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Out of home

Dunhill shakes up out-of-home through 4D multisensory spectacle

March 22, 2012


British retailer Alfred Dunhill combined sight, smell, sound and vision in a recreation of famed Trafalgar Square in London that displayed a simulation of all four seasons over the course of one day.

The event was broadcast March 16 to more than 1,000 global guests in Shanghai, China, as the third of a series of installations. Trafalgar is one of the longest live single CGI sequences ever made to simulate a full year of British seasons over one day, claims the brand.

“With brands that have been around for a long time, it is important to ensure you show your true colors regularly,” said Jason Beckley, global marketing director for Alfred Dunhill, London. “You have to manage opinion but ensuring it's balanced with truth [and] Trafalgar was a reflection of our brand now.

“At Alfred Dunhill, we love nothing more than creating platforms for people to reappraise our brand,” he said. “Trafalgar is an example of this.”

Trafalgar Square one

Trafalgar was a representation of Alfred Dunhill’s House collection. The spectacle was representative of its 120-year history and concept of presenting one collection of menswear that encompasses all seasons.

Dunhill's Trafalgar

The seasons were condensed into one day: spring was dawn, summer was noon, autumn was dusk and winter was night.

The spectacle mixed holographic projections with 64 models in one of Shanghai’s Expo buildings.

The score was “Lark Ascending” by Vaughn Williams, “Love in Distance” by Tan Dun and “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros. The three compositions conveyed the emotiveness of the seasons, per Dunhill.

Dunhill's Trafalgar

The music was performed live by British violinist Charlie Siem and a nine-piece orchestra.

Dunhill upped the experience through smell that was inspired by the natural scent created after it rains.

Dunhill's Trafalgar

“We are retail-facing, so we’re fortunate enough to be able to define our own scheduling and audience, which is amazing because it means that we can really show off the brand’s imagination and flair and celebrate an amazing city like Shanghai and honor the incredible luxury market of China where we have been for over 20 years,” Mr. Beckley said.

“We speak directly to the people that buy our product by inviting them to the event and presenting our brand to them in a way that they can understand.”

Trafalgar is the third of Dunhill's installments of this kind. The first was "Home" in London in 2011 and "Momentary" in New York in 2010.

Out of here

Luxury brands are starting to include spectacle out-of-home ads in their marketing strategy to really grow awareness and call attention to themselves.

“Out of home is part of our media mix, and we have recently overviewed our use of media to make sure we put our messages in the most efficient places and balance our visibility across differing contexts from lifestyle to luxury,  fashion ability to intelligence,” Mr. Beckley said.

For example, British brand Burberry is celebrating the opening of its newest and most technologically-advanced flagship store in Beijing with a multifaceted event combining animation, live models and music at Beijing Television Centre last year (see story).

In addition, Burberry streamed last year’s fall collection live online and simultaneously broadcast it in London’s Piccadilly Circus (see story).

Also, lifestyle brand Ralph Lauren used advanced video mapping technology to create a 4D spectacle in New York in 2010. It combined 15 scenes and incorporated art, fashion, music and fragrance into a nighttime light show that totaled seven minutes long (see story).

“It’s amazing to put on something or to carry something that’s properly made,” Mr. Beckley said. “You can feel it straightaway, it is different.

“I think that in a modern, superfast world, we forget that,” he said. “This is a brand all about doing things to the very best that they can be done.

“Trafalgar was a celebration of that, as well as the elegance that is at the core of the Alfred Dunhill brand.”

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York