Categories
Campaigns Retail

Hollister hosts Twitch live stream in-store to celebrate video game launch

Hollister is taking to live streaming video gaming platform Twitch to celebrate the launch of a new videogame in its Los Cerritos store in California tomorrow.

The teen fashion brand is inviting two Twitch streamers called Fuslie and J.D. Witherspoon, to play the new Crash™ Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (or CTR for short) video game live in-store at 5pm. The game comes from Activision, which also created popular titles such as Call of Duty.

Shoppers will be able to watch them online via Twitch or in real-life at the Los Ceritos store. A series of activations are also taking place across three Hollister locations including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, all of which will host gaming lounges and PS4 systems connected to video screens to create a more immersive experience for customers.

The last part of the activation has Hollister influencers, including Adelaine Morin, supporting the launch of the video game by appearing at one of the three stores to host a friendly game competition and interact with shoppers.

“We’re constantly seeking opportunities to provide authentic engagement with our customers that align with their interests. We’re looking forward to bringing this unique experience to our customers,” said Michael Scheiner, SVP of marketing at Hollister. “These events will create a collaborative, inclusive group activity for all customers to connect with our brand, and each other.”

For those that can’t make it to any of the locations, Hollister will make the the CTR game available to download in an additional 100 US-based stores, as well as online.

As the boundaries between physical and digital spaces are blurring, the world of gaming is becoming increasingly important to the fashion industry. The video game Fortnite, for example, made headlines in February when 10 million people tuned in for a live stream from DJ Marshmello. Meanwhile, in April, fashion label Moschino partnered with The Sims for a digitally-inspired capsule collection.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. 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.

Categories
film Retail Startups technology

Harvey Nichols unveils in-store shoppable video screens

Harvey Nichols

British department store, Harvey Nichols, is introducing shoppable videos via in-store touch screens.

The full-length installations feature a variety of films through brand collaborations with the likes of Calvin Klein. Customers can simply tap on the touch screen to bring up more information about individual products, and then add them to their basket for immediate checkout. They can also connect to their phone through a QR code.

Created by shoppable video startup Smartzer, the experience follows a successful trial online. The Calvin Klein launch also extends to the Harvey Nichols website and social channels.

Peter Howroyd, head of CRM and digital marketing at Harvey Nichols, said: “We are always looking to bring our customers closer to our product in a unique and innovative way. Smartzer’s technology has enabled us to do just that and bring the digital experience to our customers, not only online but in our stores as well.”

Harvey Nichols

This initiative comes at a time when brands are increasingly trying to not only balance their creative work with driving conversions, but also looking at how to encourage new levels of engagement in store. Touch screens and interactive mirrors aren’t new to the retail space, but this example shows a different way of combining storytelling with an endless aisle play.

According to Smartzer, initial results show an average engagement rate of 48.3% and a click-through rate of 15.7%. CEO Karoline Gross says interaction rates the company sees across the board tend to be on average 20 times higher than that of standard video ad formats. The platform provides such video performance metrics, as well as click maps to show which part of the videos have generated the highest interaction.

Smartzer has previously worked with other brands in the fashion and retail space including Burberry, Galeries Lafayette, Adidas, Emilio Pucci and more.

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.

Categories
business data digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Inside Magic Leap, no one buys through Alexa, Supreme’s covetable newspaper ad

