Tag Archives: social media

French Connection launches in-store #selfie campaign

22 Apr

#canthelpmyselfie_press_small

French Connection is launching the “ultimate selfie challenge” in the UK this spring.

Kickstarting officially in London on April 24, the retailer is introducing a campaign called #canthelpmyselfie, inviting shoppers to snap pictures of themselves to create a live display of its seasonal collection in store windows.

Fans are invited to book an appointment via the website for a variety of stores around the country (starting in Regent Street this week before touring to five other cities including Manchester and Newcastle through May) – once there they will select their favourite pieces from the line to wear, indulge in  a mini makeover session and then jump into an interactive selfie booth to snap their photo for the whole high street to see.

Jon Carney, creative partner at digital agency Somewhat, which collaborated on the project, said: “Mobile and social channels are an essential part of how millennial consumers interact with brands, and especially how they can experience fashion brands. As consumers’ physical and digital worlds are increasingly converging and colliding, brands need to respond with campaigns that bridge both worlds seamlessly.”

The real-time “phy-gital” initiative, as its being referred to, simultaneously employs live engagement with passersby by inviting them to ‘vote’ for their favourite look by placing their hand in front of sensors in the windows. The best selfies selected will be in with a chance of winning a £1,000 shopping spree.

Oasis invites consumers to #springasmile with virtual good deed generator

18 Apr

SpringASmile1

Spring cheer is in the air over at Oasis just in time for Easter, with a new campaign encouraging consumers to undertake simple acts of kindness in a bid to make people smile.

The UK-based retailer has introduced a virtual good deed generator at springasmile.com that inspires users with ideas for things they could do through a slot machine-like experience. At the click of a button (spin), keywords like ‘buy’, ‘give’ and ‘make’ are surfaced in the left hand window, alongside ‘someone flowers’ through to ‘coffee for the next person in line’ on the right.

springasmile_oasis2

Once achieved, the user is invited to nominate three friends to do the same via Facebook or Twitter before they receive a plaque stating what they’ve pledged. Oasis refers to this as the “perfect way to pay it forward and raise a smile amongst even the grumpiest of friends”.

The site also encourages users to revisit and upload a photo or video of their #springasmile in action into the “good deeds album”. All round, it’s a lovely and very sweet experience.

Side note – some of the early tweets around #springasmile come from employees at the company. If anyone thought this was a campaign just for external consumption you’d be wrong. The positive effect it’s seemingly had internally is impressive. One such comment: “Even though I had a crazy day and left 2 hours after eveyone else I had the best day! Can’t stop grinning :D… Thats when you know you’ve chosen the right career and you work for lovely people! #springasmile.”

Below too is what the head office therefore looked like this week (Image credit: @AmieMartin_). A winner through and through…

Oasis_springasmile2

Digital snippets: Fabergé, Dior, Gucci, Marc by Marc Jacobs, H&M, J.Crew and Kate Spade

13 Apr

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

 

  • Fabergé’s NYC Easter egg hunt marks the largest Beacon deployment ever in the US [Fashionista]
  • Dior explores global flower sourcing with interactive map [Luxury Daily]
  • James Franco directs video for Gucci (as above) [WWD]
  • Marc by Marc Jacobs line crowdsources models with #castmemarc campaign on social [Vogue.co.uk]
  • YouTube fashion viral: Miranda Kerr is selfie obsessed in H&M’s spring 2014 campaign [Fashionotes]
  • J.Crew and Kate Spade to foster the next big fashion tech start-ups through new accelerator program [Co.Design]
  • IMG Fashion’s partnership with Tencent aims to boost Fashion Week China exposure  [JingDaily] bit.ly/1ltgJFZ
  • Fashion in the age of Instagram [NY Times]
  • How iBeacon and similar technology will change retail [eMarketer]
  • Five examples of how marketers are using iBeacons [Econsultancy]
  • ‘Showrooming’ hits luxury fashion – lack of e-commerce presence means clients buying elsewhere online [WSJ]
  • Luxury brands are stupid to snub the internet [BusinessWeek]
  • Decoded Fashion founder: ‘Designers need to launch like start-ups’ [The Guardian]
  • New app, Think Dirty, tracks the nasty chemicals in the beauty products you put on your face [Co.Exist]
  • The camera-wielding boyfriends behind fashion’s most famous bloggers [Fashionista]
  • How LiketoKnow.it is changing Instagram by monetising your photos [Pinetop Group]
  • Op-ed: The companies with the best software will lead fashion [BoF]

Topshop launches Kate Moss video series ahead of new collection

2 Apr

Topshop has revealed the first in a series of videos in the run up to its new Kate Moss collection launch.

