step up their game [Jing Daily]

  • How four creative directors are using Snapchat [Glossy]

  • How Instagram’s new feed will impact brands and influencers [BoF]

  • With subscription beauty boxes, rules of e-commerce don’t apply [WSJ]

  • Why buy buttons on Pinterest and Instagram haven’t taken off for retailers [Digiday]

  • Brands want to predict your behaviour by mining your face from YouTube videos [Motherboard]

  • Chatbots won’t solve everything [BoF]

  • For the first time, Google is bringing retail ads to image search [AdWeek]

  • Shoptalk: Pondering the store’s future in an age of web buying [Associated Press]

  • Keep calm and keep shopping – how elections impact retail sales [The Conversation]

  • Why dynamic pricing just doesn’t work for fashion retailers [LinkedIn]

  • I tested Rent The Runway’s new Unlimited service. My satisfaction was… limited [Pando]

  • What does ‘innovation’ in retail look like? 8 leaders weigh in [Retail Dive]

  • Online retailers should care more about the post-purchase experience [HBR]

  • Does Kendall and Kylie’s game actually sell clothes? [Racked]

  • EasyJet’s new smart shoes guide travellers as they wander through new cities [JWT Intelligence]

  • MIT researchers create 3D-printed fur, opening up “a new design space” [Dezeen]
Categories
Editor's pick mobile social media

Ted Baker invites fans to “go fishing” in digital Valentine’s game

SMACK_TedBaker_Solemates_01_1200x800

Ted Baker is marking Valentine’s Day this year with an interactive microsite that plays host to a fishing-themed game.

“Hook your SoleMate” as the initiative is called, sees users casting their fishing rod to try and get a matching pair of items (such as a heart, starfish or lobster). Those who do, are in with the chance of winning prizes.

Created with digital agency, SMACK (who has worked with the brand for three years running), the responsive microsite uses psychedelic graphics and bespoke illustrations. Users get three plays per day, before being invited to share the campaign on social media and return the next day to try again.

Ted Baker’s brand communication director, Craig Smith, said: “Talking to our customers in an innovative way is key to our global marketing strategy at Ted Baker. Through the ‘Sole Mates’ game, we are able to playfully engage both existing customers and introduce new audiences to the world of Ted.”

This is not the first time the brand has turned to interaction and gaming. Earlier campaigns include an Instagram-based treasure hunt and a chemistry-themed initiative encouraging fans to find their “molecular matches”. It also launched a shoppable video for the holiday season at the end of last year.

The Hook your SoleMate theme will also appear across Ted Baker store windows in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.

Categories
Editor's pick social media technology

Final Fantasy computer game character fronts SS16 Louis Vuitton campaign

finalfantasy_louisvuitton

Louis Vuitton creative supremo Nicolas Ghesquière may have said back in October that his SS16 collection was all about a dark virtual reality, but we didn’t take him seriously.

Now he’s taken that idea a step further with the brand’s Series 4 ad campaign. The star of it? A video game ‘virtual’ face. Yep, step forward Final Fantasy XIII’s Lightning, the kick-ass heroine of the game series owned by Square Enix and created by video game design star Tetsuya Nomura.

Louis-Vuitton-Final-Fantasy-01

“Lightning is the perfect avatar for a global, heroic woman and for a world where social networks and communications are now seamlessly woven into our life,” Ghesquière told WWD.

Ghesquière has been releasing teaser photos and video on his Instagram account and the weirdest thing about them is how very normal they look. It just shows how far we’ve come in accepting the blurring of tech and reality.

A video posted by (@nicolasghesquiere) on

He’s not the first to use Final Fantasy characters to promote fashion – Prada did that in Japan three years ago when it used male characters in a show for its men’s line. But it’s certainly the most interesting ad campaign so far for SS16. And it really highlights the need to create ever-higher-profile news around seasonal ad campaigns.

The Louis Vuitton Series 4 campaign also features teen rapper and actor Jaden Smith in a skirt, shot by Bruce Weber, and Korean actress Doona Bae, shot by Juergen Teller.

JadenSmith_LV

doonabae_LV

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

Categories
mobile technology

Gillette promotes Fusion ProGlide razor with mobile game

Gilette

Gillette has launched a game that invites mobile users to imitate the movement enabled by the brand’s latest Fusion ProGlide Flexball to win points.

Integrated into the Gameloft Advertising Solutions suite of games, the initiative gives players 30 seconds to move the Flexball to fire balls and smash as many bricks as possible. Available in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia only, the campaign also airs the brand’s latest video ad.

“Gillette is a brand that prides itself on innovation in keeping up with consumers’ ever demanding needs and lifestyle. This absolutely includes our marketing strategies such as making use of highly engaging media and being at the forefront of the latest technologies on mobile advertising. Our collaboration with Gameloft is a great match in creating an innovative way of engaging today’s consumer,” said Stephanie Chan, brand manager at Gillette Southeast Asia.

François Munck, director of business development at Gameloft refers to the mini game as a “fun way to discover the brand”. And discover they will: Gameloft has a monthly global audience of more than 173m active players and an inventory of more than 10bn mobile impressions across the world.