Categories
Editor's pick film social media technology

John Lewis unveils #MoztheMonster Christmas campaign with Google Home and Facebook AR tie-in

John Lewis's #MoztheMonster Christmas campaign
John Lewis’s #MoztheMonster Christmas campaign

The much-anticipated John Lewis Christmas film from Adam&Eve/DDB has been revealed, this time featuring a friendly monster called Moz alongside all manner of interactive campaign components.

#MoztheMonster, which was produced by award-winning film director Michel Gondry, best known for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, tells the tale of an imaginary creature that lives under the bed of a little boy called Joe.

As with many of John Lewis’s annual campaigns, it follows a similar formula of friendship with a heartwarming ending. Following a round of snoring and farting, Joe and Moz play together every night until it all gets a little too much for the former and he can barely stay awake during the day. Moz comes up with a solution in the Christmas present he then gives him – a night-light that takes away the monster whenever he needs it to.

The soundtrack to the film is a cover version of The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers by Elbow.


“This year’s Christmas campaign brings to life the power of children’s imaginations and the joy of great friendships,” said Craig Inglis, John Lewis’s customer director. “Moz and Joe’s story is magical and heartwarming and I’m sure it will be loved by all of our customers, young and old.”

As with previous years, the film itself is only one part of a much wider integrated campaign. John Lewis first started teasing it with short #underthebed clips on social media, alongside changing some of its store signs around the country so that the “o” and “e” of its logo were eyes instead.

Innovative approaches this year then further include a partnership with voice activation device Google Home, through which users can download and personalise the story with their own sound effects. The story, which is read by actress Sally Phillips, can also be downloaded on the John Lewis website and via Sky boxes.

John Lewis's #MoztheMonster Christmas campaign teased in its store logo
John Lewis’s #MoztheMonster Christmas campaign teased in its store logo

The retailer has also become one of the first to make use of Facebook’s new augmented reality feature, enabling fans the ability to “Mozify” their faces. In 10 stores around the country, they can also do so in person at a Monster Maker station. At Johnlewismonstermaker.com, meanwhile, there’s an interactive experience where users can customise their own version of Moz – changing his shape, colour and smile, before adding their own scribbles all over him and choosing their favourite “fart” sound. He then dances depending on which area you press on him.

Further in-store activations include “the world’s first farting and snoring window” on Oxford Street, and a range of merchandise including toys, mugs, pyjamas and more. Proceeds of the sale of certain items go to charity partner Barnardo’s.

Customising our own version of John Lewis's #MoztheMonster
Customising our own version of John Lewis’s #MoztheMonster
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media technology

What you missed: AI for retail, the selfie’s influence on fashion, last mile challenge

AI is not optional for retail
AI is not optional for retail

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
  • AI is not optional for retail [VentureBeat]
  • How selfie taking has influenced fashion [Edited]
  • In global e-commerce, the race to solve the ‘last mile’ [BoF]

BUSINESS
  • Avenue32.com confirms closure [The Industry]
  • Matchesfashion in £600m sale talks as buyers circle [RetailWeek]
  • Alibaba uses its shopping leverage [Bloomberg]
  • Amazon’s private label business is booming thanks to device sales, expanded fashion lines [TechCrunch]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • This influencer marketing shop created fake accounts to prove that the industry is full of ad fraud [AdWeek]

MARKETING
  • How the sisters behind cult clothing brand Rodarte mastered fashion and film [FastCompany]
  • Sephora is creating the world’s largest beauty forum [The Cut]
  • The all-woman agency team on Nike who ‘Just Do It’ [AdAge]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Nordstrom and Macy’s: A lesson in surviving the retail apocalypse [RetailDive]
  • ‘Retail isn’t dying’: How brands are competing for brick-and-mortar space [Glossy]
  • 4 things American department stores must do to survive [BoF]
  • What if stores charged admission? [BoF]

TECHNOLOGY
  • The virtual revolution of retail [Medium]
  • Do your customers actually want a “smart” version of your product? [HBR]
Categories
e-commerce Editor's pick technology

Amazon steps into the fashion selfie game with Echo Look device

The new Amazon Echo Look
The new Amazon Echo Look

Amazon is expanding AI assistant Alexa’s capabilities with a new standalone selfie camera, designed to give users fashion tips and advice on what to wear.

Echo Look, as the device is called, follows in the footsteps of the main Amazon Echo voice-controlled gadget, of which more than 10 million have reportedly sold.