The line will hit stores on April 30 for the first time since 2010. Accordingly the retailer has teamed up with NOWNESS to tease its arrival through a total of eight films dedicated to the “supermodel, muse and designer”.

Each one will feature one of Kate’s friends and fashion contacts shot by Leigh Johnson, and providing “never before seen access to the notoriously private Kate”, as Grazia puts it.

The first, as above, stars BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw. Others will include Charlotte Tilbury, Amanda Harlech, Beth Ditto, Cara Delevingne, Vivienne Westwood and Natalie Massenet. That makes a total of seven, meaning the eighth may star the always-elusive Moss herself.

Here in the meantime is an additional Topshop teaser featuring the model talking about the collection from behind-the-scenes at the Topshop design studio:

The best April Fools’ Day pranks from fashion brands

1 Apr

This post first appeared on Fashionista.com

aprilfools

If we’re basing it on sheer volume of pranks, Google probably wins April Fools’ Day. But, perhaps seeing the “holiday” as a prime marketing opportunity, the fashion world got in on the fun as well — some of them incorporating elaborate videos and impressive new products into their jokes.

Here are a few brands and retailers that almost had us fooled…

Hunter

Hunter introduced a new open-toe Wellington boot just in time for festival season. Referred to as the “latest in product innovation” from the brand, the design is a replica of the original rain boot first introduced in 1955 but with a new focus on breathability. “This revolutionary design enables air flow to circulate from the opening at the toe, traveling along the footbed to then exit at the top of the boot (and vice versa). The wearer is afforded a truly ventilated experience. This new technology is expected to represent an industry changing moment for rubber footwear,” read the fictitious write-up.

Bonobos

Bonobos made fun of the wearables market with the “launch” of a line of tech-enabled shirts, blazers and jeans meant to make “living your life as effortless as your style”. In the above video, a man demonstrates the capabilities of a washed poplin shirt. There’s “wi-fiber” that keeps you constantly in contact with a female voice seemingly inspired by Spike Jonze film, “Her”; smart fabric that knows when you’re lying based on your body temperature; and a feature that posts things to your Facebook wall, sometimes when you don’t want it to.

John Lewis

This would be clever if it weren’t creepy: UK department store John Lewis announced a new hi-tech electronic mirror that will provide shoppers with their precise measurements in seconds. The Scanning Computer and Mirror (SCAM) system – note the first clue – was to be trialled in the retailer’s Isles of Scilly store – clue two – before being rolled out around the country. It will use technology similar to that in airports, allowing fit “advisers” to get an eyeful of customers, reported the Daily Mail. As a result, sales associates were to be given “special intimacy training so as not to infringe the customer’s dignity” according to the brand.

American Eagle Outfitters

“We pulled your tail” shouts the headline on American Eagle Outfitters’ blog today. It introduced the idea of a doggy line called American Beagle Outfitters a week ago, but what was intended to be an April Fools’ joke to raise money for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), actually got such an overwhelming and positive response, the retailer is actually making it happen. A real canine collection is set to debut for Holiday 2014.

Lululemon

Lululemon promoted its new “Spray-On Yoga Pants” on its site today: It’s a $1200 can that pokes fun at the company’s see-through pants scandal of 2013. “Designed for lightweight flexibility and versatility, our newest innovation, Spray-On Yoga Pants, will take us to and through our practice without the fuss,” read the hilarious description.

Toms X Uber

Toms announced a partnership with Uber in a new initiative called shuberX. Basically, cardboard cars collect passengers and give them a pair of Toms shoes to wear as they run down the street. What’s great about this prank is that new Uber users who do actually enter promo code #shuberx when ordering a car will see $10 donated on their behalf to Footwork, TOMS’ partner in fighting podoconiosis. How very Toms of them.

