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business Campaigns e-commerce

Influencer strategy? Don’t forget traditional product placement

We all know that reality TV continues to bring in the big bucks – especially for those stars who front it. 

Love them, or hate them, one only need look at the continued success of the Kardashian/Jenners to see this in action – each of them developing their own business empires with the various ventures they’ve explored. Kylie alone now has a real-time net worth of £1bn, thanks in the main to her eponymous cosmetics line.

Then there’s the return of The Hills – another example of an enormous US show that made stars of, and fortunes for, its participants over its many years. 

But there’s also a lot to be said for the brands that have associated themselves alongside – a classic case of product placement with “real-life” influencers in order to drive sales. 

One of the new episodes of The Hills for instance sees L’Oréal placed front and center in a scene. As The Fashion Law reports, there is no specific disclosure as to how the items are there, despite them almost certainly being the result of a behind-the-scenes deal between the television network and the Paris-based beauty giant. 

We know this so-called native advertising has a positive effect on consumer demand, and that product placement leads to an increase in social media activity and website traffic for the brands that engage in it. It’s a traditional model, but it works for conversions. 

Which is why it’s interesting to pivot over to the UK and look at this week’s announcement that dating show Love Island, which has been a television network and advertiser’s dream, is intending to extend to two series in 2020 rather than one annual one as it has previously done. 

This year’s ITV2 show, which aired in June, pulled in a reported five million viewers a night, making it the most popular on television in the UK for the 16-34-year-old market. It made fast influencers out of its stars, and importantly out of its sponsors too. 

The episodes were sponsored by Uber Eats, which paid £5m for the privilege – more than double previous deals – while further commercial relationships were in place ranging from product placement to podcast sponsorship, brand licensing, exclusive product lines and merchandise. Love Island water bottles through to luggage sets are currently dotted throughout the UK market. According to reports, the broadcaster made an extra £8m on 2018 due to this boost. 

This isn’t just a TV phenomenon but a social obsession in this country. As The Guardian reported: “The reality show has managed to pull off the increasingly difficult trick of getting young audiences more used to an on-demand world to tune in to a show at a set time each night. It has also become a creature of social media, with an enormous following on Instagram and more than 3 million people downloading the programme’s app for updates.” 

One of the biggest success stories from the brand side within all this was I Saw It First – a fast fashion business from Boohoo co-founder Jamal Kamani. According to the Business of Fashion, the company spent between £1-2m to secure its spot as the show’s official fashion partner, replacing Missguided who has held the post in previous years. 

Seemingly, it paid off. I Saw It First had a 67% increase in sales month-on-month and a 254% increase in Instagram followers. Those are some solid numbers. 

We might be living in a world heavily pushing micro influencer strategy – which continues to have its merits – but there’s a lot to be said for this sort of spend big strategy on traditional media. More to come, one assumes, next year when Love Island will be aired just after Christmas and again in the summer.

How are you thinking about marketing? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more. 

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Campaigns Podcast social media

Missguided on the relevance of reality TV

Missguided's Jonathan Wall
Missguided’s Jonathan Wall

UK hit reality TV show, Love Island, is all about meeting the customer where she lives, says Missguided’s chief digital officer, Jonathan Wall, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent.

“Love Island for our sector, it’s kind of like the annual peak, or the annual Christmas, of [other retailers]. It’s our nirvana. You could not find anything else that’s absolutely spot on to our bullseye customer,” he comments.

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

The fast fashion multi-channel retailer saw its sales spike 40% during the show this summer, which all came down to reigniting and re-energizing lapsed customers of more than six months, he notes. Product placement, which is essentially what this was, isn’t new in strategy – but it’s effective when it’s done right, he explains. In this instance, his team designed looks and dressed all of the stars in the show.

Wall’s strategy is focused primarily on relevancy to the shopper, much of which comes from the fact his team internally are those individuals themselves.

“One of the big big advantages we’ve got as a business, is that our customers are actually our team… Our average age in our business is 25, and guess what, our average customer age is also 25. You cannot overemphasize the advantages you get when every single day you are walking amongst your customers. It’s a tremendous advantage.”

Missguided x Love Island
Missguided x Love Island

It’s that laser-sharp focus on who they’re targeting that also let’s Missguided play with partnerships, he adds. The brand launched a collaboration with Playboy this summer that was met with a heavy dose of debate, but ultimately succeeded because of how relevant it was to the shopper it was intended. “It again hit the nail on the head for our customer,” Wall explains.

