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Christian Dior makes fashion statement with mobile marketing

July 7, 2009


ladydior1Luxury brand Christian Dior has made mobile fashionable in its multichannel effort to promote its iconic Lady Dior handbag.

The LVMH-owned apparel and accessories brand has made its black-and-white Alfred Hitchcock-like film, "The Lady Noire Affair," available to iPhone users via a new application. Consumers can watch a trailer, the entire movie and its making all from their iPhone.

"With in-market competition and global demand for luxury goods at unprecedented levels, the world's most respected designers and luxury brands are recognizing that old-fashioned marketing tactics are no longer the most viable means of engaging target audiences, particularly in a world dominated by online and mobile device usage," said Paul Palmieri, president/CEO of Millennial Media Inc., a Baltimore, MD-based mobile ad network.

"As a result, cutting-edge fashion houses are readily embracing and committing to fresh, new initiatives to strongly differentiate their brands and product lines from an increasingly-crowded field of luxury goods purveyors," he said.

"Moreover, mobile offers the added benefits of exceptional brand interaction and engagement through its ability to create distinctive, highly-personal user experiences, all of which other mediums cannot specifically offer to the same extent."

ladydior2Millennial Media did not work on the Dior mobile effort, but has knowledge of the luxury market. Fashion label Stella McCartney is a Millennial Media client.

The Dior movie is much like the commercials seen on television for Chanel starring actress Nicole Kidman. However, Dior has taken a step forward by letting mobile consumers view the short film right from their iPhones.

The mini-movie is about a woman named Lady Marion and what she may possibly have in her Lady Dior bag. To build anticipation and increase demand for the new Lady Dior bag, the company used Twitter to reveal one clue a day about the film until its release.

Dior even set up a Web site for the Lady Dior campaign.

The Dior film is directed by Olivier Dahan and stars actress Marion Cotillard. The application comes with photos of Ms. Cotillard clutching the infamous handbag.

The film is a tribute to Dior's well-known Parisian style and the Lady Dior bag. The film is eight minutes long and is the first of a series of four mini-movies.

Ms. Cotillard is the muse for the Lady Dior handbag. She sets the scene for Dior's icon at the top of the Eiffel Tower, whose architecture is similar to the Lady Dior handbag's pattern.

In the movie, Lady Marion is being photographed at photo shoots that will take her to three other capital cities.

The point of the film is to build excitement and interest in the Lady Dior collection of handbags.

Dior's foray into mobile is a growing recognition of the medium's importance to its target audience, affluent as they may be. Even other luxury brands and fashion labels are aware of mobile's potential.

For example, fashion label Stella McCartney, a joint venture with Gucci Group N.V., tapped Millennial Media to develop and launch a mobile marketing campaign for the holidays (see story).

The campaign marked Stella McCartney's first stab at mobile marketing and positioned Millennial Media as fit to offer best-practice tips in terms of luxury mobile marketing.

Other luxury brands have launched similar mobile initiatives in the past.

International fashion house Chloé launched an iPhone-optimized Web site and an app to let fashion-savvy consumers stay connected with the luxury apparel and accessories brand even while on the go (see story).

"Luxury lifestyle brands tend to be less-focused on transactional or commerce-focused mobile [initiatives] and more on brand extension," said Mack McKelvey, vice president of marketing at Millennial Media.

"There is a real audience in mobile and these savvy brands are creating innovative ways to impact these consumers on their personal devices, as evidenced by Stella McCartney's holiday mobile campaign," she said.