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What won from fashion at Cannes Lions 2015, and why there wasn’t more

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It’s hard to know whether the fashion industry not winning much at Cannes Lions is because the work isn’t good enough, or because few brands actually get entered in the first place.

I fear it’s the former (even though the latter is actually also true for a number of reasons). The fact of the matter is, the majority of designers continue to focus heavily on straightforward print campaigns that change little season to season other than through set and casting (you only need to look here at my colleague Sam’s coverage of what’s breaking for A/W 15/16 so far to see my point). The way they distribute them – i.e. on Instagram and Snapchat – might be evolving, but little else in terms of creativity is.

Big winners at Cannes this year otherwise varied from things like emotional storytelling from Nike Jordan to social commerce tied to the cultural movement that is emojis from Domino’s Pizza. Fashion brands have of course gotten increasingly better at films, albeit not quite to the same standard, and numerous are exploring social commerce on the one hand and emojis on the other. The next step is to integrate all of that a little better.

Nonetheless, there were some winners tied to the fashion industry this year – including brands from retail, sport, beauty and luxury – that deserve recognition. It wasn’t quite as sweeping a statement as Harvey Nichols’ was last year with Sorry I Spent it on Myself, but here’s a pick of the best for 2015:

John Lewis


John Lewis is always expected to pick something up for its Christmas efforts. This time round it was for 2014’s Monty the Penguin; the tale of a young boy and his pet on their quest for friendship created by adam&eveDDB. The two minute film at the heart of it was viewed 29m times across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, over 6m of which were before the advert even aired on TV. Better yet, the merchandise sales generated paid for the campaign, while sales across the department store rose a record 5.8% on Christmas 2013. It won the grand prix in film craft, gold in branded content & entertainment, silver in film, and a bronze in titanium & integrated. John Lewis also won a gold creative effectiveness Lion for its 2013 Christmas campaign, The Bear And The Hare.

Under Armour


Under Armour scooped the cyber Grand Prix, as well as two golds, six silvers and a bronze at this year’s awards for its I will What I Want campaign by Droga5 starring supermodel Gisele Bündchen. The aim of this ad was to connect Under Armour with a female audience. It did so through a view on empowerment, using Gisele to showcase the balance between inner and outer strength, with a real-time social media experiment impacting the experience. The results generated 1.5bn media impressions, with four minutes of engagement time on average and a reported 42% lift in traffic to UA.com.

L’Oréal Paris


L’Oréal Paris won four golds, four silvers and a bronze for its Makeup Genius app. A technology tool rather than a campaign, it allows consumers to virtually try on products through augmented reality, tracking their facial expressions in real-time as though it were a mirror. There have been over 9.9m downloads of the app since launch, with 25m looks tried, and 64m products tested.

Kmart’s Joe Bozer


Another tool that grabbed attention at Cannes was the Inactivity Tracker by Joe Boxer. This is a particular favourite of F&M’s – a promotion for pyjamas that jumps on the wearables bandwagon and suggests a fitness band that merits consumers for doing nothing at all. The device, created with FCB Chicago, was made available for free to a limited number of shoppers who purchased from Kmart in New York over a certain weekend. To amplify the launch, a 60-minute video of two men competing in the “2015 Joe Boxer Lounger Games” was released. Conversation around the brand increased 300% in the days following, while PJ sales increased 59% at the in-store launch, and 64% online.

Quiksilver


Keeping loosely with that wearables theme, Quiksilver Japan won for its True Wetsuits initiative in the PR and design categories. This is a waterproof business suit made from wetsuit material in a bid to encourage busy businessmen back to surfing without the hassle of having to get changed. Each wetsuit also comes with a pen-shaped communications device that allows users to send an instant “excuse email” if they’re held up in the waves. Created by TBWA Hakuhodo, the accompanying campaign was a viral success, leading to an instant sell out of the model within three days of launch.

Issey Miyake



A final stand out winner was Issey Miyake with its Pleats Please Flowers Series campaign, which won gold in the design category. The result was a series of print images, but it’s the technical artistry by Taku Satoh Design that went into it that’s worth watching. Each of the flowers shot in the campaign was created by firing a pellet into a balloon and capturing its eruption.

