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Lacoste launches shoppable TV ads during French Open on NBCU

Pieces from Lacoste’s latest collection will be shoppable via television ads aired during the French Open on NBC Universal this year.

Anyone watching any of star player Novak Djokovic’s matches, will be alerted by NBC Universal to hold their phone cameras up to the screen to capture the “On-Air Shoppable Moment”. By scanning a QR code, Lacoste’s website will then pop up, giving them the option to buy products.

The outfits that Djokovic will wear for his matches will also be available for purchase alongside other pieces from the collection. The first shoppable match will air this Saturday, June 1.

Shoppable TV is expected to roll out in a few months on a number of the television network’s other channels, including NBC, NBC Sports, Bravo, E! and Telemundo. NBCU already tested a prototype of the new technology during a broadcast of morning show TODAY, which earned around 50,000 scans in five minutes, according to AdWeek.

The shoppable TV experience opens up a new opportunity for brands that otherwise wouldn’t see value in traditional TV ads. “By pairing brands with our premium content, owning every stage of the purchase funnel and removing the barriers consumers traditionally encounter between seeing a product and making a purchase, we’re giving marketers a direct sales channel to millions of viewers across the country,” explained NBCU’s executive vice president, Josh Feldman.

Shoppable ads are already a trend for retailers in the digital space. Walmart-owned streaming service Vudu will be launching new interactive shows later this year with ads that allow viewers to purchase the featured products through a pop-up window. Last year, British Ted Baker published an online short film featuring the latest collections of the company, and all the clothing items had a clickable icon.  

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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Harvey Nichols unveils in-store shoppable video screens

Harvey Nichols

British department store, Harvey Nichols, is introducing shoppable videos via in-store touch screens.

The full-length installations feature a variety of films through brand collaborations with the likes of Calvin Klein. Customers can simply tap on the touch screen to bring up more information about individual products, and then add them to their basket for immediate checkout. They can also connect to their phone through a QR code.

Created by shoppable video startup Smartzer, the experience follows a successful trial online. The Calvin Klein launch also extends to the Harvey Nichols website and social channels.

Peter Howroyd, head of CRM and digital marketing at Harvey Nichols, said: “We are always looking to bring our customers closer to our product in a unique and innovative way. Smartzer’s technology has enabled us to do just that and bring the digital experience to our customers, not only online but in our stores as well.”

Harvey Nichols

This initiative comes at a time when brands are increasingly trying to not only balance their creative work with driving conversions, but also looking at how to encourage new levels of engagement in store. Touch screens and interactive mirrors aren’t new to the retail space, but this example shows a different way of combining storytelling with an endless aisle play.

According to Smartzer, initial results show an average engagement rate of 48.3% and a click-through rate of 15.7%. CEO Karoline Gross says interaction rates the company sees across the board tend to be on average 20 times higher than that of standard video ad formats. The platform provides such video performance metrics, as well as click maps to show which part of the videos have generated the highest interaction.

Smartzer has previously worked with other brands in the fashion and retail space including Burberry, Galeries Lafayette, Adidas, Emilio Pucci and more.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent 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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What you missed: Google’s fashion week plans, opens, Tom Ford’s second movie

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Tommy Hilfiger’s carnival plans at New York Fashion Week

A few days before New York Fashion Week begins and needless to say much of the focus is on those plans – from Tommy Hilfiger’s carnival to Misha Nonoo’s Snapchat show, not to mention an update on Google that will see fashion brands curating what their search results look like pertaining to the new season.

Also hitting the headlines over the past week has been everything from M&S cutting head office jobs, Smashbox’s virtual reality campaign and our interview with Westfield’s Lindsey Thomas. Don’t forget to check out our full list of upcoming events at the bottom too…

  • This fashion week, Google gets a new look [NY Times]
  • Condé Nast’s is now open for business [The Industry]
  • Tom Ford makes comeback at Venice festival with his second movie [Reuters]
  • H&M open entries for 2nd annual innovation grant [Fashionista]

  • Marks & Spencer looks to cut up to 500 jobs at London head office [The Guardian]
  • How online fashion companies use data to enhance sales [Fashion United]
  • The Blonde Salad ups the ante [BoF]

  • Innovating on Snapchat: Misha Nonoo, Ann Taylor Loft and River Island [F&M]

  • How the founder of Farfetch is politely reinventing the boutique for the digital age [The Telegraph]
  • One year on: How Westfield Bespoke, the retail tech space piloted in San Francisco, is winning [Forbes]

  • Smashbox goes behind the scenes of a photo shoot in its foray into VR [AdWeek]
  • Here’s how shoppable video will (finally) work [Venture Beat]

  • In-depth with Modern Meadow: the start-up bioengineering leather in a lab [Forbes]

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Why shoppable videos make sense for a #SeeBuyWear fashion week strategy


In all the discussion of shifting fashion week strategies to a more retail or consumer driven calendar, one thing less discussed has been actually facilitating and measuring the shoppable element itself.