Asos

On its men’s blog, Asos wrote a post chronicling the trend for beard bleaching. Those in the know are growing big bushy beards and then dyeing them radical new colors, like electric blue with purple highlights, it claimed. The e-tailer even attributed the trend to one “revolutionary Danish barber”: Alaxånder Alexandrå.

Honorary Mentions:

Here are couple of others we chuckled at:

Personal bra shopping site True&Co’s new kitten-themed sizing system

Statement anklets from Cupcakes and Cashmere

Lucky mag’s desks covered in Josh Hutcherson photos

Fabergé fans to create digital portrait animations at Harrods

26 Mar

Fabergé Cinescope - Firebird in Cage

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

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

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

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

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

Zappos piloting personal shopping service on Instagram with #nextootd

19 Mar

Most of you will have already heard of the hashtag #ootd. For those who haven’t, this is the epitome of the #selfie phenomenon. “Outfit of the day” as it stands for, has over 23 million posts attached to it on Instagram.

That’s 23 million images associated with what people are wearing, said Will Young, director of Zappos Labs – the San Francisco-based experimentation and innovation arm of e-commerce site Zappos – during SXSW last week. “We looked at [those figures] and asked as a retailer how do we be a part of that?”

The answer? His team recently launched a pilot project on the platform called Next OOTD. Very simply, followers are invited to post a selfie along with the hashtag #nextootd. Those who do will receive a personalised shopping recommendation based on their Instagram from Zappos in return.

Zappos is of course a company that prides itself, and has become known, for customer service (its longest ever phone call was nine and a half hours – and celebrated for that fact, Young revealed). He said they are constantly trying to think of lots of different ways to take that service to the next level.

At the moment this project is entirely manual – there’s one person doing it who doesn’t even work weekends – so the potential to scale isn’t really there, he admitted, but that’s not to say it won’t be down the line.

“Personal shopping via Instagram… that could be the future of our business,” he argued – and perhaps rightly so given the buzz around social shopping once again at present. “It could have a 50 person team manning it and making personalised shopping recommendations.”

To his own strategy, he added: “I heard Sarah Friar, CFO of Square speak recently, and she said: ‘Think big but start small.’ That’s kind of how we approach things at Zappos Labs.”

Digital snippets: Wren, Gucci, John Lewis, Lord & Taylor, Kenneth Cole, Sephora

18 Mar

A bit of a catch-up post today in light of several weeks of travel… here then all the latest stories to know about surrounding fashion and tech from the past fortnight or so:

 

  • “First Kiss” film (as above) goes viral with 63 million views – is ad for clothing label Wren [NY Times]
  • Gucci launches own Spotify music hub to promote short film ‘The Fringe’ [The Drum]
  • John Lewis looks to digital innovation as next big thing in retail with ‘JLab incubator’ [The Guardian]
  • Lord & Taylor now accepting bitcoin [CNBC]
  • Kenneth Cole challenges consumers to do good deeds and prove it via Google Glass [Creativity]
  • Sephora launches ‘Beauty Board’ social shopping platform [USA Today]
  • Bergdorf Goodman makes Instagram shots shoppable at SXSW with 52Grams [5th/58th]
  • Dolce & Gabbana crafts love story around perfume to appeal to consumer emotion [Luxury Daily
  • adidas launches gaming platform powered by social media starring Lionel Messi [Marketing Magazine]
  • Can Instagram save ageing teen retailer Aeropostale? [CNBC]
  • Which big brands are courting the maker movement, and why – from Levi’s to Home Depot  [AdWeek]
  • How beacon technology could change the way we shop [Fashionista]
  • On Instagram, a bazaar where you least expect it [Bits blog]
  • What Google’s wearable tech platform could mean for the fashion industry [Fashionista]
  • Smartphone payment system to be unveiled in UK [FT]
  • Alibaba ramping up efforts to sell US brands in China [WSJ]
  • What does WeChat’s new e-credit card mean for luxury? [JingDaily]
  • Op-Ed | Are camera phones killing fashion? [BoF]

Forget Instagram: what has happened to fashion week commentary on Twitter?

28 Feb

This post first appeared on Fashionista.com

Van-Noten-RF14-0930

Is it just me or has Twitter become much less inspiring during fashion week season? I say that as an avid user – both personally and profesionally. I peruse posts day to day, and particularly once the shows hit London, Milan and Paris, when I’m watching via livestream from New York. I scroll through my own feed, I consume via social dashboards attached to designers’ websites, and I go back and search using hashtags and brand names afterwards, too.

What I’ve always enjoyed is the live commentary that you gather from those in the front row, but there seems to have been very little of it for the past couple of seasons, and I for one really miss it. Not the tweets that tell me what show they’re waiting for, the fact the first model has appeared/the last model has walked out, or even what color they’re seeing. Those still exist, and I can gather all that from home.

No, what I really want back, is actual commentary. I want to hear from the editors –- the experts no less — about the 1930s theme emerging at Prada and the influence Miuccia drew from film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, or the details of the new Bloomsbury-inspired, hand-painted florals at Burberry Prorsum. I want to know what is sashaying down that runway that, from my own 13-inch screen, I can’t quite see.

The images that are posted can be nice, of course, and on occasion insightful (if not blurry, but that’s another issue). But what happened to a wonderfully descriptive annotation along with it? Or better yet a real-time opinion, a review-on-the-spot even? Here are some of the highlights from the Lanvin show Thursday:

Lots of pictures naturally, but did you gather much about the line really? Navy, white and feathers. It’s a start.

Now it’s not that everyone has put their smartphones back in their handbags to focus on the clothes as they come out of course. So what’s going on?

First up, quite obviously: Instagram. During London Fashion Week there were a total of 266,767 mentions on Twitter, and 316,359 posts on Instagram, according to Bell Pottinger, a British public relations and marketing firm. So arguably, much more time is being spent there.

It goes without saying there’s huge benefit in that space of course. But when someone is at at home watching a livestream, or has access to high-res images in near real-time — not to mention backstage ones from the brand themselves — Instagram shots from the front row don’t necessarily offer all that much. They’re a nice-to-have, and for a feel of fashion week in general, a fantastic stream to follow. But for those really wanting to know about the collections themselves, there’s still a gap — an information gap.

The skill of an editor who has worked in the industry for 10 or more years is to be able to quickly deduce what a collection is about, to analyze its importance for trends, to bring contextual knowledge of its applicability to the commercial market and to offer a clear understanding of the technical side (i.e., garment construction and fabrications).

Portraying that over Twitter is no mean feat. I attempted it as a guest Tweeter on behalf of my employer, WGSN, for the @mbfashionweek account during New York at a number of shows and it’s entirely consuming.

But I don’t think the fact few editors or publications seem to be offering anything like this anymore comes down to just not having the time. With social media now reaching maturity, there’s inevitably becoming a greater push in terms of strategy for organizations and individuals alike on what to do and what not to do to achieve audience engagement.

So here’s my question: Is this lack of Twitter commentary as simple as editors just becoming more obsessed with Instagram? Or is there actually a direct decision being made not to give away too much there and then? (The knowledge of these men and women is a valuable commodity — why hand it out on a free platform, when you can rather store it up and post it on your own site for traffic generation later?)

Then again, maybe it’s just as simple as the fact we’re also all just a little bit over it. Or overwhelmed. Or lazy. Still, I’d like it back.

Digital snippets: Burberry, Calvin Klein, Moschino, Saks, M&S, Primark

27 Feb

A round-up of all the latest stories surrounding fashion and tech…

 

  • Burberry reveals ‘digital innovation’ partnership with WeChat to strengthen social presence in China [The Drum]
  • Calvin Klein asks fans to snap selfies in their skivvies for #MyCalvins campaign [BrandChannel]
  • Fast-fashion: Moschino offers fans the ability to shop its McDonald’s-themed show live [Dazed Digital]
  • Saks recreates in-store beauty tutorials with six-second videos on Vine [LuxuryDaily]
  • Marks & Spencer launches new website to replace Amazon platform, after three years in the making [The Telegraph]
  • How Primark achieved 1.7m Facebook Likes in just six months [Econsultancy]
  • Former GQ editor Lauren Bans comes out as @CondeElevator Tweeter [Fashionista]
  • New privacy website lets you opt out of tracking in retail stores [AdAge]
  • Ebay buys virtual fitting room start-up PhiSix Fashion Labs [PC Mag]
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