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Campaigns e-commerce Editor's pick Retail technology

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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Campaigns product technology

Puma re-releases classic 80s connected sneaker

Puma has re-released its 1986 RS sneaker for the digital age, adding a small computer to the back of the shoe that links to a dedicated smartphone app to track data.

The original shoe, released in 1986, only featured a computer chip built into the heel, which registered data such as time, distance and calories burned when it was worn. Data collected was then transferred to a home computer via a 16-pin connector.

Puma’s new RS sneaker

In its new iteration the shoe still measures the exact same data, but this time it uses bluetooth technology to connect it to smartphone devices and relay it to the user via an app.

In a nostalgic twist, the app’s interface uses the same graphic displays (called 8-bit) as it did in the 80s, and as well as a game.

Only 86 pair of the shoes will be sold at Puma stores in Tokyo, Berlin and London and in the US, at streetwear retailer KITH.

How are you thinking about digital 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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Campaigns

ASICS unveils blackout running track to highlight the importance of mental strength

The ASICS Blackout Track
The ASICS Blackout Track

ASICS has unveiled the Blackout Track, a sports track in east London aiming to help runners win the ‘mental race’ by freeing them from any distractions.

The 150-meter course is set in complete darkness and features no technology, no music, no finish line and none of the other comforts associated with training for a marathon, thus forcing the runner to focus on synchronizing the mind and body. The initiative supports the launch of the Gel Kayano™ 25 shoe.

“ASICS was founded on the belief that a sound body fuels a sound mind, so this campaign goes right to the heart of who we are as a brand,” said ASICS’s global CMO Paul Miles. “Our promise is to bring our founder’s vision to life in the modern-age – where negative distractions of the mind can prevent us from reaching our potential and going the distance.”

During the launch campaign, the track will also host a series of events to demonstrate the idea that in running it’s not the strongest physique that goes the long distance, but the strongest mind. Events include a 10K ‘mental marathon’ and a scientific experiment that shows the importance of mental strength for physical fitness.

“By exposing how easily the mind can be influenced, the campaign is designed to remind athletes of any ability about the importance of training both the mind and body, to reach their goals in sport and life,” said Fiona Berwick, strategic planner in ASICS’ global marketing team.

The track initiative was inspired by a technique practiced by long distance runners such as the Japanese, in which they run in loops for one or two miles without any technology.

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e-commerce Editor's pick social media technology

Foot Locker unveils new Air Jordans in AR-enabled Snapchat unboxing campaign

The new Nike Air Jordan Gatorade AJ1's
The new Nike Air Jordan Gatorade AJ1’s

Foot Locker turned to Snapchat for an augmented reality unboxing experience this festive season.

Unveiling the new Gatorade AJ1 sneakers from Nike’s Air Jordan, the initiative gave thousands of fans an early 3D view of the design before they launched on December 26.

Users were able to tap on the creative work developed by BBDO New York to change the colour of the sneakers popping out of their Christmas wrapping. The Snapchat Lens also allowed them to explore the product by looking up close, around and inside them, as well as then “take them for a walk” across the space they were otherwise stood in.

For those feeling the most curious, they could then explore their surroundings for hidden AR extras like a basketball hoop and a vending machine releasing bottles of Gatorade.


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Editor's pick film

Carmelo Anthony coaches basketball skills in Valentino resort campaign

Valentino Resort 2018
Valentino Resort 2018

NBA star Carmelo Anthony is helping the models of Valentino’s resort 2018 campaign up their basketball skills.

In a short film called How Good Is Your Game, the Oklahoma City Thunder player takes to St Vartan Park basketball court in New York to coach Tori Bowie, Imari Karanja, Faretta, Ratner, Jolie Alien and Mag Cysewska on how to both dribble and shoot.


The campaign accompanies a series of pop-up shops presenting the new resort collection in Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and Milan, as well as other special collaborations with Maxfield in Los Angeles and Harrods in London.

The pop-up spaces are focused on the active nature of the collection, with a reinforced concrete setting,samples in primary colours that recall the functional training box-jump and imaginary metropolitan basketball nets.

Each space reportedly has “authors”, rather than vendors, dedicated personnel “chosen for their inclination and cultural belonging”, who each wear a uniform of the white shirt from the Valentino Rockstud Untitled collection. The collection is also accompanied by a limited edition line of sporting goods for sale, including basketballs, yoga mats and sneakers.

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Editor's pick social media

Converse launches GIF campaign for back-to-school season

Millie Bobby Brown in Converse's First Day Feels back-to-school campaign
Millie Bobby Brown in Converse’s First Day Feels back-to-school campaign

Converse is focusing in on the butterflies kids (and adults) get before their first day for the back-to-school season, with a GIF-laden campaign called First Day Feels.

