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Louis Vuitton hypes runway show via all-digital travel campaignBy Tricia Carr
French label Louis Vuitton is creating buzz for its upcoming Shanghai fashion show via an all-digital initiative that follows a photographer from the brand’s base in Paris to the show’s set.
The label is looking to engage its consumers in the days leading up to its next runway show July 19 by posting daily videos and images taken by photographer and blogger Todd Selby while he is traveling by train. The Louis Vuitton Express campaign is hosted on a microsite and the label is spreading the content via social media.
“I believe Louis Vuitton was looking to expand on its branding of high-end, luxury travel with the idea of travel being about the experiences and people you meet along the way, rather than the destination,” said Stacey Warren, director at Inflexion Interactive, Hoboken, NJ. “The label took the journey of a photographer and tried to tie it back to this concept, which is strongly represented on its Web site.
“I enjoyed the feel of the campaign and the idea of travel being about more than the physical place where you are going,” she said. “I think Louis Vuitton followers will appreciate this.
“However, the video clips are very brief, and I think the label could have shown more details about the countries he saw, the beauty of the landscapes, the architecture and the people and how all of this translates into inspiring the brand.”
Ms. Warren is not affiliated with Louis Vuitton, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Louis Vuitton did not respond before press deadline.
The entire Louis Vuitton Express campaign is hosted on the microsite at http://www.louisvuittonexpress.com. It shows a green map of continents Europe and Asia with a black line going from Paris to Shanghai.
Mr. Selby is taking this journey by train and documenting the cities he passes with images and vidoes. He is also sharing his day-to-day activities on the train.
Each dot on the microsite represents a stop on his journey. Users can press the plus sign at the middle of the screen to zoom in on the map and see the stops.
Completed city stops can be clicked on and a video and images are shown.
For example, Mr. Selby passed through Poland, Belarus and Russia on the second day of this trip. During this time he filmed the changing of the wheels so that they were the correct gauge for the tracks in Russia.
Day 2 video
Each video states the day and countries visited with text.
Images from “Day 2” of the journey show homes that Mr. Selby captured from the train windows and a sandwich that he ate.
On “Day 3,” Mr. Selby got off the train in Moscow to visit Russian television personality Sati Spivakova. The video shows him taking pictures of Ms. Spivakova’s home and how it helped him learn about the culture.
Mr. Spivakova’s home
A bar at the bottom of the microsite shows the date of the runway show, the day number of the journey and the current location of the train.
The site is available for 11 countries including the United States, Britain, France and China.
Furthermore, the microsite is mobile-optimized to keep consumers on-the-go engaged (see story).
Louis Vuitton is spreading the reach of its latest travel campaign via social media.
The label updated the cover images of its Facebook Timeline to show the Louis Vuitton Express map with all planned stops.
Also, Louis Vuitton is sharing the journey with photo albums and YouTube videos on Facebook.
Changing the channel
High-end labels are using a few different channels lately to raise awareness for upcoming runway shows.
Hugo Boss also chose digital as the focus of its Berlin runway show efforts, which consisted of content about the soundtrack, models and low-ticket seasonal items. Channels used include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instragram, the label’s blog and email (see story).
Label Ermenegildo Zegna went with mobile by launching an iPhone and iPad application specifically for its spring/summer 2013 show that offered two exclusive products following a live stream (see story).
Meanwhile, Salvatore Ferragamo focused on the live setting of its show.
The Italian label distinguished itself from competitors by being the first brand to tap the Louvre museum in Paris to show its 2013 resort collection, also giving consumers a look inside with a live stream on its Web site (see story).
The Louis Vuitton Express digital campaign is a continuation of a notion that was started at its fall/winter 2012 runway show in Paris.
Also, images from the Louis Vuitton Express are featured in its fall/winter ad campaign.
Nonetheless, the goal of the digital campaign could be unclear to consumers since it does not contain any product information or previous fashion show footage.
“The content is too short and too shallow to be compelling or interesting,” Ms. Warren said. “Nothing about the content is particularly insightful or inspiring and there is not enough of a connection between the brand and products or the fashion show.
“The site seems difficult to find, since Louis Vuitton’s Web site does not even direct to it, but the people who do find it will be fans of the brand and its targeted demographic,” she said. “I think the brand really missed the mark here as the microsite does not build excitement about what is to come in the fashion show.
“I think if a designer went on the same journey documenting how the people and places influenced the designs, consumers would be more excited to watch the fashion show to see how this translated onto the runway looks.”
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York
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