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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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Editor's pick film

H&M teams up with Wes Anderson for cinematic Christmas tale

Adrien Brody in Wes Anderson's H&M holiday campaign, Come Together
Adrien Brody in Wes Anderson’s H&M holiday campaign, Come Together

H&M has teamed up with Hollywood director Wes Anderson, famed for his quirky films including The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel, for a charming holiday tale titled Come Together.

Starring Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody, it’s a short spot about bad weather and mechanical conditions holding up a train journey on Christmas day. Brody plays the part of conductor having to deliver the bad news, before the camera pans across several carriage windows where varying characters are shown individually, including an unaccompanied small boy. Brody’s character then promises to make up to all aboard by offering a Christmas brunch at the cafeteria.

Anderson’s signature aesthetic and photography is present throughout, creating beautifully-constructed vintage scenes with H&M’s collections playing the smaller role alongside.

The spot ends with everyone coming together around a Christmas tree to the sound of Happy Christmas by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, conveying the idea of togetherness during the holiday period.

Anderson teamed up with Adam & Eve/DDB for the film; the agency that also worked on this year’s popular Buster the Boxer ad for John Lewis. It follows other big hit campaigns in fashion and retail, including from the likes of M&S, Mulberry, Macy’s and more.

H&M isn’t the only fashion brand working with Hollywood names of late either: Prada just released a spot directed by David O Russell of Joy, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle fame; Burberry revealed The Tale of Thomas Burberry for the holiday season written by Matt Charman and directed by Asif Kapadia; Mulberry’s festive campaign was written by Hugo Guinness and directed by Albert Moya; and Moncler has also released a short film called Brave, Vision from Spike Lee.

In the past, H&M has also enlisted heavy hitters such as Katy Perry (2015) and Lady Gaga (2014), both below, to celebrate the festive season with music.

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Comment Editor's pick social media

What brands can learn from Will Smith on authentic marketing

will smith cannes lions
Will Smith at Cannes Lions

“Smoke and mirrors in marketing is over; it’s really over,” said actor Will Smith at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. He was referring to the idea that you used to be able to put “piece of crap movies” out there and get away with it; that you could promote them with loads of trailers featuring explosions in them in order to hide how terrible they really were, but that today’s speed of accessibility has transformed that.

“Now [the audience] only has to be 10 minutes in and they’re tweeting about how terrible it is,” he explained. “They know instantly and they know in real detail.”

It’s a basic lesson highly applicable to the sort of content work as well as the product that brands, including those in the fashion industry, push out today. Getting away with crap is a lot less possible, and rightly so.

What has to happen instead, said Smith, is a shift from focusing on product to focusing on people; on putting their needs first. “I consider myself a marketer. My career has been about being able to sell my product globally. But the power is now in the hands of the fans, so you’ve got to be authentic. The only choice I have is to be in tune with their needs, not try to trick them into seeing Wild Wild West,” he joked in reference to one of his not so successful films. “You have to have integrity or you get shot down in a second.”

He said by having a deeper understanding of people, the product created is going to be more successful. “It’s about making a product that considers the audience first – and considers how to improve their lives [even if that is just about making them laugh],” he explained.

It’s very hard to reverse engineer the other way, he added, because why you did it is already baked in. “If you did it for reasons that are less than noble then it’s going to be a part of the product, or the content or service, and people are going to know it.”

He referred to Apple products as the perfect example of getting it right, because Steve Jobs didn’t care about anything other than creating products that would blow our minds. “That feels like love. People can tell when you’ve considered them in your equation and Apple knows how to do that.”

In essence his message was about thinking of the purpose right from the start. “The reason why you’re doing it has to be the core of the story if you want it to relate to people.”

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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.

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social media Uncategorized

Infographic: #Oscars best-dressed according to Twitter sentiment

There’s nothing quite like the live commentary you get over Twitter when the #Oscars takes place, as everyone and anyone has some sort of say on the looks hitting the red carpet.

Fortunately then, there’s an infographic just landed (as below) from social media monitoring service, Sysomos, that sums up the sentiment of the evening when it came to the fashion.

Over 400,000 tweets were posted during the live arrivals of the Hollywood crowd, with Silver Linings Playbook stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper winning the titles of best dressed female and male for their respective Christian Dior Couture and Tom Ford looks at these 85th Academy Awards.

