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Ralph Lauren showcases digital magazine in New York Times mobile takeover

September 6, 2011

Ralph Lauren takes over the New York Times ad


American lifestyle brand Ralph Lauren Corp. has bought out a solo sponsorship of The New York Times iPad application in September with content including streaming and embedded video and commerce from Ralph Lauren Magazine.

The app takeover includes shopping and video as well as a letter from founder and chairman/CEO Ralph Lauren, his car collection, a poem and the principles of craftsmanship. The magazine can be found in advertisements throughout the New York Times app.

“This campaign marks the first full-month takeover for The New York Times app, a move that's even more exciting because Ralph Lauren's Polo unlocks the paywall, giving non-subscribers access to select sections of the New York Times,” said Elena Perez, director of marketing at Medialets, New York.

"We often talk about how the unique creative capabilities of smartphones and tablets, including but of course not limited to touch interactions -- video and the use of the accelerometer [which] draw consumers deeper into the brand experience," she said. "But it's the ability to execute those capabilities amidst premium content within premium app properties to affluent audience that creates an extraordinary opportunity for luxury brands.

"Plus, mobile already has an advantage over online display in terms of the ration of content to ad placements -- the lack of clutter helps drive impact. A full app takeover takes that advantage to the next level and can offer additional benefits, such as in this case, access to subscriber content."

Medialets enabled the banner ad and creative for this Ralph Lauren campaign.


Tapping on the banner ad takes consumers to a full-screen  table of contents.

Selecting an option will bring consumers to a short text description and video as well as striking images and detailed product and model shots.

Users can swipe their fingers across the screen to get to the next section, or tap on the arrows at the bottom of the screen to move throughout the content.

When consumers reach the Spring 2012 runway show page, they are notified of a live-streaming runway show Sept. 15 exclusively on the app.

Users are also able to shop directly within the ad.


Commerce capabilities in the app

“What really makes this creative unique is the built-in shopping bag directly in the ad,” Ms. Perez said. “Consumers don't need to tap-through to a Web site to complete the transaction.

“Everything they need is right there, in the app, in the ad,” she said.

Consumers are also able to read about how Ralph Lauren timepieces and fine jewelry are made. There are also campaign videos to accompany.

Another interesting feature are the sections on fine tailoring and leather craftsmanship.

Affluent consumers often want to know what goes into their suits and how they are made. This can help give insight as to why they are so highly-priced.


Tailoring section of the app

In this ad, users can view videos on made-to-measure suits and hand-cut leather.

There are sections on Polo Ralph Lauren, the brand’s slightly less-expensive lifestyle brand and the RL Gang, a children’s book featuring clothes from the newest Ralph Lauren kid’s collection.

Eye full in Paris

Apart from apparel and brand background, the banner ad gets personal to show branded personality.

For instance, the brand shows Mr. Lauren’s personal car collection.

The brand’s creative director and founder, a well-known car collector, shares his “moving art” and gives background information on classic cars such as the 1955 Jaguar XKD and the 1996 McLaren F1 LM.

Users can take a virtual tour of the Ralph Lauren museum exhibit, L’art d’auto, in France (see story).

The ad features a Kindred Spirits poem about animals and their relationship to humans.

The last section features Mr. Lauren’s Paris flagship store and restaurant.


Meet Ralph Lauren in Paris

Consumers are given contact information to call for a reservation and for directions.

“Consumers have come to expect rich, compelling experiences from their mobile advertisements particularly in premium properties, like The New York Times, that embrace mobile's cutting-edge,” Ms. Perez said.

“But this Polo Ralph Lauren campaign takes that depth to the next level by providing a really immersive experience – a catalog – of Polo Ralph Lauren products,” she said. “The imagery and videos are captivating and the scrolling navigation guides users seamlessly through the creative.

“A banner that is well-executed both creatively and technically and delivered to the right audience at the right time can be a very effective means of increasing a brand's presence."

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York