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Editor's pick sustainability

The North Face to shut stores on Earth Day and encourage exploration

The North Face is launching Explore Mode, a campaign encouraging its employees and customers to explore the outdoors during Earth Day (April 22). As part of the activation, the outdoor brand is also calling for the day to become a national holiday in the US.

On April 22, the brand is shutting down all 113 of its stores in the US and Canada to give its employees time to explore the outdoors. Meanwhile across the globe, the campaign will partner with musicians, artists and culinary influencers at major cities including London, Munich and Paris on a series of experiences.

From a weekend camping at the Mecklenburg lake district near Berlin to helping clean up Butler Memorial Sanctuary trails in New York, TNF searched for activities that would encourage its brand fans to unplug and learn more about the environment. All experiences can be booked via a dedicated page on the brand’s website.

This is the first time TNF has closed its stores for a cause, which aims to match a wider mission to inspire a global movement of exploration and adventure. “As a brand that has been enabling exploration for over 50 years, we believe that when people take time to appreciate and explore the earth, they feel more likely to protect it,” said Tim Bantle, global general manager of lifestyle at The North Face, to Fast Company.

Taking it one step further, the company has also launched a petition to make Earth Day an official national holiday in the US.

Outdoor brands from TNF to Patagonia are upping their efforts in order to bring attention to the importance of keeping the environment clean and sustainable by creating activations that foster a sense of wonderment emotional attachment.

For the past four years, REI has run #OptOutside, an award-winning campaign that sees all of its operations – from stores to factories – shut down on Black Friday in order to encourage employees and consumers to spend more time outside with family and friends, as well as ignite a conversation on overconsumption. REI’s 2018 numbers show the company’s strategy of closing stores on the busiest commerce day of the year is paying off: the co-op reached a record $2.78 billion in revenue, representing 6% growth.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global 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 technology

Emporio Armani creates life-like 3D printed ad

A new outdoor advertising campaign from Emporio Armani has turned to 3D printing to make its designs come to life.

The ad features a 3D version of the model’s right leg extending out of the billboard, making it seem as though she is stepping into the real world.

The effect was created by an Italian 3D printing and industrial photography company called Colorzenith, which printed the foot and a partial leg to then attach it to the billboard.

The company explains that for the project it used a Gel Dispensing Printing (GDP) technology, which differs from the more mainstream application of other polymer-based 3D printing processes.

Out of home advertising is getting a new lease of life in a digital-first world, with other brands increasingly using the medium in innovative ways.

For example last year Adidas Originals launched a campaign to promote the launch of its P.O.D. shoe, for which it set up a series of personalized outdoor ads in Los Angeles and New York, which each spoke individually to a group of influencers.

While this is new territory for Emporio Armani, the label has been expanding its focus on lifestyle and hospitality, having very recently re-launched its Empori Caffè and Ristorante in Milan, which now sits in the same building as the Armani Hotel and the Emporio Armani megastore.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global 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 e-commerce

ASOS and Boursorama team up to create extra-long discount code

ASOS and Boursorama Banque
ASOS and Boursorama Banque

ASOS has teamed up with French bank, Boursorama Banque, to launch an analog campaign with an extra-long discount code, in a bid to grab the attention of their mutually young demographics.

The code, which can be redeemed on purchases at ASOS.fr, aims to publicize the fact that the Société Générale-owned bank is the cheapest in the country for young people.

Printed on newspapers and outdoor displays at French university campuses, it reads: “WeAllKnowThatYoungPeopleDon’tReadAdvertsForBanksSoJustToSayThatWeAreTheCheapestOnlineBank
ForYoungClientsInsteadOfPublishingAnAdThatYouWouldn’tHaveReadWe’reSayingItInThisVeryVeryLongDiscount
CodeThatYouAreGoingToHaveToRetypeToGetYourClothesCheaperOnASOS”

In order to redeem the code online, customers then have to read through the entire copy and type it up during checkout on ASOS. In creating this unusual approach, the bank manages to find a new way to communicate with a customer base that is notoriously adverse to advertising.

Alexander Wang x adidas
Alexander Wang x adidas

Recently, brands have begun to deploy traditional advertising techniques as a way to pique the consumers’ curiosity and temporarily unglue them from their phones. To celebrate football player Cristiano Ronaldo’s historic move to the Juventus football club, Nike ran a billboard campaign in Turin, Italy that listed off his main accomplishments in heavy text, followed by a line saying: “Now forget it all, and do it again.”

