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Campaigns mobile technology

Cannes Lions 2018: Ikea’s latest AR app creates ingenious way to reuse packaging

#IKEAtoybox
#IKEAtoybox

Ikea has launched another augmented reality app, this time one that enables its flatpack packaging to become real-life toys for kids.

The #IKEAtoybox initiative sees AR used to determine what potential toys could be made from the amount of cardboard available, and then gives users the instructions on how to do so. The result is everything from rockets to castles, butterfly wings, sharks and beyond.

Announced at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this week, in partnership with Wunderman and Kantar Consulting, the project went from concept to delivery in just five weeks.

“It’s about creating endless amounts of imagination based on the actual size of the packaging you have,” said Daniel Bonner, global CCO at Wunderman.

The idea for it came off the back of over 15 years-worth of insights from Mumsnet. That data showed that one of the largest concerns from parents surrounds child development – second only to childbirth. Further research also highlighted that 50% of parents say they struggle to find the ideas to bring creative play into the home.

The app is still a prototype at this stage, but will be rolled out to consumers shortly. Ikea is also said to be looking at how to open up the project to a wider audience thereafter. Given its broader focus on sustainability and reducing waste as an organization, it’s considering how to open this AR app up so packaging from other retailers could also be utilized in the same way.

For more about Ikea’s sustainability mission, listen in to this episode of TheCurrent Innovators podcast with Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainable and healthy living at the brand.

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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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Editor's pick Podcast Retail

Lego on the importance of play at retail

Lego's Martin Urrutia with Rachel Arthur
Lego’s Martin Urrutia with Rachel Arthur

Lego’s most important feedback often comes from six year-olds, says the brand’s head of retail innovation, Martin Urrutia, on the latest episode of TheCurrent Innovators podcast.

Speaking to Rachel Arthur at this year’s World Retail Congress in Madrid, Urrutia says focusing on the relationship between the user and the brick, and constantly listening to consumers’ wants and needs, has been pivotal to the Danish brand’s longevity.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

“Prior to rolling out anything important in our stores we actually sit at a table and present this to children and listen to them. And of course sometimes you say ‘Am I going to let a six or eight year old child tell me what to do in store?’ and the answer is yes, of course. If you present this to them, if you listen to the feedback, it’s going to be interesting,” he explains. “I’ve seen so many companies changing their essence and changing many things,” he says, “and the only question that comes to my mind is – have they really asked their core users what they want?”

In order to serve all types of consumers with the right interaction, the brand prides itself on being truly shopper-centric. Understanding the consumer is particularly key to a brand that is in the unique position of having such a vast fanbase – from small children to much older adults. This means engaging with core fans through a continuous conversation informs not only R&D, but also store design and interactive experiences. There have been many ideas that looked good on paper but were scrapped when they received negative feedback from real consumers or partner retailers, Urrutia explains, for instance.

Lego's AR in-store
Lego’s AR in-store

During the episode, he talks to the idea of store experiences that engender memories, and always bringing in an element of play to everything the brand does. Such is the importance of the physical toy for the 85-year-old company, in fact, that it is often found in its meeting rooms worldwide, and its workforce takes one day a year to put work aside and play with the brick themselves. This internal strategy feeds into a larger purpose that encourages customers to play and engage with the toys at any given moment – be it at home or in any one of the brand’s increasing retail spaces.

Throughout the conversation, Urrutia also explains about the importance of choosing the right technology for retail; both that which is easy for staff and customers alike to interact with, but also simple to update and scale. He also notes other imperative brick-and-mortar retail tools, such as an invested and knowledgeable staff, as well as ensuring that there is something for everyone within that physical space.

Catch up with all of our episodes of TheCurrent Innovators here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how 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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Editor's pick Podcast

HBO on how Westworld engages with superfans

Liz Bacelar and HBO's Steven Cardwell
Liz Bacelar and HBO’s Steven Cardwell

At the core of the success of Westworld – HBO’s hit show that has had the most successful series debut in its history – is its engagement with fans, says Steven Cardwell, director of program marketing at the network.

