June 14, 2013
Retail chain Saks Fifth Avenue is luring consumers to its New York department store’s 10022-Shoe salon to visit the new Christian Louboutin boutique, which is the brand’s first shop-in-shop in the United States.
The young, female characters in the video seem to portray the target digital audience of both Saks and Louboutin. Though the video has a light-hearted message, it could serve as a soft reminder for consumers to visit the new boutique after its unveiling June 13 and, therefore, drive store traffic.
"We are always looking for new ways to excite our customer and enhance her experience at 10022-Shoe," said Dayna Ziegler, vice president and divisional merchandising manager of women's shoes at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. "We are very excited to launch this gorgeous Louboutin shop."
Saks produced the video teaser and shared it with its customer base via email, social media and its Web site.
The retailer also began to use the #SaksLovesRedSoles across its social media channels to spark interest in the new Louboutin shop-in-shop.
The French footwear brand is sharing the video to its social followers as well.
“Video has the power to inspire,” said Jason B. Cohen, executive vice president at The O Group, New York. “When it comes to video and shopping, video uses that power to push consumers' buttons and get them in the mood to buy.
“In this case, it creates a whimsical and exciting narrative with a fun twist at the end, along with a new opportunity to shop a beloved brand,” he said.
The 80-second spot starts in Paris where a group of stylish, young women are lined up outside of Mr. Louboutin’s workshop. Inside, he is painting the soles of some pumps red.
One woman makes off with a pair, but the paint on the soles is still wet. Therefore, she leaves behind red shoeprints as she walks through the city.
Cleverly, the video shifts from showing the Paris skyline to the New York skyline. The red footprints around the city all lead into Saks.
Abruptly, the video flashes to Mr. Louboutin sleeping, so it seems as if the sequence was a dream. He wakes up and smiles at the camera.
Then the quote, “It’s not just a dream…” appears on the screen, followed by the #SaksLovesRedSoles hashtag.
“If you think about shoes, they exist for a functional purpose,” said Courtney Albert, management consultant at Parker Avery Group, Atlanta. “When shifting to luxury shoes and especially women's shoes, the focus shifts from functional to emotional.
“A video, as opposed to a static image, can better convey the shopping experience and also lets the retailer feature a wider assortment of product,” she said.
“Additionally, when you have the designer featured serving in the role as the expert, the path to purchase becomes more compelling.”
Louboutin worked with New York architectural and product-design company 212box to design its boutique in Saks. The 1,641-square-foot space features design elements such as arched niche walls, red carpeting, hand-carved Burma teak wooden tiles and a storefront window.
Saks regularly prompts its digital audience to visit the 10022-Shoe salon at its New York flagship store in efforts similar to the Louboutin compaign.
Last summer, the retailer got all eyes on the then-newly-revamped shoe department through email, digital, social and mobile efforts to encourage foot traffic while stirring up a conversation online.
The retailer sent out two engaging email campaigns dedicated to its fall shoe collections and held a 30-day Instagram contest (see story).
Also last year, Saks held a 10-day caption contest to promote women’s spring footwear on the brand’s shoes-only Tumblr page dedicated to its shoe floor (see story).
Now that Saks has a new reason to market its shoe floor, it is creating awareness with efforts that span all of its digital properties.
“This is a great example of how a luxury brand can strategically leverage a well-known and easily identifiable asset, like red soles, across email, video and social to drive messaging around a specific event,” Mr. Cohen said.
“Also, prominently featuring Christian Louboutin himself [in the teaser video] allows viewers the opportunity to make a person-to-person, emotional connection to the content,” he said.
Tricia Carr, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York