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Bjo?rn Borg disrupts World Cup with blockchain and AR LGBTQ experiences

Bjo?rn Borg AR experience at the World Cup 2018

Swedish underwear label Bjo?rn Borg is taking a stand on LGBTQ rights, including marriage equality, with two digital initiatives that coincide with the start of the World Cup 2018 in Russia.

During the first match of the football championship, Russia versus Saudi Arabia, brand fans were encouraged to place an augmented reality “tifo” – the word for large organised visuals displayed by football crowds – via an online platform. Upon visiting the platform, users could place a visual of a gay couple kissing above the crowd, either on their desktop, or pointing their phones towards a TV playing the match. In the illustration, the couple is sporting painted stripes that represent each country’s flags, with a strapline that reads, “Love Will Win Tonight.”

Users can then share the visuals on social media, while the brand has developed web ads with similar messaging. The launch during the first match is particularly symbolic as in Russia, promoting homosexuality is considered propaganda, while in Saudi Arabia being gay is considered a crime that can be punished by death.

Although the AR experience will only be available throughout the football championship, it lives under a larger digital platform where the brand is further cementing its stance through the use of blockchain technology. Marriage Unblocked allows any user to propose, exchange vows and get married digitally by storing their information on a blockchain ledger, which can either be made public or remain anonymous. Users who participate, many of which are from countries where gay marriage is not legal, get a certificate for their digital marriage. Although not legal, the symbolic feature creates an emotional experience that allows those who have been denied the right to marriage to express their love for one another.

Bjo?rn Borg has long used the conversation around love to promote a more inclusive society, as well as tying the topic to their brand messaging in general. In 2011, a TV spot featured a traditional wedding ceremony with a twist; and 2015, it launched an online game where weapons included holographic kisses and heart-shaped soap bubbles, showcasing that love conquers all. The brand, much like cross-industry counterparts like Lush, has long understood that taking a stand on a major topic that matters to them is a pivotal strategy when engaging with younger customers who wear their values on their sleeves.

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Fabergé fans to create digital portrait animations at Harrods

Fabergé Cinescope - Firebird in Cage

Fabergé is set to host a heritage-inspired digital installation in Harrods as part of its Easter-themed pop-up from April 1 – 21.

The ‘Fabergé Cinescope’ will enable visitors to try on jewellery via a digital mirror and then create a one-of-a-kind animated portrait of themselves that can be shared across social media.

These portraits are based on a Victorian novelty concept – the trompe-l’oeil optical effect created by placing two images on either side of a disk and rotating them quickly to make them look like one (as per the video below).

Fabergé says marrying innovation with tradition is always its aim, and in this case its “transforming a period toy into a digital-age concept”.

The initiative is being run in collaboration with Russian style icon Miroslava Duma. It will also see the story of the Fabergé jewellery house retold via the Harrods windows, and an ‘Egg Bar’ showcasing the iconic precious egg pendants. An exhibition space will present other historic pieces from the brand, including the original 1901 Fabergé Apple Blossom Egg never seen before in the UK.

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Digital snippets: Jimmy Choo, Uniqlo, Nike, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Amazon

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:


  • Digital scorecard: Jimmy Choo 24:7 Stylemakers [BoF]
  • Uniqlo bids you good morning with new social app (as video above) [Co.Create]
  • The New York Times expanding street style coverage [WWD]
  • Dolce & Gabbana presents new eyewear collection with silent short film [Luxury Daily]
  • Amazon leaps into high end of the fashion pool [NY Times]
  • The Bottom Line: Pinterest vs Facebook [BoF]
  • Styku: how Microsoft’s Kinect could replace your tailor [Fast Company]

Fabergé to launch art journal iPad app

Nijinsky and the Diamonds, Mir Fabergé

Luxury jewellery house Fabergé is set to launch an iPad app in the form of an art journal centred around its world past and present.

‘Mir Fabergé’, as it’s called, is inspired by Mir Iskusstva, an art journal and movement founded by Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballet Russes at the turn of the 20th century.

Key to Russia’s Silver Age, it “sought a reinvigoration and synthesis of the arts, be it literature, music, art or poetry”, read the notes. Influences were found too from artistic friends including Leon Bakst and Coco Chanel, while content spanned from noble to peasant culture.

Now, the Mir Fabergé app, which launches on June 16, likewise brings together a wide variety of artists, following in the footsteps of founder Peter Carl Fabergé’s vision.

His great-granddaughter, Tatiana Fabergé, said: “My great grandfather believed in working with people from all the creative fields – from designers and goldsmiths to artists (including miniaturists), from engravers to enamellers to stonecutters and sculptors. His creations would not have been possible without such a philosophy. All of the world of art both inspired and influenced his creative vision.”

Included are photographers, directors, film makers, actors, dancers, artists, illustrators, composers, writers, costume designers and Fabergé experts.

Between them they have created six stories about the brand, its legacy, its infamous eggs, its founder and his clients such as ballet legend Vaslav Nijinsky.