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Net-A-Porter taps augmented reality, print for Fall marketing campaign

September 16, 2011

Net-A-Porter Fall 2011


Online retailer Net-A-Porter will be using augmented reality-enabled print advertisements to intrigue tech-savvy shoppers in its Fall 2011 campaign.

The ads aim to celebrate the Net-A-Porter customer and make them feel as if they are receiving a gift when their order arrives instead of a simple package. The ads will run in yet-to-be-announced print ads across the world and will feature an Aurasma technology hook.

“Net-A-Porter’s advertising strategy to include print ads shows they appreciate that their current and potential customers read certain print publications, and it is important for them to expose their brand in these publications to create awareness and attract customers to their sight,” said James Dean, vice president and head of luxury practice at WealthEngine, Bethesda, MD.

“It is a creative idea to include Aurasma technology in their advertising,” Mr. Dean said. “It will most certainly provide a branding experience and awareness that will be memorable and received very well by their intended audience.”

Mr. Dean is not affiliated with Net-A-Porter, but agreed to comment as third-party luxury expert.

Net-A-Porter declined comment for this article.

Right foot forward

The Net-A-Porter Fall 2011 advertisements feature fashion blogger Hanneli Mustaparta, socialite Ana Dexter-Jones, model and rock royalty Atlanta de Cadenet and editor Shala Monroque.

These women highlight the successful, independent and powerful nature of Net-A-Porter shoppers, per the brand.

The photos aim to capture the excitement of receiving and opening a Net-A-Porter package -- the online retailer has always placed an emphasis on its packaging and branded delivery service.

The campaign was shot by fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier, who has also photographed ad campaigns for Christian Dior, Donna Karan, Harry Winston and Condé Nast’s Vogue magazine.

Ms. Mustaparta is the first ad shot to be leaked by Net-A-Porter, featuring the blogger sitting in an ornate, old-fashioned chair wearing a Mary Katrantzou and trying on a pair of purple Burak Uyan Cutout suede sandals.

There are a number of pairs of shoes on the floor in front of Ms. Mustaparta.

Ms. Mustaparta for Net-A-Porter Fall 2011

"Net-a-porter has given its autumn advertising an interesting twist, taking the online only brand into print," said Emmaclare Huntriss, marketing director at Siegel+Gale, London.

"With effective media placement within luxury publications this will add to Net-A-Porter's luxury brand equity," she said.  

Shooting stars

The print ads will be Aurasma-enabled to allow fans to get more involved with the ad campaign.

Aurasma technology uses a mobile device's camera, GPS, Internet and bluetooth capabilities to provide image recognition and a seamless connection to corresponding augmented reality features, such as a video.

Consumers need to download the free Aurasma app on their smartphone or iPad and then hold the device in front of the print ad.

The ads come to life with a video that features clips of interviews taken with the models at the campaign shoot.

The publications have not yet been released, but Net-A-Porter has said that it will run across the United States, Australia, Germany, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada.

Fellow London-based brand Alfred Dunhill used a similar advertising approach with its Fall 2011 campaign that featured three British icons that, when scrolling over with a mobile device, came to life and talked about personal obstacles they have overcome (see story).

By letting consumers learn more about the personalities featured in the campaign, Net-A-Porter is building a relationship with consumers and increasing brand loyalty.

“Using Aurasma-activated interviews with models creates an intimacy and fun user experience that gives firms like Net-A-Porter the opportunity to speak to their audience that will provide greater recognition of their brand, more eyeballs on their site and increased sales,” Mr. Dean said.

“[In addition], affluent consumers are some of the best online shoppers today," he said. "They are the ideal customer to benefit from these type of techy ads."

Final Take
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York