Others noteable winners included Nike for its House of Mamba initiative by AKQA; Citizen Watches for its Chasing Horizons campaign by Wieden + Kennedy; and Björn Borg for its First Person Lover game by Garbergs.

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Editor's pick technology

Kmart’s Joe Boxer mocks wearables market with ‘inactivity tracker’

joeboxer_inactivitytracker

If there’s one thing the past 12 months has seen, it’s brands at the dozen jumping on the wearables bandwagon with some kind of gratuitous marketing tie up or another. Here comes another, but this time quite a winning one.

In a bid to promote its pyjamas, Kmart’s Joe Boxer line has teamed up with FCB Chicago to come up with the idea of the “inactivity tracker”. Yep, forget counting your steps like every other fitness band out there, and instead get comfortable with doing absolutely nothing at all. The hashtag #chillhard is attached accordingly.

“The whole idea is to turn the tracking trend on its ear. It plays off of Joe Boxer’s irreverent brand personality really well,” Jamie Stein, a spokeswoman for Kmart, told AdAge.

The device, which was genuinely available to consumers (in limited edition and for free to the first 50 who purchased from Kmart’s New York Astor Place store this weekend), connects to a mobile app available on both iOS and Android. From there it rewards the wearer’s laziness and chill time.

joeboxer_tracker

As per the promotional material, the step-by-step process is to: 1. Put on Joe Boxer pajamas and your Inactivity Tracker; 2. Download the app. Pair Inactivity Tracker with your smartphone. Earn badges; 3. No more steps.

Levels can be reached including “Human Sloth”, “Genghis Yawn”, “Are you dead?” “Couch Commander”, “Cryogenic” and “You Rock!” To achieve the latter, one needs less than 2,500 steps in five days; perhaps not the most responsible of suggestions to today’s population, but a fun mockery of the route wearable tech has taken us so far otherwise. The product description similarly highlights things like “little itsy bitsy lights” and “cool vibrating thing”.

Accompanying the launch of the device is a 60-minute video of two men competing in the “2015 Joe Boxer Lounger Games”. Amusing commentary ensues as it focuses on the PJ-clad individuals chilling in their armchairs.

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social media

Retail’s 7 most innovative Holiday campaigns

This article first appeared on Fashionista 

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The holiday season can account for up to 40% of a retailer’s annual revenue, and thus it’s no surprise to see some of our favorite stores (and fashion brands) go all-out with festive campaigns in a bid to capture as many dollars as possible.

Multiple initiatives have lined up to grab our attention this year, but if there’s one thing tying them together, it’s interactivity. From singing contests you can enter to touchscreens you can explore, participation is the biggest push for 2013.

Pinterest is also proving big news. According to a recent study by Lab42, 94% of users say the virtual scrapbooking site has changed how they prepare for the holidays, while 42% have created their own holiday-themed boards. Meanwhile, stats show such activity is also affecting sales. Revenue on retail sites that originated from Pinterest doubled over Thanksgiving weekend, and brands like Target and Topshop have quickly taken advantage.

Here’s our pick of the top seven activations.

1. eBay’s Touchscreen Storefronts

First up is the digital storefronts eBay set up for Rebecca Minkoff, Toms and Sony in the Westfield San Francisco Centre shopping mall this season. Shopping from them is easy. As with any smartphone or tablet device, you just touch the screen and start browsing products, then complete the order via PayPal on your mobile device. Items can either be delivered to your home for free or picked up at the Sony Gallery on the floor below.

2. Gap’s VSCO-Powered Gift Guide

Gap gave an indie twist to its holiday gift guide by partnering with seven well-known users of photo-editing app VSCO for its Make Love campaign. Those artists acted as both models and photographers, captured in various Gap products themselves and completing their own photo assignments based on one of Gap’s holiday themes: fair isle, indigo, metallic, plaid, stripes, texture and warmth. The results are featured on both a dedicated page on VSCO’s website as well as in Gap.com’s “Give A-Z” holiday guide.

