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Armani leverages music passion for location-based radio ads

September 7, 2012


Giorgio Armani is targeting affluent New Yorkers who are getting hyped for Fashion Week while promoting a new store opening through radio and digital advertising on the music provider Spotify.

The ads link to the Armani Web site where consumers can check out a special playlist and look at all lines including Emporio, Giorgio, Armani Collezioni and Armani Junior. The idea of the campaign is to drive traffic to the newly-opened Emporio Armani store in New York today for a live performance.

“Armani is aligning with arguably the most popular music streaming service in the U.S.,” said Michael Miraflor, associate director of integrated planning at Zenith Media, New York.

“Spotify's ad model relies upon very large format units that appear when the user is not interacting with the music dashboard,” he said. “This type of real estate is perfect for showcasing looks, as brands such as Armani have enough room and creative file weight to tell a compelling story without compromising quality or the amount of detail within the banner.”

Mr. Miraflor is not affiliated with Armani, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Armani declined comment for this effort.

Streaming for attention
Spotify users in New York may have noticed the Armani banner and take-over ads this week.

There was a banner ad on the bottom of the Spotify app and a takeover ad that consumers have to actively click out of.

Banner ad

When consumers clicked on the ads, they were brought to a page where they could access a curated Spotify playlist including songs by Cat Power, Passion Pit, Of Monsters and Men and Little Dragon.

Clicking on a song on the Web site starts the playlist on consumers’ Spotify desktop application.

Next to the playlist, consumers can see that The Drums, LadyHawke and Skylar Grey will perform at the new Emporio Armani Madison Avenue flagship store in New York today.

Armani Spotify list

There is also a hashtag #EmporioArmaniLive so that consumers can follow along via social media.

Above the playlist is a list of all of the Armani brands and options to shop them all. Consumers can also browse campaigns, making-of footage and new collections on the site where the Spotify ad directed them.

New York is busy right now with affluent consumers gearing up for Fashion Week, so it makes sense that Armani would want to open up a flagship location in the midst of the hubbub.

"I believe the main learning is to go beyond the normal digital fashion and style lacements and showcase placements that further define brand personality and lifestyle," said Andrea Wilson, Fort Worth, TX-based luxury practice lead at iProspect. "Think about what is exciting for your consumers, like music, and participate in placements that align your brand with those activities.

"From a timing standpoint,, the store opening is Sept. 7, smartly the day after Fashion's Night Out," she said. "This creates a strong call to action for the New York area by attending the store opening when fashion buzz is as one of the highest times of the year, as well as nationwide when all eyes are on FNO events."

Radio star
Not many luxury marketers aside from automakers use radio marketing. This is likely since it is an audio medium and luxury is very much a visual industry.

However, music, such as fashion, is a passion for many consumers. This means that a connection between the two makes sense.

"A collaboration with Spotify to promote their new Madison Ave. flagship store is a fun and exciting way to add value to the Armani brand," Ms. Wilson said.

"Fashion and music go together hand-in-hand, and featuring a custom playlist and dominating ads on Spotify showcases how well Armani understands their audience and wants to give them an entertaining way to engage," she said.

Therefore, luxury brands are using new-age radio tactics to push new campaigns and products.

For example, German automaker BMW strayed from traditional radio advertising for its DESIR3 campaign through an ad placement on Internet music provider Spotify that connected to a microsite for its 3 Series.

Consumers who clicked on the ad were brought to a page where they could explore the 3 Series through scrolling with their cursors (see story).

BMW on Spotify

Meanwhile, British fashion house Burberry pushed its straight-off-the-runway men’s items as well as big-ticket apparel, accessories and coats from ads in the Pandora iPhone app that seem to strengthen brand awareness more than trigger mobile purchases.

The ad brought consumers to a mobile-optimized site that let them browse and purchase the most pricy items from the label’s fall/winter 2012 collection including womenswear, menswear, accessories, coats and childrenswear (see story).

Armani’s execution meshes with the brand image and encourages a seamless experience.

“What is most compelling about Armani's execution and what sets it apart from more conventional uses of Spotify advertising is that after clicking on the banner, the user is led to an Armani microsite that is in part fueled by a Spotify-powered playlist curated by the brand,” Zenith's Mr. Miraflor said. “It makes for a seamless experience that provides a curated aural soundscape to enjoy while perusing the images and product information on the page.

“So instead of being interruptive, the ad experience actually enhances the brand experience,” he said. “It is very, very well executed and I applaud Armani for recognizing consumer behavior on Spotify and capitalizing on the opportunity to leverage it as both an advertising and technology platform.”

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York