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Retail technology

Mall of America launches elf hologram concierge to help guide gifting

Mall of America has launched an interactive hologram called “Ellie the Elf”,  which acts as a concierge and helps advise customers on which gifts to buy their loved ones this holiday season.

Activated via voice command, customers can interact with the hologram, which lives on a screen in the shopping center, by standing next to a small control board, and speaking into a microphone. 

The experience operates much like a chatbot, going down the route of a decision tree to get to suggestions for users. When users ask “Ellie, I’m looking for a gift for my mom”, for instance, it then responds by asking further questions to determine the perfect gift.

The aim of the experience, which was created in partnership with VNTANA, is to both ease the shopping journey for customers, and create a fun interaction.

“At our core, Mall of America is an experiential retail destination,” said Sarah Townes, VP of marketing at the company. “VNTANA’s hologram technology is a great way to capitalize on our multi-channel chatbot we launched last year and provides yet another interaction for guests to experience that not only offers a fun interaction but also assistance to those searching for gift ideas this holiday season.”

When approaching the hologram, customers are also invited to find gifts via different categories of suggestions. These are broken down into women, men, teens, kids and babies, for instance, after which new categories emerge such as “tech” or “experience”. 

The concierge can then also show customers where they can find the specific items they are looking for, by explaining on which level and area of the mall they are located.

How are you thinking about interactive retail experiences? 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.

Categories
film

Tory Burch nods to re-gifting in holiday campaign

Mindy Kaling in A Very Merry Mindy for Tory Burch
Mindy Kaling in A Very Merry Mindy for Tory Burch

Actress and comedian Mindy Kaling stars in Tory Burch’s holiday campaign this year, which focuses on the idea of re-gifting.

The tongue-in-cheek video, titled A Very Merry Mindy, sees a personalised giftbox arrive from Tory Burch herself just as Kaling worries about how she’s going to have time to get all her Christmas shopping done.

She proceeds to go through all the items inside, pondering which of them should go to which of her friends and family. A navy sweatshirt with “Peace” written on the front of it she suggests for her aunt, while a gold tote she thinks will do well for Beyoncé.

She decides to keep the Tory Burch Foundation Seed Box, which features seven products made by and benefitting women entrepreneurs, for herself.


Categories
Editor's pick film

Gucci falls into the festive season with short gifting film

Gucci

News of Gucci might largely have been focused around the departure of creative director Frida Giannini and CEO Patrizio di Marco this week, but in the midst of all that was the opportunity to discover this little gem of a holiday campaign video launched last month.

Check out “Special Delivery” below; a whimsical tale of gift discovery that cleverly showcases a variety of product with a fun twist. It was directed by Remi Paringaux and showcases a link inviting viewers to ‘Find the perfect gift’ on the Gucci.com website alongside.

Categories
Blocks film

Sofia Coppola directs Gap’s holiday ads

gap_sofiacoppola

AdWeek hit the nailed on the head today when it referred to Gap’s holiday campaign directed by Sofia Coppola as “odd but charming”.

A series of four short spots have been released (all below), each one of them showcasing awkward moments between friends and family over the festive period – a young girl arrives home to a household of relatives in one; a boy stares longingly at a woman under the mistletoe in another. Both of those two, called Gauntlet and Mistletoe respectively, will air on television, while the others, Crooner and Pinball will run online.

Anchoring the series from Wieden + Kennedy is the tagline: “You don’t have to get them to give them Gap.” In other words, while the basis of the brand’s broader campaign for the season might be called “Dress normal”, for many people the Holidays are anything but.

Seth Farbman, Gap’s global CMO, said: “We wanted the campaign, and the films in particular, to focus on the best part of the season – family and friends. While the holidays look different in every home across the country, Sofia has brilliantly translated Gap’s snapshots of these authentic family characters to the screen. Our aim was to create a campaign that would be very warm, very honest and very Gap. And even if you don’t always get your family, our message this season is that it’s easy to give them Gap.”

Music is central to each of the videos, with the soundtrack including “I Got Stripes” by Johnny Cash, “I’m Not Ready for Love” by The Promise, “Cry” by Johnnie Ray, and “Deep Down” by Hazel and the Jolly Boys.

The first campaign under the Dress Normal moniker from Gap, was directed by David Fincher, and likewise included a series of short narrative-based films.