3. John Lewis’ “The Bear and The Hare”

Over in the UK meanwhile, John Lewis wins for the biggest budget when it comes to advertising this year. It spent £7 million ($11.4 million) on a hand-animated and very cute tale called “The Bear and The Hare,” which has garnered more than 10 million views on YouTube to date. What’s innovative is all the components that go with it, and none more so than the windows of its flagship store in London. They feature some of the 188 animal sculptures made from 7,000 everyday products tied to the bear and hare theme, like a reindeer made of Dyson vacuums, a polar bear of Nintendo Wiis and a turkey crafted from a series of rolled up towels. The retailer is also running a contest with the campaign, calling all aspiring singers to record and upload their own versions of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” for a chance to have their recording play with the commercial on Christmas day.

4. JC Penney’s “Jingle Mingle” Singing Contest

JC Penney also called for singing content from its fans this year. Up until Dec. 3 it invited aspiring vocalists to upload videos of themselves singing “Silent Night” to its Jingle Mingle website. Hundreds of the best are then going to be played on the facade of the retailer’s Manhattan Mall store. For each one submitted, JC Penney donated $20 to the United Service Organizations (USO).

5. Topshop’s “Dear Pinterest” Campaign

It was all about Pinterest for Topshop this season. The UK-based retailer used Pinterest to power its online gift guide, and even attached oversized tags to in-store merchandise identifying the ones that had been pinned the most. In November, there was also a giant touchscreen in Topshop’s New York and London flagships that allowed shoppers to pin, share and shop from a gift list there and then.

6. Target’s Pinteresting “Awesome Shop”

Pinterest also makes an appearance at Target this season. Target has launched an e-commerce storefront powered by Pinterest as well as its own reviews this year. Target Awesome Shop, as it’s called, incorporates over 1,000 products that have received four stars or higher in the customer reviews on Target.com and are one of the retailer’s most-pinned products on Pinterest. The result: a highly curated, not to mention awesome, list of recommended items. You can search by category and then click on each product for more information (such as those reviews), before being redirected to the main Target.com site to add them to your shopping cart.

7. Louis Vuitton’s “The Goose Game”

Louis Vuitton created an online board game to feature its holiday gifts. The game, which functions much like “Snakes and Ladders,” is made up of squares featuring Louis Vuitton products that players can purchase in just a few clicks.

Honorable Mention: Kmart’s “Show Your Joe”

It may not be a stunning piece of innovation, but Kmart’s “Show Your Joe” commercial sure brought the laughs — and the views. The video, which was made for TV, has racked up more than 16 million views on YouTube alone since its Nov. 15 release.

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digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups

Digital snippets: The North Face, Instagram Direct, Target, Barneys, Harrods, Karmaloop

The big news over the past couple of weeks in the retail and fashion tech space was of course the concept of Amazon drones, but multiple other stories grabbed the headlines too. Here’s a highlight of the best ones…

instagram-direct-2

  • IBM’s Watson explores the great e-commerce unknown with The North Face [AdAge]
  • What Instagram Direct means for fashion brands (as pictured) [Fashionista]
  • Barneys creates holiday .gif guide to appeal to younger consumers [Luxury Daily]
  • Harrods’ Christmas Weibo campaign engages London’s Chinese tourist influx [Jing Daily]
  • Karmaloop targets millennials with YouTube and Snapchat holiday plan [AdWeek]
  • Kmart’s ‘Ship My Pants’ gets the Dickens treatment for Christmas [AdAge]
  • Native advertising: the pros and cons [WWD]
  • Designing the next generation of wearables, with women in mind [Fast Company]
  • With 3-D printing, clothing that leaves out the sewing machine [NY Times]
  • Mallzee is a Tinder-esque shopping app that lets your friends play fashion police [TechCrunch]
  • Start-up Thread is building a scalable personal styling service, blending human stylists and intelligent algorithms [BoF]
  • Instagram is the ‘best platform for brands’ in 2013, beating out Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ [Venture Beat]
  • Retailers look to their best customers, not bloggers, as the new influencers [Fashionista]
  • Gap’s ad with Sikh model Waris Ahluwalia defaced with racist graffiti, drawing incredible response from company [Huffington Post]
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digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media