This new hands-free camera version offers many of the same functionalities as the original, but also comes with four LED lights, a depth-sensing system and a background blurring effect, all in a bid to give users the perfect full-length shot of what they’re wearing. It also takes videos and can automatically share such looks on your own or a friend’s phone.


More than just being a means of seeing what you look like however, the device also comes with a service called “Style Check”, which uses machine learning to compare different outfits and advise on the best choice based on trends and what flatters you.

The write-up reads: “Style Check keeps your look on point using advanced machine-learning algorithms and advice from fashion specialists. Submit two photos for a second opinion on which outfit looks best on you based on fit, colour, styling and current trends.”

As with most AI, the intention is that the service gets smarter the more people use it. It additionally will help users create a personal look book by saving all their previous outfits – what they wore and when.

Amazon's Echo Look can give outfit advice through its Style Check feature
Amazon’s Echo Look can give outfit advice through its Style Check feature

It comes of course at a time when Amazon is increasingly trying to shift into the fashion space. As Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation at e-commerce solutions provider, Salmon, comments: “It doesn’t take too much imagination to realise that this in turn will enable Amazon to promote products sold through its platform, and even its own clothing ranges – thereby locking customers into a relationship with Amazon. Existing retailers need to be aware of Amazon’s aggressive horizontal expansion and its innovative invention of new routes to market. While many retailers are still struggling with establishing omnichannel strategies, Amazon is taking omnichannel innovations to the next level.”

Voice is one particular area that will continue to see growth in terms of how consumers discover product too. According to Mary Meeker of KPCB, half of all web searches will use voice or image search rather than text by 2020. “More efficient and often more convenient than typing, voice-based interfaces are ramping quickly and creating a new paradigm for human-computer interaction,” she said last year.

The Echo Look device retails for $199.99, though is not yet available to the public.

Categories
mobile social media

Meitu, Inc. promotes MakeupPlus beauty app with London Fashion Week hub

The Meitu, Inc. MakeupPlus app beauty pop-up during London Fashion Week
The Meitu, Inc. MakeupPlus app beauty pop-up during London Fashion Week

Chinese mobile internet company Meitu, Inc. is celebrating its popular virtual try-on MakeupPlus app with a beauty hub in London’s “most Instagrammed venue” – the Lights of Soho gallery and member’s club, which features dozens of colourful neon lights.

“The Ultimate Beauty Destination” pop-up is running for the duration of London Fashion Week (until Tuesday 21), and is open to members of the public who download the beauty app and display it on arrival.

The pop-up boutique aims to translate the app’s virtual beauty capabilities (i.e. its augmented reality overlays) into real-life experiences, such as free makeovers, tutorials and expert panels.

“We believe that London is the perfect city to host ‘The Ultimate Beauty Destination’, the city where creativity and technology are celebrated,” says Frank Fu, SVP and managing director at Meitu, Inc, who also mentions that the London connection is even stronger due to recent partnerships between MakeupPlus and British make-up artists Charlotte Tilbury and Lisa Eldridge.

Writer Bia Bezamat experimenting with the Meitu MakeupPlus app
Writer Bia Bezamat experimenting with the Meitu MakeupPlus app

For the event, the company is working in partnership with Clinique and Revlon Professional for free beauty makeovers, while East London-based Imarni does nails. A chill out lounge also invites guests to enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks, encouraging visitors to use the venue as their go-to spot in between the shows, all of which are being live-streamed on a big screen.

When attendees first enter the venue they are greeted by a friendly rabbit statue, with which they can pose for selfies and trial the beauty app on Meitu’s new T8 smartphones, launching in China later this month. The phones are on display for play, and are well-suitable for selfie-takers with advanced camera technology, as well as an artificial intelligence feature for face recognition, age and gender identification.

The Meitu, Inc. MakeupPlus app beauty pop-up during London Fashion Week
The Meitu, Inc. MakeupPlus app beauty pop-up during London Fashion Week

In 2016, the company emerged as one of the leading internet platforms focusing on beauty apps, generating over six billion photos and videos every month. Its app portfolio, which also includes other editing platforms, BeautyPlus, AirBrush, MeiPai and Meitu Pic (also known as just Meitu), is now used on more than 1.1 billion unique mobile devices, with a global user base outside its native China amounting to over 430 million users.

“We believe that 2017 will be a big year for mobile VR and AR. And millennials will increasingly look to lifestyle and beauty brands to leverage this technology and give them more opportunities to try on and experiment with products from the comfort of their own phones,” said Fu last month.

The Meitu app, which has been listed in the top 10 of the App store for eight years running, has seen particular global growth in early 2017; an enormous 480% increase in new users outside of China driven by the launch of its hand drawn animated effect on January 11. It has reportedly been used more than 320 million times since, but has driven serious press coverage around data and security concerns.