In conversation with Rosanna Falconer at a FashMash event in Missguided’s hometown of Manchester in the north of England, Wall also shares his views on what’s coming next in influencer marketing, which of the big social channels he’s focused on, and just why he likes to court a little controversy along the way.

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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business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media Startups sustainability technology

ICYMI: New York’s empty storefronts, the $2.6bn subscription wars, blockchain for counterfeit

subscription box wars

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • New York’s empty storefronts are a dark omen for the future of cities [The Atlantic]
  • Inside the $2.6 billion subscription box wars [FastCompany]
  • How blockchain will allow for fewer counterfeit goods and faster product recalls [Vox]
  • Facebook hires former deputy PM Nick Clegg [BBC]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Apple’s Jony Ive on the unpredictable consequences of innovation [WIRED]
  • Macy’s and Marxent partner up to add virtual reality experience to 70 Macy’s shops [FashionUnited]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Stella McCartney’s new Adidas collection champions eco-friendly materials [Dazed]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Universal Standard’s new SoHo store is the most size inclusive ever [Vogue]
  • The Body Shop to open enchanted forest pop-up in Shoreditch [Fashion Network]
  • Why no one really knows how many jobs automation will replace [Recode]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • The curious case of Coty’s #OldEra Burberry fragrance [BoF]
  • Adidas Originals introduces disappearing cinema campaign [WWD]
  • Tommy Hilfiger launches ‘Independence’ campaign [WWD]
  • Pinterest is turning more of its window shoppers into buyers with newest features [TechCrunch]
  • NTWRK: The TV-meets-e-comm fan concept putting a rocket under retailtainment [Forbes]
  • Kenzo turns Rousseau’s ‘Le Rêve’ into a 3D digital jungle [TheDrum]
PRODUCT
  • Burberry announces monthly product drops [FashionUnited]
  • Fame & Partners launches fully customizable clothing line [FashionUnited]
  • Palace breaks silence on Polo Ralph Lauren collaboration [BoF]
BUSINESS
  • Here’s a list of 57 bankruptcies in the retail apocalypse and why they failed [CBInsights]
  • WeWork is getting into workplace fashion with Rent the Runway [Bloomberg]
  • Ganni Names CEO to spearhead international expansion [WWD]
  • The end of cheap shipping from China [The Atlantic]
CULTURE
  • How streetwear collabs make uncool brands cool [Glossy]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and 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
business digital snippets e-commerce film mobile product social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Burberry’s ARkit, AI transforming Shop Direct, Stella McCartney and The RealReal

Burberry's new ARkit integration
Burberry’s new ARkit integration

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
  • Burberry turns to Apple for augmented-reality fashion app [Bloomberg]
  • AI will transform every retailer, says Shop Direct boss [Drapers]
  • Stella McCartney wants you to resell her goods in new partnership with The RealReal [Fashionista]
  • Could kelp be the future of sustainable fashion? [Observer]

BUSINESS
  • Direct to consumer brands vs commodities: who will prevail? [LooseThreads]
  • Decoding Chanel’s Gen-Z strategy [BoF]
  • More luxury stores closed in China over the last year than in any other country [Jing Daily]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Target will begin incorporating Pinterest’s Lens visual search technology [AdWeek]
  • John Lewis pioneers Facebook’s 360 shoppable ad [Campaign]
  • Dior debuts Weibo story, stays in lead with Chinese millennials [Jing Daily]
  • Inside Birchbox’s 40-person social media war room [Glossy]
  • Snapchat debuts Sponsored 3D World Lenses at Advertising Week New York [The Drum]

MARKETING
  • Gant to launch ‘Couple Thinkers’ TV show on YouTube [Fashion Network]
  • Nas brings street cred to effortlessly cool animated ads for Timberland [AdWeek]
  • Why United Colors of Benetton is parting with catwalk convention to showcase its brand DNA [The Drum]
  • Fashion brands still succumbing to the high-priced artsy film [Glossy]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Patagonia has launched its own online thrift store [PSFK]
  • New Macy’s loyalty program nudges customers to spend more [Retail Dive]
  • Uniqlo’s retail empire embarks on a digital revolution [Nikkei]