For many, being direct-to-consumer and “in-season”, means the products are available in-store or online either immediately after the show or within a period of 24-hours. Other than (hopefully) seeing sales naturally increase off the back of such launches, how do you measure which channels are making the most impact?

Are consumers watching your live stream and then heading to your flagship immediately thereafter? Have they picked up on the images from Instagram and then typed in your e-commerce URL? Same old attribution problems, different day. However, this time, the content you’re putting out really does have immediate resonance, and for once there is a way to drive not only traffic but measurable ROI off the back of video particularly.

Take Rebecca Minkoff for instance. The New York designer launched its #seebuywear strategy this week by showing her spring/summer 2016 show once again (albeit with a capsule collection of 17 new pieces also included). Certain valuable customers were invited to attend the runway in person, other VIPs were hosted in-store, and it was of course, also live-streamed online for the public to see. Needless to say, the collection was available to purchase (some items to pre-order) there and then.


What was particularly nice however, was the literal shoppable element on its videos thereafter too. On its website right now, you can watch the catwalk collection back with “cards” sitting on top of the footage (as shown in the screengrab above) directing you to the specific product pages of the items you might want to click and buy.

Meanwhile, an additional video in partnership with Cinematique introduces a “touchable” element specifically to the accessories shown. Viewers can click on the handbags as they come down the runway to save them into a personal folder. A small symbol on the bottom right of the frame can then be clicked on at any time to open a panel showcasing each piece they saved (as shown in the picture top). From there, they can also access full e-commerce shots and the option to buy.

It’s an interesting evolution for the role of the shoppable video – once something tied to the idea of entertainment, but failing to fully resonate for the fact it clashed with the lean-back and relaxed viewing that goes with such content, rather than the lean-in and fully engaged attitude that comes with fashion week collections. Or that is certainly the hope.

Check out the Cinematique x Rebecca Minkoff experience below. And expect lots more of this sort of work to follow.

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Shoppable, intelligent video is a future inevitable says Wirewax – here’s what Ted Baker launched


Shoppable video is an area retailers ranging from Asos to Kate Spade have played with for some time. Issues remain however around nailing exactly what resonates with consumers – should it be entertainment backed by shopping, or shopping backed by entertainment, and accordingly a lean-back or lean-in experience?

The biggest barrier initially was the technology; finding a solution that easily offered viewers the ability to click and view an item without it ruining the narrative of what they were otherwise watching.

Many failed, but slowly that hurdle is being overcome. One of the companies doing it nicely is Wirewax, which offers clickable hotspots embedded into video content. Speaking at Wired Retail this week, co-founder and CEO, Steve Callanan, said the aim is to connect online video to the real world of people, information and products. He imagines a future where all video is connected, shoppable and intelligent, with built-in facial and product recognition to follow.

“An entire generation is coming up that has only known video on a very interactive device,” Callanan said. “These are the consumers of the future.” The idea is for video to become a transparent portal to all forms of commerce, in a way that is welcomed rather than invasive, he added. As it stands, audiences reportedly already respond well to such shoppable experiences, he said, outlining that 67% of people will interact with a rich video, with a click-through rate of 16 to 48%.


One of the important aspects of Wirewax is that it works across mobile, tablet and desktop. Something that Ted Baker, which launched a shoppable campaign with the company this week as part of its Christmas push, has particularly embraced.

Craig Smith, brand communication director at Ted Baker, says: “It was important for us to create a shoppable video solution that works across all devices… Using interactive digital features in this exciting and engaging way allows us to interact with both our existing customers and target new audiences in a fun and innovative manner.”

The film documents both men’s and womenswear. While storytelling isn’t as embraced as it could be for such an experience – making the piece feel very much like an ad – it does a nice job of highlighting shoppable pieces with the hovering, clickable hotspots.

As the demo video below shows, once you do click, a pop-up opens on top allowing you to see more information about the item in question. Hitting the “shop now” button underneath then takes you to another window that opens the product page specifically, making it still somewhat of a clunky experience, particularly on mobile, but closing the box instead at least enables the video to instantly keep on playing.