Categories
social media

Condé Nast social campaign showcases “creativity selfies”

condenast1

Condé Nast has flexed it celebrity muscle and pulled in influencers ranging from Kendall Jenner to Reese Witherspoon to contribute to a new social media campaign focused on creativity.

Referred to as “creativity selfies”, the “Create. Connect. Condé Nast” campaign in the US, sees familiar faces appearing across social channels in short videos talking about what creativity means to them. Joining Jenner and Witherspoon are the likes of Jordan Spieth, Ronda Rousey, Hilary Rhoda, Lily Aldridge, Kerry Washington, and some 100 of the media company’s own employees.

Condé Nast secured 37 influencers in total, some of which, including Justin Bieber, helped promote the videos on their social media channels, using the hashtag #CreativityIs.

The idea for the project was born last summer when the company’s CEO Bob Sauerberg asked CMO Edward Menicheschi to come up with a way to tell the story of who Condé Nast is today, reports Advertising Age. Menicheschi worked with artistic director Anna Wintour and corporate creative director Raul Martinez, alongside in-house branded content studio 23 Stories, to transform the concept into reality.

There are three 60-second campaign videos, as well as a 15-second version for each publication (some of which can be seen from the tweets below). They are being pushed out via Condé Nast’s suite of social media accounts (a combined total of 120 million followers), not to mention to the millions of additional consumers via the celebrities mentioned. An out-of-home campaign will follow.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Nike on 3D printing, HM x Balmain’s selfies, Diesel advertises on Tinder

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

nike

  • Nike’s COO thinks we could soon 3D print Nike sneakers at home [Quartz]
  • H&M x Balmain:  wants to see your selfies [Vogue]
  • Tinder ads tease Diesel fashion models as possible ‘matches’ [Mashable]
  • Louis Vuitton’s spring 2016 show dives into Oculus Rift and virtual gaming [Fashionista]
  • Most fashion houses are baffled by social media. Here’s why old-school Chanel does it best [Washington Post]
  • London-based online fashion startup, Lyst, abandoned a $25 million business — and became huge anyway [Business Insider]
  • Diane von Furstenberg is tapping into millennial tastes to secure her brand’s legacy [AdWeek]
  • Why Burberry’s Snapchat Testino campaign is the best piece of marketing in 2015 [Marketing Magazine]
  • Sears shows how it uses data to build relationships [MediaPost]
  • Can Everlane really become the next J.Crew? [Racked]
  • WME-IMG debuts all-fashion network for Apple TV [BoF]
  • How Diesel talks to its mobile customers through 400 programmatic ads [Digiday]
  • Target’s Kristi Argyilan on what ‘in-house programmatic’ really means [AdAge]
  • China’s Alibaba readies for Singles Day online shopping festival on 11/11/15 [BrandChannel]
  • How Flipkart hopes to shut out rivals by going app-only in India [Tech in Asia]
  • Facebook to test ‘shopping’ section [WWD]
  • ‘In China you have to use it’: How WeChat is powering a mobile commerce boom [Digiday]
  • Why is Silicon Valley pouring millions of dollars into old clothes? [Bloomberg]
  • How (and why) ‘Who What Wear’ bet on commerce [Digiday]
  • The rise of drones [Not Just a Label]
  • A retail geek’s take on modern high-street shopping [The Future of Commerce]
  • What role do fashion runways play in the internet age? [The Globe and Mail]
  • We have not yet reached peak wearable [Re/code]
  • Say it with an emoji: 10 text-free phrases to describe spring 2016 [Vogue]
  • Can content really drive commerce? [Forrester]
Categories
Editor's pick technology

IN PICTURES: Macy’s new “One Below” juniors floor – a tech-infused playground

Macys_Onebelow_tech8

Macy’s has opened a new juniors floor on the lower level of its flagship Herald Square location in New York City, with numerous tech features including a selfie wall and Levi’s customisation station installed.

Called One Below, the 53,000 square-foot space is part of a $400m renovation of the store. It features young brands such as Material Girl and XOXO, and a wealth of interactive experiences to engage with today’s young consumers.

The selfie wall allows users to pose against famous Macy’s backdrops; the Levi’s custom laser bar let’s them choose designs from a book to appear on their jeans; a wearable tech area dedicated to smart watches includes brands like Fitbit, Samsung and Fossil; and another from 3D systems sees 3D-printed products including jewellery and phone cases for sale.