Starring Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown, the 32 GIFs are designed to represent all manner of different emotions that might be felt – a visual language if you will. From excitement to disgust, surprise, boredom, hysterics and more, there’s something for everyone to share.


The campaign was created with Big Spaceship, with the GIFs appearing on Giphy and Tenor as well as the brand’s own social channels. The aim is to place them where they’re easily discoverable by the teen target market.

In doing so, Converse is hoping to resonate with its audience in a more authentic way than a straightforward anthem video spot, according to The Drum.

There are also 60 and 30-second videos that combine all of the GIFs and will appear as paid media on the likes of Buzzfeed and Teen Vogue.

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business digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Amazon Prime Day, LVMH’s Ian Rogers, Colette’s closure

Ian Rogers, LVMH
Ian Rogers, LVMH

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


TOP STORIES
  • Amazon’s Prime Day proves to be biggest shopping day ever [Bloomberg]
  • Ian Rogers, LVMH’s chief digital officer: ‘We sell culture, and the culture’s changed’ [Glossy]
  • Get ready for the internet of Louis Vuitton things [NY Times]

BUSINESS
  • The cost of dead inventory: retail’s dirty little secret [BoF]
  • Burberry among companies committing to 100% clean energy [Bloomberg]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Does the fashion industry still need Vogue in the age of social media? [Guardian]
  • Chinese social media in 2017: what you need to know [Jing Daily]

MARKETING
  • Benetton launches Power Her Choices family planning campaign for UN Population Fund [The Drum]
  • How Reebok used influencer reviews to break into the competitive running category [Digiday]
  • Benefit in hot water over UK ‘skip class’ messaging [BrandChannel]
  • How Adidas is using micro-influencers [Digiday]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • What Colette’s closure means for fashion [BoF]
  • ‘Trapped’: How Amazon is cornering fashion brands into wholesale [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • 3D printers start to build factories of the future [The Economist]
  • How Walmart uses AI to serve 140 million customers a week [VentureBeat]
  • How Adore Me used AI to double its active customers [Glossy]
  • Alibaba launches low-cost voice assistant amid AI drive [Reuters]

START-UPS
  • Felix Capital raises $150M to double down on tech startups from the ‘creative class’ [TechCrunch]
  • Luxury authentication start-up gets $2.6 million in funding round [WWD]
Categories
product technology

Reebok designs performance version of Hillary Clinton’s pantsuit

Reebok concept pantsuits for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
Reebok’s concept pantsuits for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

Reebok has reimagined US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s infamous pantsuit using its high-tech performance materials ahead of the final presidential debate tonight.

In both a marketing move and a statement of its allegiance for the election, the brand is positioning the three-look line as one that will help Clinton survive the heat of the battle, much like its elite athletes have to endure. The concept suits would be crafted from Reebok’s proprietary ActivChill fabric, a unique ventilation technology built with irregular, pentagon-shaped fibres, the team explains, all of which is designed to increase air flow through the fabric so the body stays cool and focused.

Reebok’s senior director of brand management, Inga Stenta said: “We wanted to imagine a collection of pantsuits that highlighted power and strength. Women like Clinton are tough and unapologetic. Although we don’t often see candidates sweat, the bright lights of the debate and the pressure of the national stage can raise temperatures. Performance wear seems to be the perfect choice for situations like this.

Also thrown into the suggested designs is an on-trend jumpsuit, cape and mesh neckline. The brand’s existing Dance Strappy Bra also makes an appearance. Clinton actually wore a Ralph Lauren pantsuit for the last debate.

Categories
Events product technology

Designers imagine the future of performance-wear with 2040 sport event at Arizona State University

Running man polygonal

Arizona State University will be hosting the fifth annual edition of its Emerge festival tomorrow – an occasion that will bring together the minds of artists, scientists, storytellers, engineers, dancers, roboticists, ethicists and athletes, in creating an imagined future.

Designed to cater to a crowd of innovators and forward thinkers, the focus this year is on “The Future of Sport 2040”. The carnival atmosphere will allow for a wholly interactive experience from advanced robotics demonstrations to group TED talks with influencers from an array of industries.

Topics will include the future of cheating, the future of big data, super-cyborgs and athletes in outer space. The future of performance-wear will also play a major role, with a runway set up in the Wells Fargo Arena to convey the work of 10 designers. Concept pieces created especially for the occasion will be on show, presenting the impact of future technologies through explanations by an emcee in place of such functionality yet being possible. Once the looks have been modelled, they will take to a podium for further observation and designer Q&A.