Unlike other campaign launches, which might be primarily focused on generating brand awareness, share of voice and consumer engagement, the aim with this for Ted Baker is to directly drive revenue. “We hope by incorporating shopability as a key function to the video it will convert viewers into shoppers over the Christmas period and put the fun back into Christmas shopping,” adds Smith. There is also a “shop the film” button underneath the content that leads directly to a curated e-commerce page featuring all of the products.

Callahan, who has also worked with brands like Farfetch and Dulux through Wirewax, says: “It’s not just about creating interactive experiences […] if the messaging around the video isn’t quite there it isn’t going to work.” Similarly not everyone wants to be bombarded by cues to purchase, he added. “But if you know you can if you want to […] the power of that is enormous.”

It still feels early days in terms of this being done right, with real opportunities around simple ideas including narrative and the ability to save items into a basket for later (as Temperley London’s project with Cinematique enabled) likely to help experiences feel more fluid.

All of that makes this piece I wrote in 2012 about the issues with shoppable film still seem incredibly relevant. But credit to the experimentation being done – if organisations allow it, there’s no better time to do so than around peak trading seasons.

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Puma introduces shoppable football video


Puma has become the latest brand to experiment with shoppable videos. The sportswear company has teamed up with technology provider Smartzer to allow viewers to immediately click to purchase from one of its recent campaigns.

The interactive ad stars English footballer Adam Lallana, who plays for Liverpool, in the Puma Evolution Apparel line. As he talks, the user is able to click on the red Puma logo that comes up on certain pieces he’s wearing, to open a pop-up with more detail about it. By clicking ‘shop now’ from there, they are redirected to a new page. It’s not hugely intuitive to keep doing so, but the video, which is hosted on the JD Sports website, is reportedly already seeing conversion rates at 6.9%, and earnings per click at 24 times higher than the e-commerce industry standard.

Puma follows in the footsteps of Whistles, which previously teamed up with Smartzer for its spring/summer 2015 show, introducing a shoppable video that enabled consumers to ‘wishlist’ items for purchase once the collection was released. This allowed the brand access to pre-sale data as well as the ability to send a follow-up email to the sign-up list. The results saw 22% of clicks converting to purchase at an average basket size of 4.1 items. The follow up emails also received above standard unique open rates of 66%, with consumers returning to the emails with actual open rates at 157%.

Karoline Gross, founder of Smartzer, said: “The results we’ve seen with both partnerships have been incredibly positive and outline the effectiveness of making online video content interactive with a retail application. The value of the Smartzer software is highlighted by working with such illustrious clients and helps add momentum to what is a strong period of organic growth for the business as we look for further investment.”

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Retail’s 10 most interactive holiday campaigns

This story first appeared on Campaign US 


The holiday season is to the retail world what the Super Bowl is to big-name brands. Stores on both sides of the Atlantic are pushing out high profile campaigns in a bid to capture that all-important share of Q4 wallet.

Looking beyond the traditional divide between digital and brick-and-mortar outlets, a handful of interactive tech integrations are driving engagement online and in the store space. These creations draw on gaming, augmented reality, shoppable videos and personalised experiences. Here’s our pick of 10 of the best.

Bloomingdale’s interactive windows


Bloomingdale’s is all about interactive windows this holiday season, with a series of gaming experiences tied to the theme of bows. Shoppers are encouraged to participate by connecting to via their smartphones. Challenges include a card-turning memory game called Memo-a-Bow; a kind of Space Invaders activity called Whack-a-Bow; and Peek-a-Bow, where users have to keep track of a bow hidden under one of several moving boxes. Created by retail innovation company The Science Project, the site also affords participants the opportunity to take selfies on an interactive touchscreen and share them over Facebook, and see tweets posted using the #bloomiesgreetings hashtag appear across the New York skyline behind the glass.

Target’s & Google’s immersive 3-D adventure

TARGET_Bullseye_s Playground Mobile Game Experience 2

The game is also afoot at Target, where a partnership with Google’s Art, Copy & Code team and creative agency 72andSunny has produced a mobile experience called Bullseye’s Playground. The six games include sledding with Target’s mascot bull terrier, Bullseye, racing in a Hot Wheels car, and enjoying snowball fights and ice fishing. In-store signage prompts shoppers to discover special codes throughout the store that unlock new characters and game levels. In certain stores, the interactive initiative extends to an immersive 3-D adventure; Google’s Project Tango tablets transform the aisles into a winter wonderland as the setting and characters change onscreen as the user moves.