Meanwhile, for the launch of the second season of the Alexander Wang x adidas Originals collection, the brands plastered key cities such as London and New York with fly posters that only read “TEXT TO BUY”, accompanied by a phone number and the brands’ logos. Ferdinando Verderi, creative director responsible for the campaign, spoke at length about their campaign and its approach to subverting established rules in fashion advertising, on a recent episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent.

How are you thinking about retail 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.

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Campaigns Editor's pick

Hunter flies giant hot air balloon boot in experiential campaign

Hunter "The Original Flying Boot"
Hunter “The Original Flying Boot”

Hunter has launched its largest ever experiential campaign with “The Original Flying Boot”, which sees a 120-foot wellington boot-shaped hot air balloon fly across the globe.

Setting off from the brand’s birthplace in Scotland, the boot will be appearing at festivals, sporting events, shows and other key outdoor moments across Europe and the US throughout the year.

The boot, which features all of the iconic wellington (or “welly”) boot’s design details, aims to promote the brand’s position as a British export. The balloon will travel down from Scotland to London in July before heading over to Europe, where it will appear at major events in countries like Spain and Belgium. It will eventually make its way to the US to engage with the brand’s largest overseas market.

The campaign is also being supported by a social media element where users are invited to post pictures of the hot air balloon using the #HunterOriginal hashtag for a chance to win Hunter prizes.

Brands are increasingly tapping into outdoor experiential campaigns not only as a way to keep their name front of mind, but create opportunities for earned media. The more aesthetically-pleasing or original the campaign is, the more it is photographed by consumers and shared on social. Similarly this year for Valentine’s Day, British womenswear and accessories label, Anya Hindmarch, released its Chubby Hearts activation where gigantic inflated red hearts – similar to the design of its handbags that season – were scattered across iconic London spots such as Battersea power station and Hyde Park.

Hunter "The Original Flying Boot"
Hunter “The Original Flying Boot”

Categories
Campaigns Editor's pick social media

Adidas Originals speaks to influencers via personalized billboards

adidas Originals influencer marketing billboard campaign
adidas Originals campaign

Adidas Originals’ latest offline campaign speaks to a group of influencers individually through a series of personalized billboards in Los Angeles and New York, promoting the launch of the P.O.D. shoe.

The brand worked with Clear Channel Outdoor to create 16 out of home ads calling out each influencer, including Tony Mui, who works at Complex magazine and hosts a YouTube channel; Kalysse Anthony, model and stylist; and Scott Reyes, an LA-based photographer.

Each billboard references the influencer’s social media handle and a message directly related to their personal lives that they have shared on social media, with a call to action to head to the nearest Adidas store to pick up the new sneakers. User Jacques Slade (@kustoo), for instance, was told to grab a pair for his next unboxing episode, while Tyler Glickman (@t_glick) was congratulated for recently getting married.

Adidas has been increasingly experimenting with personalized marketing to engage with an audience that is highly distracted by their digital behaviours. During 2018’s Boston Marathon, the sportswear brand created 30,000 personalized videos, one for each runner participating, by using data generated by the RFID-enabled running bibs. That data, combined with footage from seven different cameras stretched throughout the course, generated individual videos available to watch and share online after the race.

At the same time, out of home advertising is experiencing somewhat of a reawakening as marketers tap into the young consumer’s need for creating content. At this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Glossier president and COO. Henry Davis, explained that billboards are a great strategy for the cult beauty brand because they are just the beginning of the conversation – as consumers spot the billboard, they feel compelled to photograph it and create and share (digital) content themselves, thus taking ownership of that conversation with the brand.