Digital snippets: Holiday retail round-up special

Given it’s the day before Thanksgiving in the US – meaning retailers are about to go all out on heavy promotions – here’s a special round-up of all the ways they’re using social and digital to help lure the seasonal shopper and start converting those all-important Holiday sales…

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  • eBay debuts shoppable touchscreens and digital storefronts for Sony, Toms And Rebecca Minkoff in San Francisco (as pictured) [TechCrunch]
  • Target launches “most digitally enabled campaign” in its history, pins hopes on Pinterest this holiday season [Co.Create]
  • Topshop partners with Pinterest for online and offline Holiday campaign [Fashion&Mash]
  • JC Penney launches first Holiday campaign under new marketing head, includes crowdsourcing initiative inviting users to upload videos of themselves singing ‘Silent Night’ [AdAge]
  • ‘Reserve in Store’ service rolling out to all Banana Republic stores across the US, 200 Gap [CNBC]
  • Jingle all the way at Kmart with #showyourjoe Christmas ad [Fashion&Mash]
  • Kohl’s adds emotional brand spots to Holiday mix [AdAge]
  • Hollister teases Black Friday deals on YouTube [ClickZ]
  • All the interactive elements accompanying John Lewis’ #bearandhare Christmas ad [Fashion&Mash]
  • Cath Kidston, Bauble Bar driving traffic with Christmas treasure hunt campaigns [Fashion&Mash]
  • Michaels offers interactive Holiday help with live elf available through streaming video [Chain Store Age]
  • M&S teases Christmas #magicandsparkle campaign over social [Fashion&Mash]
  • Louis Vuitton highlights gift ideas on interactive goose game [Luxury Daily]
  • Tillys runs ugly Christmas sweater contest over Instagram [Tillys]
  • Neiman Marcus teams up with Shapeways to offer 3D printed holiday capsule collection [PSFK]
Categories
film

Jingle all the way at Kmart with #showyourjoe Christmas ad

There’s no doubt about it, this new commercial from US department store Kmart, is in the running for best Holiday campaign 2013. Check out the boys jingle their way through…

Categories
film

Another win for Kmart – Yo Mama

Kmart is killing it with its ad campaigns at the moment, check out this latest one for the 2013 back-to-school season:

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film social media

Cannes Lions 2013 round-up: fashion and beauty winners

CannesLions_JustinCooke_Topshop

It was a big year for fashion at the 60th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – the ad industry’s version of the Oscars if you will. As already reported, Burberry, Vivienne Westwood and Annie Leibovitz were all on stage, as was Justin Cooke, CMO of Topshop (as pictured), in a guest appearance during YouTube’s slot.

He talked to the idea of emotion in marketing: “When people feel happy, they want to influence others to do the same. At Topshop we refer to the three I’s; ignite a conversation, inspire our customers and then use that influence to build our UK-centric brand into a global entity.”

Topshop walked away with a bronze Media Lion for best use of social media for its Future of the Fashion Show campaign in February.

Here are some of the other fashion and beauty campaigns that won:

Dove Real Beauty Sketches: No surprise here – this campaign picked up the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes as well as gold Lions in nearly every other category. Created by Ogilvy Brasil, it aimed to prove to women they’re more beautiful than they think they are by conducting a social experiment whereby an FBI-trained sketch artist drew their portraits based first on their own descriptions and then a stranger’s. The resulting film, which captures their reactions to the sketches, racked up over 4.5bn social media impressions. Dove also won a gold in the Film category for its Camera Shy campaign.

Nike Find Your Greatness: Always a big winner at Cannes, this year was no exception for Nike. It won a silver in the Titanium category for its Find Your Greatness campaign that surrounded last year’s Olympics. Ambush marketing at its finest (given Nike wasn’t an official sponsor), it highlighted that greatness isn’t reserved for just the elite athletes participating in the big event in the chosen city, but can be found worldwide – importantly in all the other places around the world also called London. Nike also won a silver for its Jogger campaign, and bronzes for She Runs the Night and Voices.

adidas Window Shopping: Not to be outdone, adidas also walked away with an armful of awards, this time for its adidas Neo Window Shopping initiative created by TBWA Helsinki. This saw a fully functional virtual store accessible from on the street by combining windows with the brand’s already existing e-commerce. Users could connect their smartphones via a simple URL and a pin (no need for an app or QR codes here), and then interact with the products on screen, dragging them into a shopping bag to make them appear on their own device to buy. It won both gold and silver Cyber Lions, as well as three bronzes in the Media and Mobile categories.

Macy’s Yes, Virginia the Musical: Macy’s localised its long-standing Yes, Virginia campaign in 2012 with a musical for schools in the busy run-up to the Christmas period. That initiative, created by JWT New York, saw it winning both a gold and a silver Lion in the Branded Content and Entertainment category.

Uniqlo Storms Pinterest: A smart move by Uniqlo over Pinterest also scooped a gold Lion in the Design category at Cannes this year. To promote its new Dry Mesh T-Shirts the Japanese retailer, along with Firstborn New York, created an impossible-to-miss, branded mosaic on the virtual scrapbooking site. As users scrolled through Pinterest’s public feeds giant blocks of branded images appeared and seemed to animate. It was done using 100 shell accounts on the platform that were later switched to branded Uniqlo ones. Uniqlo also won a bronze Media Lion for its Wake Up campaign.

Kmart Ship my Pants: You may have spotted this one already – Kmart’s humourous new video ad that plays on the phrase “Ship my Pants” to tout its new free shipping service. A winner for me on element of surprise alone, and at Cannes with silvers and bronzes in both the Film and Promo & Activation categories.

Geox Amphibox: Geox’s campaign for its everyday waterproof shoe walked away with gold, silver and bronze awards in the Cyber category as well as a bronze in Media. The aim was to prove the performance qualities of the shoes, so the team took four Facebook fans to the wettest place on earth, Cherrapunjee in India (which receives 11.7m of annual rainfall) to put them to the test. An online interactive documentary resulted.

Asos #bestnightever: I’ve commented a lot on shoppable films in the past, but there’s no escaping the fact they’re slowly making an increasing impact in the advertising space. Asos won a silver Media Lion on that basis this year for its #bestnightever campaign (even if the stats that went alongside aren’t necessarily directly the result of it to be honest), which saw three shoppable music videos created.

Bronze awards otherwise went to:

  • Louis Vuitton in Film for its Core Values campaign starring Muhammad Ali
  • Converse in Outdoor for its Highways campaign

And here’s a particularly nice message from Christopher Bailey, chief creative officer of Burberry, to close: “You have to take a leap of faith to move into a world that your industry or sector is not used to, but if you believe in it, and can feel it, it will be stronger and more believable in itself.”

Categories
film

Kmart #shipmypants ad goes viral

 

If there’s one brand grabbing the viral video headlines at present, it’s Kmart. The US retailer has released an ad that plays on the phrase “Ship my Pants” to tout its new free shipping service for loyalty members when items are out of stock in store.

The 30-second spot, created by agency DraftFCB Chicago, sees a series of characters situated in store stating the fact they can “ship my pants”, “ship my drawers”, “ship my nightie”, and “ship my bed”. Say that a few times over and you get the joke. Accordingly it has nearly 13m views on Youtube in the week since it was released. One in nine viewers are reportedly sharing it. It’s also being pushed with the hashtag #shipmypants.

The ultimate ingredient for viral video success is proven once again to be comedy.

Despite a handful of protests toward it being inappropriate, overall response to the ad has been extremely positive. The Huffington Post called it “puerile and pure gold”, while Mediapost.com’s Barbara Lippert says you should “never underestimate the power of a doody joke“.

It might be true schoolyard humour, but we’re all in on it.