TECHNOLOGY
  • AR is now a must-have in retail [Business Insider]
  • A way to repeatedly recycle polyester has just been discovered [Eco-Business]
  • These high-tech knitting machines will soon be making car parts [Bloomberg]
  • Fashion’s future may rest on an old technology: glue [Fast Company]
  • Modiface is becoming the go-to provider of augmented reality to beauty brands [Glossy]

PRODUCT
  • Google and Levi’s ‘connected’ jacket is now on sale [TechCrunch]
  • To make a new kind of shoe, adidas had to change everything [Wired]
  • How these female engineers reinvented the bra [Fast Company]

START-UPS
  • With lab-grown leather, Modern Meadow is engineering a fashion revolution [BoF]
  • Amazon has acquired 3D body model startup, Body Labs, for $50M-$70M [TechCrunch]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce product social media sustainability technology

What you missed: Amazon’s AI designer, sewing robots at Nike, AR iPhone apps

Inside the Grabit robots making Nikes
Inside the Grabit robots making Nikes

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 has developed an AI fashion designer [MIT]
  • A new t-shirt sewing robot can make as many shirts per hour as 17 factory workers [Quartz]
  • These robots are using static electricity to make Nikes (as pictured) [Bloomberg]
  • A preview of the first wave of AR apps coming to iPhones [Techcrunch]
  • In a Zara world, who orders custom clothing? [Racked]
  • What happened to wearables? [BoF]

BUSINESS
  • Matchesfashion.com sells majority stake to Apax after fierce bidding war [NY Times]
  • Making sense of Chanel’s secret filings [BoF]
  • Is Nordstrom the next acquisition target for Walmart or Amazon? [RetailDive]
  • North Korea factories humming with ‘Made in China’ clothes, traders say [Reuters]
  • Is counterfeiting actually good for fashion? [HighSnobiety]
  • C&A Foundation highlights ‘gaps to overcome for clean and circular fashion’ [Fashion United]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Maisie Williams will kick off new Twitter series for Converse [Creativity]
  • How Instagram and Snapchat are benefiting from Facebook’s declining teen and tween numbers [AdWeek]
  • Facebook furthers WhatsApp monetisation efforts with verified business pilot [The Drum]
  • Condé Nast and Facebook are debuting a virtual reality dating show [AdWeek]

MARKETING
  • Zalando turns festival into three-day live marketing campaign [BoF]
  • Donatella Versace works with eight creatives for new versus ads [WWD]
  • 40% of consumers want emails from brands to be less promotional and more informative [AdWeek]
  • In first-ever TV ad, Patagonia targets Trump administration [MediaPost]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • What is Amazon, really? [Quartz]
  • How Westfield is combating the Amazon threat with digital upgrades at its malls [Digiday]
  • Betting on brick-and-mortar: Alibaba’s billion-dollar retail experiment [Forbes]
  • H&M’s Arket encourages transparent shopping on its new e-commerce site [WGSN]
  • Uniqlo’s retail empire embarks on a digital revolution [Nikkei]
  • Farfetch Black & White partners with Certona to offer personalised e-commerce to luxury brands [The Industry]
  • Shopify’s e-commerce empire is growing in Amazon’s shadow [Bloomberg]
  • Voice search, 3D modelling and chatbots named as 2017’s most significant e-commerce trends [The Drum]

TECHNOLOGY
  • 11 tech leaders share the real truth about artificial intelligence (and what really matters) [Forbes]
  • How Bitcoin is making waves in the luxury market [CNN]
  • How blockchain could boost the fashion industry [BoF]
  • Walmart and Google partner to challenge Amazon’s Alexa [Retail Dive]
  • Google and Vogue are bringing voice-activated content from the magazine to home devices [AdWeek]
  • Latest Magic Leap patent shows off prototype AR glasses design [Techcrunch]
  • ‘Self-driving’ lorries to be tested on UK roads [BBC]

PRODUCT
  • Everlane’s quest to make the world’s most sustainable denim [Fast Company]
  • The zipper: the innovation that changed fashion forever [Bloomberg]
  • A new high-tech fabric could mean the end of bulky layers in the winter [Quartz]
  • Watch how Vans can now put any custom design on your shoes in under 15 minutes [Fast Company]
  • How RFID tags became trendy [Engadget]
  • Leather grown using biotechnology is about to hit the catwalk [The Economist]
  • These brands are teaming up on smart hang tags [Apparel Mag]
Categories
e-commerce film

Amazon loves Chiara Ferragni and airs free daily fashion show

amazon

Amazon’s going all out to boost its fashion credentials at the moment with a new daily TV show and a collab with Chiara Ferragni.