Lawrence, who went on to win best actress for her role (tripping up the stairs as she did so, which was instantly made a GIF of course), is also highlighted as the viewers’ favourite from the night with over 32,000 tweets. Anne Hathaway, who was wearing Prada, was labelled worst dressed by the tweeting public, despite stealing the number one spot on Vogue.com’s list.

The infographic also highlights US fashion brands deemed particularly “good at social media” (outside of the Oscars) by Sysomos, including Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Rachel Zoe, DKNY and Oscar de la Renta.

When it came to the big designers from tonight’s awards, however, there’s no doubt that winners lay in Dior, as already mentioned, but also worn beautifully by Charlize Theron, as well as Armani Privé who dressed best actress nominees Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts. Nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis also wore Giorgio Armani.

Versace was another noteworthy label worn by Halle Berry as well as Jane Fonda, who presented on stage with Michael Douglas. But it was perhaps Naeem Khan who truly stole the night, not for the stunning AW13 column dress seen on Stacy Keibler, but for that of First Lady Michelle Obama, who was the suprise presenter of the best picture award live from the White House.

060_OscarsRedCarpet_FINAL

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digital snippets e-commerce mobile Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Louis Vuitton, Love magazine, & Other Stories, Nike, Caché, Hearst

Happy new year one and all! To kickstart 2013, here are a handful of stories surrounding all things fashion and digital from over the holiday period you may have missed:

LouisVuitton_paperdoll

  • Louis Vuitton pushes spring/summer line with downloadable paper doll cutouts (as pictured) [Luxury Daily]
  • Love magazine released a star-studded Fashion Nativity video on Christmas Day featuring Laura Carmichael, Pixie Geldof, Giles Deacon, Henry Holland, Abbey Clancy and more [Love]
  • New video from H&M’s forthcoming & Other Stories line reveals craftsmanship of bags in its first collection [YouTube]
  • Nike gamifies every day human movement with NikeFuel Missions video game [DigitalBuzzBlog]
  • Fashion retailer Caché launches mobile app featuring push notifications [AdWeek]
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film social media Uncategorized

Kate Bosworth sings in Topshop’s Christmas film, revealed as face behind #whosthatgirl teasers

Topshop Kate Bosworth Winter Wonderland

After an impressive teaser campaign that ran across social media channels for five days, Kate Bosworth has been revealed as the star of Topshop’s Christmas film (as below).

Stood atop a grand piano, the Hollywood actress sings a rendition of Winter Wonderland in the spot; a track that Topshop hopes has a chance of reaching number one. Accordingly, it is available to download on iTunes as well as through Shazam and Spotify.

The film was directed by Michael Polish and was inspired by the famous piano scene from 1989’s The Fabulous Baker Boys with Michelle Pfeiffer.

It sees Bosworth wearing a custom-made Topshop dress, designed by her in partnership with the retailer’s team. Both that and her shoes will be available to order on Topshop.com to tie in with its new store opening in LA in February 2013. The make-up worn in the film however is available to order immediately.

“This project brings together two important aspects of my life: cinema and fashion. I have always been a fan of the Topshop brand and it has been an honour to work with Sir Phillip and the team. I hope everyone enjoys watching it as much as we did making it,” said Bosworth.

She has also sent personalised digital messages introducing the film to numerous Topshop customers.

Check out a couple of videos from behind-the-scenes below too. And read more about the teaser campaign, #whosthatgirl, here: Topshop teases holiday film with social game of celebrity guess who

 

 

Kate Bosworth album image - Topshop

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film social media Uncategorized

Topshop teases holiday film with social game of celebrity guess who – #whosthatgirl

Topshop6

Given the fact online films now pop-up left, right and centre from fashion brands and retailers, it’s always fun to see those who go the extra mile to make sure their fans are fully engaged ahead of launch, almost securing the spot’s virality before it does so.

Kudos then to Topshop, who has made its first holiday campaign an altogether more significant affair by using social media to tease who its star is.

“Winter Wonderland” will premier tomorrow on YouTube, fronted by a Hollywood A-lister. Accordingly, Topshop has been using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram to build anticipation as to who she is.