Magic Leap
Magic Leap

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Inside Magic Leap’s quest to remake itself as an ordinary company (with a real product) [Wired]
  • Surprise, no one buys things via Alexa [TechCrunch]
  • New York Post Supreme ad turns tabloid into impossible to find commodity [NY Times]
  • Adidas has a clever plan for staying relevant: withholding its biggest hits [QZ]
  • Toward a different language of size [NY Times]
TECHNOLOGY
  • How fashion retailer H&M is betting on artificial intelligence and big data to regain profitability [Forbes]
  • Wayfair unleashes mixed-reality shopping [RetailDive]
  • Starbucks may let customers pay with bitcoin [CNN]
  • Red Bull, Swarovski test Kik’s cryptocurrency rewards app [MobileMarketer]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Could rental fashion help us become more sustainable? [Harper’s Bazaar]
  • Walmart tried to make sustainability affordable. Here’s what happened [QZ]
  • Esprit and IndustriALL collaborate to improve workers’ rights [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Online retailers are using empty mall spaces to test products [Digiday]
  • Are retail stores now museums too? New beauty shop charges you to enter [Observer]
  • 9 tips for mastering the in-store experience [BoF]
  • Most consumers abandon online shopping carts due to lengthy checkouts [WWD]
  • Casper to open 200 stores across North America [RetailDive]
  • Levi’s unveils Project F.L.X. customization studio in Downtown LA [WWD]
  • Why isn’t Zara on every street corner? [Forbes]
  • Debenhams begins roll-out of in-store gyms [TheIndustry]
  • Store, café or art gallery? The rise and rise of the concept store [FashionUnited]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • L’Oréal brings AR makeup sampling to Facebook [MobileMarketer]
  • How the #VanLife movement is influencing car design [FastCompany]
  • ‘Stories’ was Instagram’s smartest move yet [Recode]
  • Snapchat expands Shoppable AR to its top creators [Digiday]
  • How Poshmark’s sellers made $1B off the ‘social mall’ [RetailDive]
  • You are not original or creative on Instagram [QZ]
PRODUCT
  • Walmart is reportedly launching an Everlane-like clothing brand [QZ]
  • Vans aims to inspire and educate with its Van Gogh museum collection [AdWeek]
  • Are fashion brands pivoting to focus on cosmetics and fragrance? [Fashionista]
  • Amphibio is a 3D-printed shirt that lets you breathe underwater [FastCompany]
BUSINESS
  • Wrangler owner VF plans to spin off jeans business [WSJ]
  • How Benefit Cosmetics stays young [BoF]
  • Is Burberry’s simple new logo catnip to copycats? [Jing Daily]
  • Black designers have to work twice as hard – & are still ‘emerging’ [Refinery29]
CULTURE
  • Community, the missing ingredient in luxury’s streetwear pivot [BoF]
  • Bad taste is the best thing to happen to fashion [Vogue]
  • Black women are dominating the September issues [Evening Standard]

 

How are you thinking about 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.

Categories
Campaigns Editor's pick product

Aerie pushes empowerment with new product, campaign and experience

Aerie - "Bras make you feel real good"
Aerie

Aerie is launching a 360-degree campaign that aims to create a positive environment for women to shop and feel good about themselves.

The initiative, titled “Bras make you feel real good”, includes advertising, a new bra collection and a reinvented shopping experience, all of which aid the brand’s mission to promoting female empowerment and inclusivity.

Speaking of the brand’s overarching message of empowerment in January, Jennifer Foyle, Aerie’s global brand president, said: “At Aerie, we believe in authentic, real beauty and never airbrush our models.” Adding: “Now, more than ever, we want to encourage women everywhere to feel empowered to embrace their own unique qualities and beautiful REAL selves.”

The unretouched print campaign features a cast of 57 real women, which includes contest winners such as a cancer survivor, a woman with a colostomy bag and a woman with an insulin pump, as well as Olympic gymnast and sexual abuse survivor Aly Raisman.

In-store, the experience translates into two new consumer-facing features: a new bra fitting process titled Best Fit Finder (BFF) that provides a less invasive tool to finding the perfect bra fit; and in the fitting room, encouraging consumers to leave sticky note affirmations behind for the next woman to see, not too dissimilar from an experience found at mirrors in their Soho, New York flagship.

Moreover, the initiative also includes staff training: the brand has implemented a body confidence training campaign for its store team in partnership with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which is designed to create a judgement-free zone during the shopping experience.

To accompany the #AerieReal campaign, the American Eagle-owned brand is launching a new bra collection that includes products such as The Real Happy™, Real Me™ and Real Power™. All styles feature enhanced details such as softer fabric, removable padding and j-hooks for easy adjustments.

Appealing to real women both in its communication strategy and in-store experience, has worked in the Pittsburgh-based brand’s favor, as it announced a same-store sales growth of 38% in the first quarter of 2018, adding to a 25% increase in 2017.

The success reflects a clear appetite for realistic messaging, one which brands such as Victoria’s Secret have failed to swiftly respond to – in comparison, L Brands’ (the group that owns the lingerie company) stock has fallen by more than 45% in 2018.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? 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
Editor's pick Retail sustainability technology

Lush trials AR product app in new package-free store

Lush Lens in-store in Milan

Beauty care brand Lush is trialling Lush Lens, a mobile app created by its in-house R&D team, that uses artificial intelligence and product recognition to allow customers to scan a product with no packaging to gain access to information.