In the US, it aired its first live show for its streaming video service this week, and it’s all about fashion. The half hour daily Style Code Live show will be free to all viewers and gives them “a first-of-its-kind daily style and entertainment experience”, said executive producer Terence Noonan.

It’s an interactive show with live chats and offers fashion and beauty each weeknight with guest experts, celebrities, and viewer tips. It’s hosted by ABC TV correspondent Rachel Smith, MTV host Lyndsey Rodrigues and actor Frankie Grande.

chiara-ferragni-x-amazon-fashion-ss16

Meanwhile in Europe, Amazon has just launched its SS16 campaign starring blogger-turned-brand Chiara Ferragni of TheBlondeSalad.com.

Shot at the company’s giant Shoreditch studio by photographer Cass Bird, she’s seen wearing a number of key pieces from the spring offer.

Juliet Warkentin, who’s Amazon Fashion Europe’s director of brand and creative, said: “Chiara is a smart business woman with a strong sense of personal style and is a great advocate for our ‘Don’t look like me, look like you’ campaign.”

Find out more at www.amazon.co.uk/chiara.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

Categories
Editor's pick film

Triumph pushes bra-fitting services in animated musical film

Triumph_findtheone

Triumph has transformed model Hannah Ferguson into an animated character as part of a campaign designed to promote its bra fitting service.

The two-minute musical spot celebrates the magic of finding the perfectly fitting bra. It follows the tale of Hannah, her two friends, a fairy godmother in the shape of a dress form, and a companion called Fred the Frog on the quest for “the one”.

The aim in using animation, according to Triumph, was to provide women with a character that is relatable rather than aspirational, removing any pressure to look a certain way.

Eszter Szijarto, head of brand marketing at Triumph said: “It is really important for us to find new ways of bringing to life the bra finding journey so that we continue to inspire customers to go for a bra fitting. By transforming our model, Hannah, into a cartoon we are treading new ground and by doing so, we aim to create a compelling visual experience that captures the magical feeling of finding the right bra that transforms your life – ‘The One’.”

The campaign features a musical score composed by Tony award-winner Jason Robert Brown. The vocal was performed by three acclaimed Broadway singers, and the accompaniment by Prague’s Filmharmonic Orchestra.

It will air on television in the UK, Germany and Italy from today until mid-May, while edited versions will be viewable online.

Accompanying it is a contest called Animate Me, which calls for fans to answer questions related to “The One” via Facebook and Twitter as well as the Find the One Hub (where bra fitting appointments can also be made). Winners will receive an animated illustration of themselves in the same style as the film.

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: Nike, Burberry, Selfridges, DKNY, John Lewis, Burt’s Bees

It was perhaps Nike that was the buzziest of brands over the past couple of weeks, if you take into consideration both the successful launch of its unofficial World Cup campaign, Winner Stays (as above), and the rumoured shift in strategy for its FuelBand wearable device. That latter news reported the brand is laying off 70-80% of the fitness tracker’s hardware team in a bid to focus on software and the NikeFuel metric instead. A further interview with Nike President Mark Parker added fuel to the fire on a big partnership with Apple.

Burberry meanwhile was another brand with various stories to follow. It opened its new Shanghai store to much theatrical, multimedia fanfare; pushed yet another social tie-in via WeChat; launched an online store on Alibaba’s Tmall; and was announced as one of the first brands to advertise using Instagram video. And if that wasn’t enough, Angela Ahrendts just made that move officially over to Apple. “Did you notice?” asked the FT.

