February 13, 2017
French couture house Jean Paul Gaultier is taking inspiration from reality television for a personality-driven Web series.
In nine episodes, “JPG Loves Latin America” shares an insider look at the brand’s travels to nine countries, documenting the parties, photo shoots and sightseeing. This content campaign leans on the over-the-top celebrity of the brand’s eponymous founder to carry the narrative.
"Fashion brands with finite digital video production budgets may feel the pressure to 'choose' short form, authentic social media, or more 'traditional' longer form video spots uploaded to YouTube," said Michael Miraflor, senior vice president, global head of futures & innovation at Optimedia Blue 449.
"The problem with the former is that it is ephemeral, and the problem with the latter is that it may not resonate with the youngest of aspirational consumers, who might see such content as akin to a glossy magazine ad," he said. "What Jean Paul Gaultier has done is combine the best of both worlds, staying true to the unfiltered, casual environment of Snapchat for the first phase of this campaign, while also capturing footage for a higher quality production that will live in perpetuity on YouTube for the second phase of the campaign.
"They are supplementary, and since all footage was taken on location at the same time, one could consider this a two-for-one. I'd be very interested to know how many people who were exposed to the first were later were exposed to or re-targeted for the second phase."
Jean Paul Gaultier’s trip took place last fall. At the time, the brand shared a glimpse at the journey to destinations such as Buenos Aires and Mexico City via Snapchat (see story).
Now this trek is being featured in more detail through a series on Jean Paul Gaultier’s Web site.
The first of the films premiered on Feb. 3, with additional episodes coming out over time.
Episode one opens as Mr. Gaultier talks about finding inspiration in unexpected places as the camera pans an airport, following his ride on the people mover.
He touches down in Rio De Janeiro, and the film sets the scene with quick shots of locals on the beach. Here, model Anna Cleveland is seen posing for a photo shoot surrounded by beachgoers as she talks about her relationship with the designer.
On the street, the model runs into Mr. Gaultier, and the duo exchange an affectionate greeting. The pair, along with stylist Catherine Baba, attend a lively party filled with dancing and music.
In the second episode, Mr. Gaultier recounts the party before arriving on the beach for another shoot with Ms. Cleveland. The designer then heads to downtown Rio for some sightseeing and shopping.
Anna Cleveland for Jean Paul Gaultier
He also takes a helicopter ride and visits a favela, exploring more of the local culture.
Unlike many behind-the-scenes efforts, this series captures the small, unglamorous moments along with the parties. Viewers get a sense of who the designer really is through snippets of conversation and candid actions.
The full series can be viewed here.
With designers who are recognizable faces, some brands have turned their most well-know personalities into reality stars.
U.S. ready-to-wear brand Diane von Furstenberg hosted a reality television show competition to find its next brand ambassador.
The show cast eight millennial fashion-conscious women to vie for the opportunity to represent the brand around the world at parties and events. Through this TV show, DVF not only introduced itself to a younger audience watching at home, but also gained a spokesperson who appeals to a younger demographic (see story).
The designer as celebrity has been aided by social media.
As luxury houses are becoming more active on social media, so are their creative directors, many of whom have established their own accounts separate from their brands, featuring a mix of personal and professional content (see story).
As Jean Paul Gaultier is his own brand, his label's channels combine product promotions with his personal musings.
While the brand has promoted the series to its social audience, organic reach may not be enough to get viewers.
"I'd recommend a paid amplification strategy to make sure it reaches more consumers," Mr. Miraflor said. "It's essential to this sort of campaign."