By creating a series of immersive and interactive experiences to promote the show, HBO has found the secret sauce to engagement. “The fanbase are going to be your biggest evangelizers. They’re the people that you want to make sure you’re treating almost as partners in a way to help really amplify your messaging,” he says on the latest episode of TheCurrent Innovators podcast. “Give them the keys to the car and let them drive it because they’re going to be able to speak organically to that fan community.”

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

Following this year’s SXSW festival, where Westworld arguably hosted the most buzzed about brand activation, Cardwell speaks to our founder Liz Bacelar on how important it is to keep the conversation going with fans in-between seasons, which in Westworld’s case, has been an 18 month-long wait. In a media space so cluttered with scripted and reality programming, it is important to find other avenues to engage with fans before and after the episode has aired, he notes.

That theory resonates heavily with the fashion and retail space, where a multitude of stores are fighting for relevance in tough market conditions. Focusing on superfans and driving experiences that engender engagement, is key to advocacy and loyalty, Cardwell says.

For those unfamiliar with Westworld, it takes place in a fictional Wild West-themed amusement park titled Sweetwater, where hosts are androids who allow paying guests to engage in whatever activity they want with no retaliation. The SXSW experience saw a recreation of said amusement park in deserted land outside Austin, Texas, where guests who managed to snag coveted tickets were fully immersed in the Westworld universe for three hours.

The experience was undeniably HBO’s moment in the spotlight at a festival that is slowly evolving as a platform that mirrors culture, rather than glorifies tech. It also taught many brands attending, including an unprecedented number of fashion and beauty players, that if you build an experience that satisfies the need for escapism, consumers will come – even if that means queuing with strangers for a bus to an unknown destination.

On the podcast, Cardwell also talks about why shiny new technology wasn’t central to the experience, despite it being at the crux of the show’s concept, and why authenticity in building brand moments is key.

Catch up with all of our episodes of TheCurrent Innovators here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how 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 mobile

Hermès launches mobile game as part of year-long celebration of play

Hermès "H pitchhh" game
Hermès “H pitchhh” game

Hermès has launched “H-pitchhh”, a mobile gaming app inspired by its equestrian heritage, as part of its year-long celebration around the topic of ‘play’.

The app allows users to virtually toss a horseshoe, where points are scored based on how close they get it to the stake. The more points users earn, the more they unlock exclusive content such as virtual worlds inspired by Hermès illustrations, as well as different horseshoe pitching objects. Users can play alone or invite a friend to participate in the experience.

The brand, known for its whimsical content strategy, chose 2018 as the year of the “Let’s Play” theme. It has been anchoring its creative direction around a single theme per year since 1987, when Jean-Louis Dumas, former chairman and CEO, launched the “Year of the Fireworks” to celebrate the house’s 150th anniversary.

To further promote the creative direction, visitors to the ninth edition of the Saut Hermès, its showjumping competition in Paris in March, were invited to play with the app or engage on a real-life game of hopscotch.

During the same month, the label launched its store at The Dubai Mall with a pop-up fairground that included a hall of mirrors and a carousel.

Hermès Fantasy in Dubai
Hermès Fantasy in Dubai
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Blocks film social media

Michael Kors and Gigi Hadid battle it out in playful Pictionary contest

michaelkors_gigihadid_glamourgames

Anything fun deserves to be celebrated, so kudos to Michael Kors for this joyful little video featuring the designer himself playing a version of Pictionary with model Gigi Hadid.

Called Glamour Games, the contest sees the duo drawing sketches to answer questions like what would you consider your best body part, who’s your favourite fashion icon, what’s the most underrated fashion trend, and more. Pasta, Instagram, the Little Mermaid and Daniel Craig all feature.

It’s a playful, tongue-in-cheek and insightful exploration of the pair. Check it out below…

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Blocks social media

How luxury brands are showing their love for the 2014 FIFA World Cup

FIFA-World-Cup-Brazil-Wallpaper-Logo1

Speak to a Brazilian right now, and most will tell you there’s little else going on in their country other than the FIFA World Cup currently. “At the moment we (I mean the whole country, literally) are 100% focused on [the football] – so no other news,” one friend from an agency in Rio working with Coca-Cola told us.

