Receive the latest articles for free. Click here to get the Luxury Daily newsletters.
  • Email
  • Print
  • Reprints


Gucci channels consumer creativity in DIY handbag contest

September 12, 2012


Italian fashion house Gucci is flaunting its Gucci Icon handbags through a do-it-yourself contest that requires consumers to download, construct and design their own paper bag.

The "Cut & Craft" campaign showcases the Bamboo, Jackie and Stirrup handbags by giving consumers a paper pattern to create their own version, which could be a tactic to get brand loyalists engaged for a longer amount of time. The label is hosting a contest on a Facebook application to give users the chance to have their bag shown to creative director Frida Giannini and featured as the cover image on Gucci’s Timeline.

“This is a fantastic way to reach friends of fans with a product-based promotion that is authentic, putting loyal fans on a pedestal,” said Marko Muellner, senior director of marketing at ShopIgniter, Portland, OR. “I think this is a stand-out campaign from concept and execution perspectives.

“The most valuable asset Gucci gains is the photos of the Cut & Craft bags,” he said. “Many of them are beautiful and exactly the types of images that will be widely shared on social networks.

“Gucci continues to do great work in digital and I think this is a stellar example of how to do product promotion using social.”

Mr. Muellner is not affiliated with Gucci, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Gucci did not respond before press deadline.

Arts and crafts

Users can print a pattern of their choice from the Cut & Craft Facebook app as well as view instructional videos for each pattern and vote for their favorite fan creation.

There are also features on each handbag in the app that show a product description, image, video and link to purchase. The videos show each bag made out of paper, which then transforms into the Gucci handbag.

New Bamboo feature 

The downloadable pattern is a PDF document that users can view and print from a link in the Facebook app.


Once printed, the label suggests that users decorate the bag as they wish before cutting it out and assembling it. There are instructions on the pattern as well as the videos in the app.

Instructional video

Users who take a picture of their finished bag and upload it to the Gucci Facebook page will be featured in the voting section of the app and have the chance to win.

Voting section 

Gucci did many things right in this campaign, but could have optimized the contest for mobile devices and encouraged sharing beyond Facebook, per Mr. Muellner.

“It is beautiful and fully on-brand,” Mr. Muellner said. “There is rich product promotion with video and imagery, but still true to its customer's passions.

“It is a high bar for participation, to download a template, build and design a bag, which usually is a lot to ask,” he said. “In this case, it only needed a few great submissions and Gucci has them.”

Time is ticking

It seems that Gucci is capitalizing on the DIY movement evident across the fashion industry, blogosphere and inspiration board sites such as Pinterest.

The campaign could encourage time spent with the brand as long as it is simple to participate.

On social media, users could spend a few seconds reading a post and move on to the next. Luxury marketers seem to be trying a few ways to counteract this.

For instance, Fendi also tapped the creativity of its Facebook fans via an app that let users create their own Timeline cover image with a focus on a new fragrance (see story).

Video is another way for brands to engage for a longer period of time.

Some brands, including Christian Dior, use video series. The French fashion label is giving consumers a glimpse into the brand world through a Web documentary video series called Lady Dior starring ambassador Marion Cotillard (see story).

Furthermore, consumer participation in contests – at entry and in the voting process – is a way that luxury brands can interact with consumers. It often takes time for users to create an entry or sift through the existing entries.

For example, Bottega Veneta, Condé Nast’s Vogue and Red Digital Camera partnered to host a contest for undiscovered photographers.

Bottega Veneta let Facebook fans judge one part of the contest and announced a fan choice winner (see story).

However, if luxury marketers require too much time from their fans, they may not see an increase in engagement.

“Gucci has created a user-generated content campaign to emphasize the craftsmanship of its refreshed heritage bags and the dynamic uses for each piece,” said Dave Surgan, manager of digital media communications at Morpheus Media, New York. “The campaign has already received some amazing submissions that are featured on Gucci's Timeline.

“A potential barrier to success here is the time investment from its fans,” he said. “Constructing each bag from paper can take a substantial amount of time and may decrease the total number of submissions.

“Whether or not a fan participates, Gucci did a great job telling the story of these pieces with easy access to shareable content and sales links.”

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York