Macys_Onebelow_tech11

A blow dry bar is also coming to the beauty department soon, and there are screens in every department, including a giant one outside the fitting room showing what looks like Instagram posts across it. All the seats for those waiting also have charging stations for devices.

The floor is reportedly aimed at Millennials (those born circa 1980-2000), but it already feels younger than that – for today’s pre-teens and teens (if the prom and homecoming dresses are anything to go by) and their increasingly connected futures.

More importantly, it’s also heavily for today’s teen tourists: it’s no mistake the selfie wall appears in the Macy’s Arcade for instance, which also houses the department store’s souvenir products. This is for visitors, not regular shoppers; it’s intentionally gimmicky, but that’s why it works.

Here are a load more original pictures of the space:

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Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film social media technology

Digital snippets: Hussein Chalayan’s dissolving dresses, Tom Ford replaces show with Lady Gaga video, Anrealage’s hidden digital detail

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

Hussein-Chalayan-melting-clothes-Spring-Summer-2016-Paris-Fashion-Week_dezeen_ss_2

  • Clothes dissolve on the catwalk during Hussein Chalayan show (as pictured above) [Dezeen]
  • Tom Ford releases video for spring 2016 collection starring Lady Gaga [Fashionista]
  • Anrealage plays with flash in collection’s hidden digital detail [NY Times]
  • It’s a trap: Macy’s sets up a selfie wall to lure millennials [Digiday]
  • How Tiffany increased its WeChat fanbase by 1,000% [FT]
  • Apple invents ring-style wearable device with voice control, haptics, cameras and more [Apple Insider]
  • Anouk Wipprecht is building future fashion out of AI and microcontrollers [Inverse]
  • Who’s winning the fashion e-commerce race? [BoF]
  • Female shoppers no longer trust ads or celebrity endorsements, prefer YouTube stars [Fast Company]
  • Here’s how luxury brands are doing social media very wrong (& the few who break the mold) [Refinery29]
  • Inside Vogue’s New York Fashion Week digital wrap party [Digiday]
  • The digital Asia effect [BoF]
Categories
Comment Editor's pick social media

Dolce & Gabbana’s #MFW selfies only enhance the fact we’re still blinded by gimmick

DolceGabbana_selfies

While big tech initiatives are easy to find during New York and London Fashion Weeks, once the month-long slog of back-to-back catwalk shows hits Milan and then Paris, little more follows.

Indeed the greatest news so far has been about the selfies on the Dolce & Gabbana catwalk. Short of anything else to write about, that got substantial press coverage, loads of social media sharing and even some tech blogs to boot.

This was about models walking the runway shooting photos of themselves via their phones in hand (as you can see pictured here). Those same images were then displayed on large screens around the Italian village-themed venue in real-time, as well as shared via Dolce & Gabbana’s own social media channels.

My social media feed, however, was then filled with people virtually rolling their eyes (if only there was an emoji for that). Not because it wasn’t cute – it was – but because it wasn’t new. Frankly, it’s a little mind blowing that it therefore got so much attention. Head on over to Forbes to read more of my comment piece detailing the issue with such gimmicks during fashion week season.

Categories
digital snippets film social media technology

Digital snippets: Dolce & Gabbana’s #selfies, Burberry’s Apple Music channel; NFC payments at House of Holland

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

dolce_selfie

  • Dolce & Gabbana models post selfies straight off the runway (as pictured) [Vogue]
  • Burberry becomes first fashion brand to launch Apple Music channel [BoF/Bloomberg]
  • It might seem like a gimmick, but here’s why Henry Holland’s NFC payment ring matters [Forbes]
  • Intel unveils RFID system for retailers, Levi Strauss pilots [RFID Journal]
  • DKNY gets personal for New York Fashion Week with Instagram Direct campaign [AdAge]
  • H&M releases film featuring David Beckham and American comedian Kevin Hart [Brand Republic]
  • Robots, holograms and wearables: A tech history of fashion week [Fashionista]
  • Snapchat and Uber: How outsiders got into NYFW events [Digiday]
  • The best of tech at London Fashion Week [Forbes]
  • New York Fashion Week’s social media winners and losers [Digiday]
  • Why fashion model Karlie Kloss launched her own YouTube channel [Co.Create]
  • Vogue goes viral [FT]
  • Google’s Eric Schmidt on how artificial intelligence could shape fashion trends [WWD]
  • Can ‘smart malls’ save China’s failing shopping centres from collapse? [The Guardian]
  • ‘A lot of guff is talked about personalisation’, says Ao.com boss John Roberts [Retail Week]
  • The invisible labour of fashion blogging [The Atlantic]