Safe to say, some other companies were up to things too. Here are the best of the fashion and tech stories not to be missed…

  • Selfridges launches biggest ever beauty campaign with Google+ partnership [Campaign]
  • DKNY shoppers go product hunting with Awear Solutions chips [FierceRetailIT]
  • John Lewis looks back on British history in TV spot to mark 150 years [Campaign]
  • Burt’s Bees creates promotional messages via appointments in digital calendars [NY Times]
  • What can fashion-tech companies learn from Instagram’s success? Co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom shares his start-up secrets [BoF]
  • Instagram is brands’ best bet for consumer engagement… but not for long [Fashionista]
  • ‘Brand tagging’ mobile apps: China’s next selfie sensation [Jing Daily]
  • Fashion retailers eye up image-recognition apps for smartphones [The Guardian]
  • Microsoft to push into fashion space “like never before” as it boosts commitment to UK start-up community and unveils ASOS as partner [The Drum]
  • Why online retailers like Bonobos, Boden, Athleta mail so many catalogs [WSJ]
  • Crowdemand is like Kickstarter for fashion designers [Mashable]
  • Like a dating site for fashion, PopInShop plays matchmaker for brands and boutiques [Fashionista]
  • The golden era of ‘fashion blogging’ is over [The Cut]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: H&M, Instagram, Uniqlo, Ferragamo, Urban Outfitters, Nike

Happy new year all and welcome to 2014!

It’s straight to Vegas for me and headfirst into CES for what’s looking set to be a week heavy on the wearables front. More of that to follow, but for now, here’s a highlight of some of the fashion and tech stories you may have missed over the past couple of weeks…

david-beckham-underwear_HM

  • H&M and Beckham return to The Super Bowl with ground-breaking shoppable TV ad campaign [WGSN]
  • Instagram reveals ‘promising’ results of Levi’s and Ben & Jerry’s ad trial [Marketing Magazine]
  • Ferragamo weaves founder’s history into fairy tale film [Luxury Daily]
  • Nike, MTV are top global brands on Instagram in 2013 [BrandChannel]
  • How in-store analytics is changing the way you shop [Fashionista]
  • Beacons: What they are, how they work, and why Apple’s iBeacon technology is ahead of the pack [Business Insider]
  • What fashion adds to the tech world: Vanessa Friedman on wearables [FT]
  • Smart eyelashes and fingernails: the next wave of wearable tech [Mashable]
  • Can Apple’s Angela Agrendts spark a retail revolution? [Fast Company]
Categories
film social media

All the interactive elements accompanying John Lewis’ #bearandhare Christmas ad

JohnLewis_bearharestory2

Hopefully by now you will have all seen, or at least heard about, John Lewis’ epic £7 million Christmas ad: The Bear and The Hare, created by adam&eve DDB.

The hand-animated tale has received an enormous 8.7 million views on YouTube since launch on November 8, and according to reports, helped drive sales of £101.45?million in the British department store in the week that followed, up 10.7% on 2012.

Despite the fact the spot premiered on TV in the UK during The X-Factor (played as an entire two-minute ad break), this campaign lives well beyond its traditional format. Here’s a breakdown of some of the more interactive ways how: 

  • An accompanying e-book called ‘The Bear who had never seen Christmas’ has been introduced for iPad, iPhone and Android. It features a series of touch-to-activate features, including a treasure hunt throughout the pages of the story in order to decorate a Christmas tree at the end, and a musical component for kids to tap their screens along to  
  • As with last year’s snowmen, the two main characters, Bear and Hare, each have their own Twitter profiles. Following them reveals all sorts of insights into their friendship: Hare planning to tickle Bear in his sleep, and Bear snoozing through the majority of it only waking briefly now and again to tweet out a line of Zzzzzzzzz’s
  • A Christmas card maker allows consumers to create their own personalised e-cards too. A selection of templates featuring the different woodland animals can be selected from first, then a personal picture uploaded or chosen by connecting with Facebook. Lastly, a message can be added before sharing it over social, downloading it to send via email or print out, and/or adding it to the online gallery
  • In the physical space meanwhile, 11 John Lewis stores around the UK have special ‘caves’ for children to visit and have their photo taken with the Bear and the Hare. The Oxford Street and Peter Jones London stores are particularly worth visiting for the windows too, where a total of 188 animal sculptures have been made from over 7,000 everyday products, like a reindeer from Dyson vacuums, a polar bear from Nintendo Wiis and a turkey from a series of rolled up towels. Creative consultancy Chameleon Visual and production company Setsquare Staging spent a year developing them, as the below making-of video demonstrates. 

JohnLewis_bearandhare2Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 00.18.59JohnLewis_bearharestory3JohnLewis_bearharestory1JohnLewis_Hare