Gap’s Play your Stripes augmented reality experience

Gap might be pushing four short videos directed by Sofia Coppola as the main portion of its campaign this holiday season, but it is also playing host online to a more innovative interactive experience. An augmented-reality gift guide lets online shoppers create music from the stripes they’re wearing. “Play your Stripes” lets users remix Blood Orange’s soundtrack “It Is What It Is” by transforming their own clothing into musical instruments.

Kate Spade’s shoppable video

Kate Spade arguably wins the crown for most amusing holiday film this season, with a short spot called “The Waiting Game” that features Anna Kendrick locked out of her apartment. With time to kill, the actress entertains herself by talking on the phone, singing familiar holiday tunes, and sipping champagne through a straw straight from the bottle. She also tries on various pieces she’s just bought from Kate Spade while posing for her small dog. Users see plenty of pieces from the collection, then can click to buy them thanks to a shoppable tie-in from touchscreen video platform Cinematique. Viewers can tap any product in the film to save it in a gallery on the righthand side of the screen. From there, they can click on any saved item to complete a purchase.

John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin tech integration


Department store John Lewis has melted hearts across the UK with its tale of a young boy called Sam and his pet penguin Monty, created by Adam & Eve/DDB. Accompanying the ad is a fully integrated initiative spanning relevant products for sale including books, plush penguin stuffed animals, penguin-patterned pyjamas and more, as well as an interactive experience in the store. John Lewis and Samsung created these spaces, dubbed “Monty’s Den.” Children can take their photos with the penguin, find out more about his Antarctic friends, check out virtual-reality goggles to see a 360-degree version of Monty’s world, and explore more of the campaign’s story. In the retailer’s London flagship store, a tech-enabled experience centres on bringing toys to life through Microsoft’s 3-D photogrammetry software. Children can scan their own toy, then see it appear onscreen dancing alongside Monty.

Ted Baker’s #SantasElfie Instagram game


Ted Baker has introduced an Instagram-based treasure hunt conceived by Poke London that invites customers to find missing elves. An account called @TedsElfie delivers a series of clues to followers via images curated to mimic a puzzle board. Combined, the squares depict a winter wonderland; divided, each square comprises its own picture with a caption that specifies whether or not the elves are nearby. Some lead to additional accounts in a sort of “choose your own adventure” experience. Visitors who locate the elves may win other prizes, from hip flasks and bracelets to a trip to see the Northern Lights.

Charlotte Olympia’s #spintowin slot machine


British footwear designer Charlotte Olympia has rolled out a festive slot machine on its website for the first 12 days of December. Fans are invited to spin to win iconic pieces from its seasonal collection – all they have to do it get three matching styles over the course of three tries. Charlotte Olympia has also pushed the game via social media; it shares a countdown bauble each day alongside the #spintowin hashtag.

Harvey Nichols’ “Could I Be Any Clearer” personalised gift cards app


Adam & Eve/DDB is also behind Harvey Nichols’ ‘Could I Be Any Clearer’ campaign, which comprises a line of gift cards designed to help shoppers ensure they get what they really want this season. The cards feature six traditional Christmas designs (robins, doves, wise men and more); each one features copy wishing the reader “Season’s Greetings” or “Good Tidings” before requesting specific presents. Consumers can create their own versions of the tongue-in-cheek cards online and use a dedicated Christmas-card app to customise digital cards for every product featured on the retailer’s website. Each can then be printed, emailed or shared via social media.

Tesco’s Secret Scan-ta


UK supermarket giant Tesco has introduced a service that browses Twitter to suggest what to buy for specific users. The Secret Scan-ta app created by We Are Social scrapes information from accounts in a bid to highlight users’ precise interests based on who they follow and what they post. The apps showcases suggestions ranging from technology to fashion alongside animated Santa GIFs; links to the website for Tesco’s loyalty card let members get double loyalty points as well as the chance to win bigger prizes.

Metail’s #tryonxmas


Virtual fitting room startup Metail is running a campaign that invites shoppers to see what they’d look like in a series of different Christmas-themed outfits. #Tryonxmas provides access to some of the best looks from high-street stores, as well as the likes of a Miss Santa, Christmas pudding and Minnie Mouse costume. Users enter their measurements to see how each look will work for them; when they’re satisfied, they can share the results with friends.