The technology is currently being tested at the brand’s first ever “Naked” store in Milan, where all products are free of packaging.

Customers in store have access to four Fairphone devices loaded with the app. They can then point to any naked product – such as the brand’s popular bath bombs – to receive information, such as an ingredients list.

“With this prototype mobile app we’ve put new technologies (AI) to a good use in our mission to eliminate more packaging and further educate our customers on our unique cosmetics,” says Adam Goswell, who runs technology R&D at Lush. The app is expected to be rolled out globally and be available for download on customers’ own smartphones in the future.

In piloting this digital programme, Lush is hoping to engage with digitally-minded consumers in a way that both satisfies their mobile behaviors as well as their constant need for information on the products they purchase.

The innovation also ties back to the sustainability goals the brand has built its DNA upon – by creating solid products (such as shampoo bars, rather than in liquid form) it not only eliminates the use of packaging like plastics, but enables experiences that more easily involve image recognition.

As for the first Naked shop, which opened in Milan earlier this month, Lush is hoping to not only promote sustainable behavior with its lack of packaging, but also through a series of in-store events, such as workshops and film screenings that will allow customers to share and exchange ideas of living plastic-free.

Lush’s first Naked store in Milan

Categories
Retail technology

Balmain takes customers on a creative journey using virtual reality

Balmain's creative director Olivier Rousteing
Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing

Balmain has unveiled its new concept store in Milan, featuring a virtual reality experience based around the dream-like inspirations behind the designs of creative director Olivier Rousteing.

The experience, named “My City of Lights” aims to take visitors into the mind of Rousteing; to follow the creative influences behind his collections. Visitors putting on one of the custom Oculus VR headsets, designed by Rousteing himself, will find themselves inside the empty rooms of a Baroque castle, a high cathedral and even the rooftops of Paris.

The store showcases the first in a series of VR experiences as part of Balmain’s Wonderlabs marketing strategy focusing on entertainment and technology. Balmain’s strategy demonstrates its desire to transform the retail experience and forge the way in using technology in fashion retail.

Balmain

Speaking to Vogue, Rousteing revealed that democracy is a driving force for these kind of experiences in store. “Fashion is more inclusive than ever, and there’s no better way to include more people than through technology and digital,” he said.

Rousteing isn’t new to technology collaborations in store. The opening of Balmain’s Melrose Place site also marked the launch of a collaboration between Rousteing and Beats headphones.

The Milan store however, is the luxury brand’s first flagship in Italy and has been launched to coincide with Salone del Mobile, the international furniture and design show taking place in the city. The My City of Lights experience in it will next travel to other Balmain stores around the world.

 

Categories
Campaigns Editor's pick Retail technology

Gucci employs VR and AR experiences for spring campaign

Gucci SS18 campaign
Gucci SS18 campaign

Gucci has introduced a new digital campaign for spring 2018, featuring scannable ads, as well as augmented and virtual reality experiences.

The campaign began with a film called ‘Gucci Hallucination’, in  which the artist Ignasi Monreal, whose work is the basis of the campaign, stars as the curator of the Gucci gallery. The story sees him stepping into one of his paintings to reveal the details of a gold sequin Gucci dress worn by its inhabitant.

The Spanish artist’s surreal work now features as the backdrop to interactive store window displays, which feature animated digital illustrations. His pieces also then feature as scannable stickers on the windows that provide access to a microsite where content including downloadable wallpaper, a catalogue of Gucci products and the Monreal illustrations can be accessed.

Gucci's SS18 campaign in-store
Gucci’s SS18 campaign in-store

At 52 selected Gucci stores, customers will also receive Monreal’s artwork in the form of tickets with their purchases. This then gives them access to VR devices, which show a 360-degree panorama of Monreal’s campaign artwork.

For those unable to make it into a physical store to experience the VR artwork, 15 out of the 20 campaign illustrations also appear in print magazines and newspapers, also scannable via the Gucci app to reveal augmented reality effects on top.