Arizona designer Angela Johnson and Project Runway participant Emily Payne were both involved. As the owner of LabelHorde – a hub for manufacturing, design services, co-working, education and more – Johnson took the helm on rounding up designers to participate.

Angela Johnson's Future of Sport 2040 look
Angela Johnson’s Future of Sport 2040 look

She also created her own look, a piece she refers to as multi-purpose with a sleek form accompanied by breathable panels. “The technology involved is in the fibre, in that the fabric acts like a video screen. The fabric will show video of the athlete’s name, number, team logo, sponsor logo, etc,” she explains. Typically an eveningwear designer, she describes the best part of participating in the event as “pushing [herself] to think outside of [her] usual box”.

Designer Miqala Salinas meanwhile, constructed football (soccer) uniforms that include pulse-controlled heart monitors and dual temperature controls. Cristy Auble – who is otherwise a fashion merchandising teacher in Arizona – designed cheerleading outfits that are completely flexible, breathable and waterproof. She did so incorporating present day Gore-Tex or PUL fabrics, which she believes to be impressively futuristic. “This fabric is so lightweight, I can’t believe it would be as warm as my heavy wool letterman’s jacket,” she says.

Anya Melkozernova by comparison fabricated her outfit on a truly futuristic concept: “In the year 2040, humans have made it to Jupiter and have employed its magnetic surface for an obstacle course game designed to use magnets to aid the athlete through the challenges. The player will be wearing a magnet plated suit, a space helmet with oxygen supply and LED light-up shoes for the underwater parts of the course,” she explains.

Sketches of Future of Sport 2040 looks
Sketches of Sharane Dorrah, Anya Melkozernova and Miqala Salinas’ Future of Sport 2040 looks

Some designers borrowed from personal experience in coming to future solutions. Sharane Dorrah for instance designed a sleek hooded jacket in direct response to her personal battle with Lyme Disease in 2011, incorporating insect repellent into the fabric.

And industrial design grad student Jacob Sarradet, recalled his time running cross-country and track and field in high school: “I’d feel the pain in my body and wonder what it was. Was it a result of pushing myself or was something wrong?” He devised a wristband that would monitor oxygen levels in order to track the level of performance to answer some of those questions for athletes. Coming from a non-fashion background, he’s left the aesthetics of his piece up to others. A basic LED screen will be customisable, with the true styling of the garment available for download from any number of online retailers.

Joel Garreau, founding chief of imagineering and provocations at the Emerge festival, says: “[The aim] is to invent futures in which we can thrive. Not the ones we fear, but the ones we can love.”

If you happen to be in Phoenix this Friday, step into the future from 5pm to 10pm at Emerge 2016: The Future of Sport 2040.

Categories
business data Editor's pick technology

The brand, the brand, the brand: 8 highlights from Under Armour’s CEO at SXSW

underarmour

A highlight keynote session at this year’s SXSW Interactive festival came from Under Armour CEO and founder, Kevin Plank. Inevitably well versed in how to play the media machine, this was one of the smoothest talks about brand building and transformation you’ll have ever seen.

“We went from being a products company to an ideas company,” he said as one of his opening gambits, and the reason why he predicts the business will grow from a $4 billion one today, to $7.5 billion by 2018. Connected fitness is a significant part of making that happen too.

Here are eight other quotable quotes you need to know from the hour-long interview:

  • “Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Culture is everything. For us it’s the brand; the brand, the brand, the brand. No matter what we do it comes back to relying on the brand. And this begins with the founders; the core individuals who got our company going”
  • “Over promise and then deliver. We already slept yesterday. Today we work. It’s an attitude of saying we’re going to find a way. That attitude is extremely important for Under Armour”
  • “I like being defined as a performance company. It’s unlimiting. It’s an untethered approach to the way we’re seen”
  • “A brand is a story. It has a beginning, middle and an end. Every product we build is like a chapter, every athlete we sign and every interaction we have. All of them are a chapter in our brand story”
  • “Wherever we’re going is an evolution… we’re not limiting that to apparel or footwear, but to the idea that anywhere our logo shows up it has to be the best. It just has to be the best”
  • “Our belief is data is the new oil. You think it’s a coincidence Google or Amazon is who you’d bet on? 40% of their revenue is attributed to purchase history… The companies who will win are those using math.”
  • “I always have in red pen: ‘Don’t forget to sell shirts and shoes’. We take you up on the loop-de-loop but then take you out through the gift shop. It’s about not forgetting that we sell shirts and shoes”
  • “We’re in the first innings of this game. We are just getting going [with connected fitness]… Our aim is to give you something and make it so you couldn’t live without it after”