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Digital snippets: Alibaba, Rebecca Minkoff, Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, John Lewis, Urban Outfitters, Mulberry

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…


  • Alibaba’s ‘Singles Day’ sales top $9 billion, bigger than Black Friday [MarketWatch]
  • Why Rebecca Minkoff and eBay are betting on smart dressing rooms [Fast Company]
  • Anna Kendrick makes something out of nothing in Kate Spade’s holiday ad [AdWeek]
  • Marc Jacobs built an in-house app for shopping on Instagram [Bostinno]
  • John Lewis and Microsoft unite to create tech-driven in-store experience around Christmas ad campaign with ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’ [The Drum]
  • Urban Outfitters using beacons, tries pinging your phone in the fitting room [AdWeek]
  • Mulberry ‘wins Christmas’ with gifting ad [Campaign Live]
  • Harrods launches animated festive film [The Independent]
  • Burberry and Printemps promise a magical Christmas with interactive experience [Pursuitist]
  • Ralph Lauren and Harrods partner for mobile-enabled display [Mobile Marketing]
  • Behind Zegna’s Big Bet on Film [BoF]
  • Shoppable video: more retailers looking at film as direct sales channel [Digiday]
  • What’s trending in China’s digital luxury marketing [JingDaily]
  • Ballet shoe records specific dancer movements [PSFK]
  • Native advertising and style bloggers: is the party over? [Fashionista]
  • These jeans come in 400 sizes [Co.Design]
  • Amazon plans Prime Air delivery drone tests in the UK [TNW]
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Digital snippets: Burberry, Levi’s, Nordstrom, adidas, Gap, Apple, CFDA, Bonobos

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech:


  • Burberry credits 9% revenue hike on strong online sales and ‘more targeted marketing’ [Marketing]
  • Levi’s launches $96m global campaign centred on user-generated content [The Drum]
  • Nordstrom is bringing Wanelo into 100+ of its stores [Glamour]
  • Inside adidas’ social media team at the World Cup in Rio [AdAge]
  • Gap’s former social chief: retail has shiny-new-object syndrome [DigiDay]
  • Might Apple have a future as a fashion conglomerate? [CNET]
  • CDFA embraces shoppable video technology to boost engagement [Luxury Daily]
  • Bonobos raises $55 million to expand its bricks-and-mortar locations [Internet Retailer]
  • In a sea of go-girl advertising, P&G’s ‘Like a Girl’ hits hardest [AdAge]
  • The science of shopping: digital innovations shaping the future of retail [The Guardian]
  • “Buy Now” buttons start appearing in tweets. Is Twitter shopping finally here? [Re/code]
  • Stores still critical to wooing men, but leaders re-wiring for digital age [BoF]
  • How top style bloggers are earning $1 million a year [Co.Design]
  • Is Instagram killing personal style blogs? [Fashionista]
  • Here’s the first-ever Google Glass hair tutorial [The Cut]
  • In Japan, Urban Research experiments with virtual changing booths [BoF]
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DVF to launch first shoppable Google+ Hangouts


Google’s latest foray into the fashion space comes in the form of live shoppable experiences though the Google+ Hangouts on Air app.

Through a new partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, designers and retailers will be able to broadcast a multi-person video chat while offering viewers the ability to simultaneously browse and purchase products alongside. That functionality is seen in a right hand bar featuring key products, which it is assumed would line up to the content being discussed.

Designer Diane von Furstenberg (also CFDA president) will launch the feature on October 3 at 8pm EST. Using the tool as a form of personal styling, she will talk about three current trends with five of the brand’s biggest fans – selected especially for the occasion.

Lorraine Twohill, VP of global marketing at Google referred to the initiative as a “one of a kind shopping experience”.

Of course shoppable video at large is something that’s yet to be nailed by the industry, with reasons ranging from the technology that’s enabled it to happen, to the disconnect that is seen through the lean-back nature of video compared to lean-in side of shopping. On that basis however, there’s a lot to be said for engaging the consumer when they’re already thinking about the product (in this instance often the very reason they’re tuning in), and providing the easy ability for them to convert.

The experience marries up to Topshop’s Customise the Catwalk initiative in terms of being able to order straight from the runway through the live video being shown. The difference in this case of course is that the discussion surrounds current season. Rather than encouraging pre-orders, brands and retailers can offer live product; therefore capturing intent and delivering on it immediately.

Other brands set to participate shortly include rag & bone, Rebecca Minkoff, and Rachel Zoe. Google is particularly pushing the app’s relevance for the holiday period – retail’s most lucrative time of year, representing up to 40% of annual sales in 2012. It is calling for retailers to use it to “engage with consumers directly around key items or trends they want to highlight”.