On social that might particularly seem the case – during the Brazil x Chile match, 390,000 tweets were posted per minute, the highest number ever recorded during a sporting event on the platform.

The main brand players (in terms of share of voice) are inevitably the likes of adidas, Coca-Cola, Nike et al. But a handful of those from the luxury space have embarked on the odd World Cup initiative too in a bid to garner both local and global association with the event. Here’s a little round up of how…

Louis Vuitton was commissioned by FIFA to design the World Cup trophy trunk – a monogrammed, 18-carat gold, malachite and brass ensemble. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will present the trophy to the winning team
Louis Vuitton was commissioned by FIFA to design the World Cup trophy trunk – a monogrammed, 18-carat gold, malachite and brass ensemble. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will present the trophy to the winning team
The Tod’s campaign ‘I Cheer For My Colors’ follows a similar concept – accessories in different countries’ colour-ways are available for purchase
The Tod’s campaign ‘I Cheer For My Colors’ follows a similar concept – accessories in different countries’ colour-ways are available for purchase
As part of #FriendshipFriday, Monica Vinander  suggested football fans stack their friendship bracelets to reflect the colours of their team’s flag – some great imagery accompanied over social
As part of #FriendshipFriday, Monica Vinader suggested football fans stack their friendship bracelets to reflect the colours of their team’s flag – some great imagery accompanied over social
Lacoste created a capsule collection called Rio, inspired by Brazil and the Brazilian colours
Lacoste created a capsule collection called Rio, inspired by Brazil and the Brazilian colours
Hublot launched its ‘Hublot Loves Football’ campaign. Its UNICO Bi-Retrograde model is also this year’s official World Cup watch
Hublot launched its ‘Hublot Loves Football’ campaign. Its UNICO Bi-Retrograde model is also this year’s official World Cup watch
Calvin Klein tapped Brazilian football player Oscar Emboaba as the face of its new underwear and denim campaigns
Calvin Klein tapped Brazilian football player Oscar Emboaba as the face of its new underwear and denim campaigns
Tissot is running an Instagram competition using the hashtag #MyTissot. The prize: watches in colours to match the different participating countries’ flags
Tissot is running an Instagram competition using the hashtag #MyTissot. The prize: watches in colours to match the different participating countries’ flags
Gucci’s three-week ‘Forever Now’ exhibition arrived at the right time for the World Cup in São Paulo, using pieces loaned from their Museo in Florence
Gucci’s three-week ‘Forever Now’ exhibition, using pieces loaned from their Museo in Florence, arrived in São Paulo at the right time for the World Cup
Alexander McQueen created its own interpretation of the PUMA King cleats. Only 100 pairs exist, all of which will be gifted to friends of the two brands
Alexander McQueen created its own interpretation of the PUMA King cleats. Only 100 pairs exist, all of which will be gifted to friends of the two brands
Karl Lagerfeld in collaboration with plastic footwear brand Melissa, also created some footwear in the spirit of the World Cup; sandals adorned with a miniature football.
Karl Lagerfeld in collaboration with plastic footwear brand Melissa, also created some footwear in the spirit of the World Cup; sandals adorned with a miniature football
And in true team spirit, numerous brands have not just acted for their own benefit, but leveraged their creative talent to support children in Brazil too. The Make Kids Happy campaign, under the organisation of Luisa Via Roma and adidas, saw various luxury brands designing their own versions of the FIFA football. These were then auctioned off on eBay on June 16 and proceeds went to the Brazilian Gol de Letra Foundation. Participating designers included Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain, Cavalli, Missoni and MCM, as well as Giuseppe Zanotti shown here.
And in true team spirit, numerous brands have not just acted for their own benefit, but leveraged their creative talent to support children in Brazil too. The Make Kids Happy campaign, under the organisation of Luisa Via Roma and adidas, saw various luxury brands designing their own versions of the FIFA football. These were then auctioned off on eBay on June 16 and proceeds went to the Brazilian Gol de Letra Foundation. Participating designers included Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain, Cavalli, Missoni and MCM, as well as Giuseppe Zanotti shown here.