 

Five teaser trailers reveal shots of her from the neck down, pictures on Instagram capture her in London over the weekend from behind, and comments on Twitter provide clues into where she’s from and what she likes doing. A board on Pinterest houses everything together in one space.

All of it is accompanied with the hashtag #whosthatgirl encouraging consumers to guess for the chance to win a £500/$1000 shopping spree at the store.

Justin Cooke, CMO at Topshop, said: “We are very excited about the launch of our first Christmas movie, its a true 360 degree campaign with some surprise elements that you will see tomorrow! We wanted to create real anticipation before it premiered and it looks likes its working with over 100,000 people watching 10 second teasers and an incredible number of posts and tweets across all platforms.”

Some of the clues have included:

Topshop_whosthatgirl_teaser2Topshop_whosthatgirl_teaser1

This one is particularly fabulous:

Topshop_whosthatgirl_teaser3

And the guesses have been flying in. “From Elizabeth Olsen & Georgia May Jagger to Whitney Port & Diane Kruger…” tweeted Topshop on Saturday, December 1. So too have there been suggestions such as Cara Delevingne, Kate Bosworth, Chloë Grace Moretz, Emma Stone and more.

Fans themselves have been saying things like: “@Topshop’s #whosthatgirl competition is so addictive, keep trying to guess who it is, I really haven’t got a clue!”

And: “@Topshop #whosthatgirl can’t wait til Tuesday to find out if I’m correct, most fun game I’ve played in a long time, feel like a detective!”

And: “Tortured by @Topshop’s #whosthatgirl campaign. Talk about brilliant social media marketing. Can’t wait to find out who she is tomorrow!”

As for the film itself, Topshop says its inspired by The Fabulous Baker Boys – the film that made Michelle Pfeiffer famous. Until tomorrow then… (and some more pics below in the meantime).

Topshop5Topshop1Topshop2Topshop3Topshop4

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film Uncategorized

James Bond exhibition kicks off with online documentary focused on tailoring and style

 

The Barbican Centre in London has released a short documentary looking at the tailoring and styling of James Bond in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic character.

The spot was created to accompany an exhibition showcasing the design and craft behind the movie series. “Designing 007 – Fifty Years of Bond Style“, is a multi-sensory experience opening on July 6, documenting everything from the costumes, set and production design, to the automobiles, gadgets, weapons and special effects.

The film (as shown above) sees Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming alongside tailors such as David Mason, creative director at Anthony Sinclair, and Ritchie Charlton, managing director of Douglas Hayward, looking at the varying styles of Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

Says Hemming: “Bond is a British icon, but he’s a world citizen, and he’s beloved all over the world and he’s iconic all over the world, so what he looks like has to not just suit England and Britain but it has to actually be acceptable to the world.”

The spot also describes details such as the silk turned-back cuff worn by Connery in the first film as a sartorial nod to author Ian Fleming’s own style.

The exhibition has been created in collaboration with EON Productions, with unprecedented access to their archives. It was designed by Ab Rogers and curated by the Barbican alongside fashion historian Bronwyn Cosgrave and costume designer Hemming.

There is also another short film available that focuses on the design and craft of the sets, vehicles and accessories.

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film Uncategorized

Prada takes to Cannes to premiere Polanski short film

Today’s big buzz is on Prada’s new Roman Polanski-directed film, revealed at the Cannes Film Festival last night.

“A Therapy”, is a witty three-minute short starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Kingsley. It focuses on a troubled heiress visiting her psychoanalyst, sharing thoughts on a dream she just had, and the loneliness she endures in her life.

Rather than listening intently to his patient, however, the tale sees Kinglsey constantly distracted by the purple fur coat Bonham Carter discarded at his door. The film closes with a shot of him wearing the piece, overlaid with the caption: “Prada suits everyone”.

“When I was asked to shoot a short movie for Prada, I did not think that I could really be myself, but the reality is that in the total freedom I was given, I had the opportunity to reunite my favorite group of people on set and just have fun,” said Polanski in a statement.

“The chance to dwell on what the fashion world represents nowadays and the fact that it is accompanied by so many stereotypes is fascinating and at the same time a bit upsetting, but you definitely cannot ignore it. It’s very refreshing to know that there are still places open to irony and wit and, for sure, Prada is one of them,” he added.

Watch the full film below: