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Barneys humanizes brand experience in video effortBy Tricia Carr
Barneys New York is pushing foot traffic to its flagship Madison Avenue location in New York via a video series with the retailer’s creative ambassador Simon Doonan and blogger Leandra Medine that shows what happens at the store behind closed doors.
The latest “Locked in Barneys” video features Ms. Medine, also known as the blogger Man Repeller, as she enjoys the retail space with Mr. Doonan after the store has closed for the evening. The short video series seems to highlight the big personality behind the retailer and could make for an effective long-term video strategy.
“The videos are a light-hearted way of promoting the new shoe department at Barneys’ flagship store in Manhattan, along with some of the retailer’s other merchandise through the late night, locked-in capers of its own in-house celebrity, Mr. Doonan,” said John Casey, founder of Freshfluff, New York.
“Mr. Doonan alone distinguishes Barneys from its competitors, so the very fact that he is able to humorously roam the store during what must have been a frightful experience – being locked in Barneys overnight – provides the retailer with a fun way of plugging its latest collections, particularly shoes,” he said.
“This video is all in fun, with a tongue-in-cheek promotion of its shoe line, cocktail bar and other must-see departments of its flagship store, and Barneys did it right by featuring Mr. Doonan, in fun, quick-cut, musical videos that are under three minutes.”
Mr. Casey is not affiliated with Barneys, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Barneys was not available for comment before press deadline.
The first scene in the latest “Locked In” Barneys video shows Mr. Doonan and Ms. Medine at Barneys’ Genes@Co-Op café. They mix up a Boy Meets Girl cocktail that is inspired by the new men’s and women’s shoe floor.
Ms. Medine says to Mr. Doonan, “It’s better than Home Alone, Simon,” referring to the feature film.
Locked in Barneys
Next, the two characters run to the shoe floor to check out the items.
Mr. Doonan throws pairs of shoes by Tabitha Simmons at the blogger. Soon, he has a heap of shoes in his arms that he has picked up from all around the floor.
Both characters run around the shoe department and list off brands throughout the video.
At the end, Mr. Doonan and Ms. Medine knock from the inside of the glass of Barneys’ front door to try to get out of the store while holding items that they want to take with them.
The Locked-in Barneys video is being shown on Barneys’ blog The Window and via links from its social media channels.
Barneys released a previous Locked-In Barneys video that showed its shoe floor when it was under construction. It featured shoe designer Narciso Rodriguez.
The retailer introduced the concept in May when it tried a Locked-In Barneys video with designer Joseph Altuzarra. Mr. Altuzarra discussed his new collection while the pair shopped around the store.
Barneys could likely turn this sporadic series into an ongoing video strategy that will engage young viewers and those consumers who are familiar with Mr. Doonan. The videos show the merchandise and what is happening in the store without directly selling to viewers.
The retailer has tried another ongoing approach to videos, but added shopping capabilities.
The first video with fashion blogger Geri Hirsch was called “Transform the Everyday Black Dress.” It showed Ms. Hirsch shopping in Barneys’ Beverly Hills store in California.
The video contained direct links to the Barneys ecommerce site where consumers could purchase the items featured (see story).
This month, Barneys pulled all the stops to get clicks in its second shoppable video with Ms. Hirsch, this time focusing on late-night attire and sending a dedicated email campaign (see story).
Both of these video series can potentially add credibility to the Barneys brand in a light way and among young consumers who want to buy into the affluent lifestyle.
“With this Locked-In Barneys video series and its recent shoppable video, Barneys is employing key fashion bloggers and designers to help provide third-party credibility to its messaging,” Mr. Casey said. “Also, the blogger and designer along with Mr. Doonan in the Locked-in campaign are able to appear in the videos in a way that playfully promotes the retailer and its products.
“Barneys seems to understand that purely commercial videos are a lost cause in the viral world of the younger demographic, so it has created what are clearly commercial videos in a way that does not come across as a commercial,” he said.
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York
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