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

What you missed: Wang’s text-to-buy line, Stitch Fix to IPO, activism from outdoor brands

The Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launched via text message
The Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launched via text message

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


TOP STORIES
  • The second Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launches via text-to-buy event [Racked]
  • Stitch Fix has filed confidentially for an IPO [Recode]
  • A call to activism for outdoor apparel makers [NY Times]
  • How Reebok, Adidas and Y-3 will dress future space explorers [Fast Company]

BUSINESS
  • Jimmy Choo bought by Michael Kors in £896m deal [BBC]
  • MatchesFashion.com could enter stock market [Fashion United]
  • Bangladesh to digitally map all garment factories [JustStyle]
  • Fashion must fight the scourge of dumped clothing clogging landfills [Guardian]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Vogue takes ‘hub and spoke’ approach to Snapchat editions in Europe [Digiday]

MARKETING
  • Why Helmut Lang hired an editor-in-residence in place of a creative director [Glossy]
  • Amazon and Nicopanda launch LFW ‘see now, buy now’ range [Retail Gazette]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • China’s store of the future has no checkout, no cash and no staff [BoF]
  • Saint Laurent to launch online sales in China [WSJ]
  • You will soon be able to search eBay using a photo or social media web link [CNBC]
  • MatchesFashion.com’s Tom Chapman: Amazon’s missing the ‘magic’ of high-end fashion [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Walmart is developing a robot that identifies unhappy shoppers [Business Insider]
  • For the first time ever, you can buy your own 3D-printed garment online [Fashionista]
  • MIT’s living jewellery is made up of small robot assistants [TechCrunch]
  • Intel axed its entire smartwatch and fitness-tracker group to focus on augmented reality, sources say [CNBC]

START-UPS
  • John Lewis unveils retail tech start-ups for JLAB 2017 [The Industry]
  • Spider silk start-up spins into retail by buying an apparel company [Fortune]
Categories
business e-commerce

Out of home screens look to capitalise on fashion week’s see-now, buy-now moves

Ocean out of home LFW
Ocean’s out of home screens in London

Ocean is broadcasting live from London Fashion Week (LFW) this season with exclusive content from the shows as well as previews and highlights throughout the five days of events.

Displayed on large format digital screens across the UK, Ocean is building on last season’s successful collaboration with the British Fashion Council (BFC), when it became the first out of home (OOH) media owner in the country to live stream directly from LFW, reaching a reported 11.5 million people.

While OOH might be considered a more traditional advertising route, it’s positioning itself to be considered part of the new wave of digital innovations reshaping the fashion industry. Seemingly there’s never been a better time.

On the eve of LFW (which generates over £100 million of orders each season, contributing to the £28 billion that goes into the UK economy from the fashion industry), Natalie Massenet, chairman of the BFC, commented: “Our designers continue to grow their businesses, embrace technology and innovate. In February, Burberry ignited the movement of ‘see-now, buy-now’, which was seen in NY and will now be seen in London.”

Indeed, numerous British brands are realising the potential to increase revenue by selling direct-to-customer during fashion week, and adopting the “see-now, buy-now” model accordingly. Providers like Ocean, which offer an alternative way of reaching consumers, stand to benefit accordingly.

Ocean CEO Tim Bleakley said: “Our ongoing collaboration with the British Fashion Council amplifies the fact that some of the labels will be showing see-now, buy-now collections. Out of home screens allow designers and retailers to reach and influence significant audiences across the UK.”

Half of Ocean’s 14 screens are positioned outside London, including in Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

Before the digital era, LFW was strictly a trade-only affair, bringing collections together in order to be viewed solely by those working in the global fashion industry. With so much change afoot, Ocean is one of many providers who will be looking to capitalise further on this shift to a consumer-facing event, offering brands another channel to reach consumers in real-time.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Inside the Vogue x Apple relationship, Gucci’s digital strategy, Farfetch raises $110m

Gucci

It probably goes without saying you’re well and truly over the plethora of stories covering the cyber-themed Met Gala looks (including the true wearable tech pieces), but if you haven’t read Racked’s piece on the relationship between Vogue and Apple in the build-up to the event – as below – then do take the time. Also buzzing in fashion and tech news over the past couple of weeks is everything from further advertising plans on Snapchat to Gucci’s digital strategy and the wearable revolution taking place in Brooklyn. Read on for a complete rundown…


  • Unravelling Vogue and Apple’s self-serving relationship [Racked]

  • The digital strategy driving Gucci’s growth (as pictured) [Glossy]

  • Farfetch raises $110 million in ‘strategic’ move [BoF]

  • William Gibson and Andrew Bolton on the future of fashion and technology [Document Journal]

  • Decoding ‘Manus x Machina’ [BoF]

  • Westfield launches room service retail with interactive mirror [Retail Gazette]

  • Target and Lancôme produce Snapchat’s first e-commerce ads [AdWeek]

  • Old Navy ad with interracial couple sparks a social media firestorm [BrandChannel]