Categories
Editor's pick technology

Rebecca Taylor to debut 3D installation with Google Tilt Brush at NYFW

 

Rebecca Taylor illustration by Wesley Allsbrook 3D google tilt brush
Rebecca Taylor’s Google Tilt Brush illustration by Wesley Allsbrook

Rebecca Taylor has teamed up with Tilt Brush by Google for an in-store installation during the brand’s fall 2018 NYFW presentation.

Tilt Brush is a VR app that lets users paint in three-dimensional spaces, thus rendering any room a blank canvas for interaction. At Taylor’s Meatpacking District store, guests will be able to immerse in a space that uses light-infused 3D projections, further enhanced by Tilt Brush and augmented reality effects.

To achieve the feat, the designer collaborated with Wesley Allbrook, an illustrator who is part of Google’s Artist in Residence campaign, to create the 3D environment; and Pendnt, an independent art studio, to introduce AR elements.

“One of my favorite quotes is from Roald Dahl, where he talks about watching the world with glittering eyes because the world’s greatest secrets are hidden in the most unlikely places. This quote really resonates with me because I love the idea of finding a little bit of magic in everyday life and translating that into my collections. I want our customer to feel inspired when she’s wearing our clothing, and I think this collaboration with Tilt Brush really allows that magical vision to be brought to life,” Taylor told WWD.

The installation will be open for interaction on February 7 by invitation, while consumers will be able to visit the store, pre-order the collection and experience the Tilt Brush project from February 8.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce product Startups sustainability technology

ICYMI: L’Oréal is growing skin, Maersk’s blockchain for logistics, top tech for retail

L'Oréal is testing lab-grown reconstructed skin
L’Oréal is testing lab-grown reconstructed skin

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • L’Oréal is growing Chinese skin to test products [Bloomberg]
  • IBM partners with shipping giant Maersk to launch blockchain solution for global logistics [Bitcoinist]
  • 5 technologies transforming retail in 2018 [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Alibaba’s AI beats humans in reading test [Xinhuanet]
  • Amazon’s Alexa could start giving out opinions [RetailDive]
  • Six ways that new technology will revolutionize shopping [Wired]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • Why Nike sees social responsibility as an opportunity to innovate [Fast Company]
  • Zara, Kering, Ganni, Reformation vow to increase sustainability efforts by 2020 [TheFashionLaw]
MARKETING
  • How Kiehl’s is using text messages and AI to keep customers loyal [Glossy]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Beauty brands are remaking the peer-to-peer sales model for a digital age [Glossy]
  • Rent the Runway to deploy self-scanning kiosks [Retail Dive]
PRODUCT
  • Adidas joins Carbon’s board as its 3D printed shoes finally drop [TechCrunch]
  • Meet designer Christopher Bevans, winner of the Woolmark Prize for Innovation [HighSnobiety]
STARTUPS
  • True Fit raises $55M to personalize clothes shopping with AI [SiliconAngle]
  • Highsnobiety secures $8.5M from Felix Capital to woo millennial males [TechCrunch]
Categories
film social media

Debenhams hits a fairytale homerun with #YouShall Christmas campaign

Debenhams #YouShall Christmas campaign
Debenhams’ #YouShall Christmas campaign

Cinderella is the inspiration behind department store Debenhams’ Christmas campaign this year, with a classic fairytale ending given a modern shopping spin.

#YouShall is all about a woman who loses her shoe from her shopping bag, and a man on the train who tries to find her to return it. Hashtags and social media are used in the journey of rediscovery, but ultimately it’s a chance re-encounter that seals their fate.

Created by J. Walter Thompson London and narrated by actor Ewan McGregor, the ad is Debenhams’ bid to focus on emotional storytelling, stepping away from its more practical focus in its previous “Found It” ads.


“There is an expectation that all brands, but retailers in particular, will create storytelling content to entertain and reward. We weren’t in the game on that. This campaign builds on the insight that led to Found It but adds an extra layer of magic and enchantment,” said marketing director Richard Cristofoli.

The hope is this new ad will “seduce and inspire” shoppers. It will live across digital and on TV, as well as feature in store. “Clock strikes 12” moments, will see employees playing fairy godmothers by handing out surprises at noon each day, including gift cards, free meals and cups of coffee. Its personal shoppers will also be involved, becoming gift finders for customers.

Selfie stations, meanwhile, will enable shoppers to snap and share their own fairytale moment, while the £99 Jenny Packham shoe featured in the film will be on sale with each pair including a signed card from the designer.