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Nars launches immersive ‘playground’ pop-up in London

Nars Cosmetic celebrated the 20th birthday of its iconic “orgasm” products with an interactive pop-up experience in London this weekend meant to evoke female pleasure in a fun playground environment.

Dubbed ‘The O by Nars’, the pop-up featured five pink rooms, each of which tapped into a different sense – touch, smell, sound, taste and sight. The result connected to the idea of pleasure in a subtle and somewhat abstract manner.

The Taste Me Room, which contained candy floss and edible bubbles, and the Touch Me Room, which featured 120 latex spheres, were most directly linked to their relative sense, while other rooms were less so. The See Me Room, for instance, featured a merry-go-round, while the Smell Me Room hosted indoor swings and clouds. The Hear Me Room meanwhile contained a content orb.

Nars’ ‘See Me Room’ featured a merry-go round

The cosmetics brand also engaged technology to enable customers to capture and share their experiences via social media. When entering the experience, visitors were given an RFID (radio-frequency identification) key-card, which could be activated by touching a specific area. It then captured images and videos of participants, which were sent via email to users.

This is not the first time Nars has created an immersive pop-up experience. Previously, in September 2018, the make-up brand launched its House of Climax pop-up in New York, which supported the launch of a new mascara.

“We drew from our key learnings and successes surrounding the ‘House of Climax’,” Barbara Calcagni, president of Nars Cosmetics and Shiseido’s Makeup Center of Excellence told Glossy. “Among the most compelling learnings [was that] each guest was spending, on average, nearly 30 minutes within the experience, which was more than we had expected. Knowing our consumers’ appetites, we wanted to further expand and deepen the consumer journey.”

Like its previous pop-up experience, “The O by Nars” pop-up was ticketed, but free of charge. The focus was to immerse customers in the brand’s identity, rather than push product sales. On this occasion, the event also allowed customers to purchase a blush at the end.

How are you thinking about immersive experiences? Want to learn more about how we worked with Google? The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion 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 hear more.

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Campaigns Editor's pick Uncategorized

alice + olivia host yacht sleepover with Booking.com

alice + olivia
alice + olivia

alice + olivia is teaming up with Booking.com to create an immersive branded space on top of a 74-foot yacht during New York Fashion Week, in a bid to reflect the collection’s enchantment with traveling.

The Booking.com-sponsored experience, promoting the brand’s S/S19 collection, will also offer fans the opportunity to book an exclusive night’s stay at the same vessel.

According to the label’s CEO and creative director Stacey Bendet, the collection, “Passport to wonderland”, as well as the collaboration with the travel booking site, was inspired by her love of travel.

“I wanted the collection and experience to reflect the women of the world and the vibrant countries and cultures they represent; the prints, patterns and colors from each destination continue to inspire me,” comments Bendet. “Through this partnership with Booking.com, I’m excited to merge the world of travel with fashion, to highlight the influence fashion has on travel and vice versa.”

The experience will begin on September 11 when fashion guests board the vessel, which has been named the “Wonderland fashion yacht”. Guests will be transported up the Hudson River to Pier59, the venue that will host the presentation.

The immersive space will transport guests to coveted holiday locations such as Paris, Morocco and the English countryside, inspired by destinations that can be booked on the travel site.

alice + olivia x Booking.com
alice + olivia x Booking.com

Additionally between September 5-7, Booking.com will enable three consumers to book for sleepovers on the two-bedroom yatch for $59 a night. Each day will include a perk, such as tickets for the upcoming alice + olivia show on night one, as well as alice + olivia shopping experiences on September 12 and 13.

The partnership developed from the fashion label’s approach to drawing inspiration from travel, as well as the mindset that fashion itself inspires confidence in travelers when exploring new locations.  According to research by Booking.com, 57% of respondents cite they plan their travels based on where they can shop, while 42% of travelers feel compelled to make changes in their personal style after being on vacation, inspired by local shops and the people.

“Fashion plays a big part in our customers planning and preparations for their vacations all around the world. We are excited to embrace the confidence and joy that fashion brings them through our partnership with alice + olivia,” said Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com. “This New York Fashion Week activation celebrates the best way to experience fashion and travel with the ultimate New York fashion experience in a cool and unique place to stay.”

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 Retail

Coach pop-up celebrates self-discovery with NY fairground experience

“Life Coach” pop-up

Coach’s newest pop-up, Life Coach, celebrates the label’s roots in New York City with a series of immersive experiences that aims to “heighten your senses, stimulate your soul and wake up all the feels”.

The activation, which is running from June 12 through to June 17 in the Soho neighbourhood in NYC, which is where the brand was founded in 1941, invites guests to participate in tarot card readings, drawing, and playing carnival games.

Visitors enter the space via a neon storefront filled with psychic symbols and Coach visuals. Upon first entering the space visitors are asked to check in, and when reaching the first room, they are met with an entirely blank canvas on which they are encouraged to draw on.

The next room represents a typical Coney Island-type of fairground scene, including old-fashioned arcade games and photo props, as well as a boardwalk made from pieces salvaged from Coney Island after Hurricane Sandy.

In the third and final room, visitors can walk through a dark forest where they can find white tents that house tarot card readers.

Speaking to the New York Times, Carlos Becil, Coach’s chief marketing officer, said of the concept: “Whether you call it mindfulness, spirituality or self-help, seeking answers is the new pop culture.”

Activities that help consumers through their self-discovery include free sessions with mystics including tarot card readers Hoodwitch and astrologists Astrotwins. The event, which has no Coach product in sight, will keep its concept of self-discovery and elusiveness by introducing surprise guests and events throughout its programming until the pop-up’s last day.

The entire initiative ties to a broader theme we’re seeing in consumer retail, whereby the experience economy is evolving into the transformation economy – a state that is about driving self improvement and enhancement for consumers through brand activities, rather than mere moments meant to encourage dwell time or social sharing.

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Events Retail

Sephora taps into beauty fandom with Sephoria convention

Sephoria: House of Beauty

In the year of its 20th anniversary, Sephora has announced SEPHORiA: House of Beauty, a two-day experience that will give beauty fanatics education, inspiration and immersive and shareable moments.

This marks the first time the retailer is joining the ever-growing Con culture of consumer-facing festivals dedicated to a single category or hobby, which so far in the beauty space has been dominated by Beautycon.

Taking place in downtown Los Angeles on October 20-21, 2018, the event will host more than 50 beauty brands throughout interactive rooms that merge the physical and the digital.

Deborah Yeh, SVP of marketing and brand at Sephora, says: “At the heart of it, SEPHORiA sets out to celebrate the often indescribable euphoria you get from playing in the vast world of beauty — from discovering game-changing products or trying out a new look to engaging with digital technology that takes personalization to a whole new level.”

Yeh adds that to build the event, the company has drawn from the insights and learnings of physical and digital experiences that Sephora clients love in stores, and created a place where its community can live out all of their beauty fantasies.

So far, the company has hinted that during the event, guests will have the chance to meet with influencers, brand founders and other industry pioneers, attend classes and take home personalized products. Brands will likely include LVMH names and Fenty Beauty, which the retailer exclusively sells in the US.

Although Sephora is the first major beauty retailer to enter the Con space, it has not become unusual for brands to deploy one-off events or museum-like experiences to promote their ethos to a new or existing fanbase. The approach works not only as a brand awareness exercise, but gives a niche – and highly-engaged – audience the chance to experience the brand through new mediums, such as education and personalization.