  • Louis Vuitton and Snapchat team up to bring live coverage of world class sailing event [The Drum]

  • Lyst inspires post-work shopping therapy with subway placements [Luxury Daily]

  • If you don’t get social media-only brand ‘Obsessee,’ you probably aren’t its target audience [Fashionista]

  • Bushy eyebrows and $50k per day on Facebook ads: How a small beauty brand blew up [Forbes]

  • How Snapchat won the Met Gala [WGSN Insider]

  • 10 of the best brands on Snapchat right now (and why they’re so great) [Hubspot]

  • How to build a brand on Instagram [Fashionista]

  • Brooklyn’s wearable revolution [NY Times]

  • Why Silicon Valley VC firms fund online retailers like Dollar Shave Club [Seattle Times]

  • Is Flipkart turning into the perfect example of what a tech startup must not do? [Quartz]

  • The future of shopping: trapping you in a club you didn’t know you joined [Bloomberg]

  • The future of the fashion show, according to MatchesFashion.com’s Ruth and Tom Chapman [Vogue]

  • This new tool wants to make the off-price clothing business easier [Fast Company]

  • Digiday launches new fashion and luxury publication, Glossy [Digiday]

  • Heated coats and Kate Moss holograms: the key moments fashion and technology have collided [Daily Telegraph]

  • This video of Anna Wintour introducing the @Voguemagazine app is oddly threatening [Fashionista]

  • The sneakerhead bot problem is getting worse and Nike has the only answer (so far) [HighSnobiety]

  • What fashion brands can learn from Beyoncé’s Lemonade [BoF]
Categories
Blocks film social media

LFW to hit outdoor screens across the UK

issa_SS16

London Fashion Week will be screened on billboards across the UK in collaboration with Ocean Outdoor for the first time this season.

The British Fashion Council will be showing LFW footage to over 35 million people, through 60 screens in Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Newcastle as well as around London.

The content will run from February 15-23. In the build-up it will include the spring/summer 2016 shows, before switching to daily round-ups from the new catwalk collections and presentations.

Caroline Rush CBE, CEO of the BFC, said: “Collaborating with Ocean Outdoor means that we are able to bring British talent and London Fashion Week to more people than ever before. At a time when many conversations are taking place around connecting fashion weeks with consumers, this is a perfect opportunity to reach both new and existing fashion fans throughout the UK.”

Ocean has previously worked with both Hunter and Topshop to screen content from LFW on its outdoor network. Hunter broadcast its autumn/winter 2015 collection live, while Topshop teamed up with Twitter for a shoppable billboard initiative.

Categories
e-commerce Editor's pick mobile technology

Burberry’s latest big idea – 3D digital fun in London

burberry__dreamworks

Another day, another tech initiative from Burberry. The company has linked up with DreamWorks Animation for a product campaign making use of 3D tech and the world-famous Piccadilly Circus, London, curved screen.

Passers-by will be able to design a personalised heritage scarf on their smartphones and the result will appear on the screen, according to reports. The same NOVA tech DreamWorks used in Kung Fu Panda will be employed, and just like Dreamworks’ output, Burberry wants it to be entertaining as well as encouraging us to buy more product.

Burberry CEO, creative chief and all-round tech-visionary-at-large Christopher Bailey told the Telegraph: “The huge screens in Piccadilly Circus give us a great canvas to launch the technology in a space that will show the possibilities of what [it] can do in an entertaining and engaging way. Giving users the ability to control their movement in various ways makes the experience much more personal when viewed on a screen, whether at home or on a digital billboard.”

Once the personalised scarf has been created, the potential customer can then buy it online or from the regent Street flagship just up the road.

But it really is just just about selling more stuff, right? Over to Bailey again: “The campaigns we create are not developed with a purely commercial imperative. Our aim is to identify platforms where we can create interesting content that we believe audiences will enjoy so that our relationship with them can extend beyond the purely transactional.”

The fact is that Burberry has become a master of entertaining and intriguing its audience in recent years while also boosting sales. That it’s chosen the scarf for this initiative is key as Burberry is as much about heritage as it is about fashion.

But it’s doing a pretty good job of bringing heritage product into the 21st century via a combination of forward-looking digital technology and personalisation services that underscore the luxury profile of the brand.

For now, the screen at Piccadilly Circus will be an extension of its online and in-store scarf bars and it’s likely to garner A LOT of attention for the brand.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday