October 7, 2013
Luxury marketers called for greater participation and enacted educational endeavors to transform ordinary fans into loyalists and increase global awareness via mobile.
In the third quarter, luxury automakers leveraged Instagram's community-building potential with in-person events, while retailers and hotel chains used applications to cater to specific demographics. Overall, luxury marketers demonstrated a keen ability to build relationships and a willingness to venture into new areas.
Here are the top 10 luxury brand mobile efforts of the third quarter of 2013, in alphabetical order.
Armani - Italian fashion house Giorgio Armani extended its “Frames of Life” eyewear campaign by encouraging fans to create short videos on mobile video-sharing application VideofyMe using its own branded filter.
Through VideofyMe, consumers created their own short videos using the Armani color filter and shared them using the hashtag #FramesOfYou for a chance to be featured on Armani’s Web site. Launching campaigns that allow fans to create their own media can help strengthen relationships with brands and reach new customers through social sharing options.
VideofyMe allows users to create videos up to 10 minutes in length through their mobile devices. Once users have recorded the video, they can pick a color filter to add to the video and then share it via social media.
Armani partnered with VideofyMe to create its own black-and-white filter for videos that captures the attitude of its Frames of Life campaign. Armani chose the top three videos each week to display on its Web site.
Estée Lauder - Beauty marketer Estée Lauder relaunched its Advanced Night Repair serum campaign through a digital magazine on social magazine application Flipboard that includes editorial content from Hearst’s beauty editors.
Estée Lauder teamed with Flipboard to create content to support the relaunch of its Advanced Night Repair serum. The featured content found on Flipboard is likely to appeal to new consumers through the app’s innovative sharing and consolidating capabilities.
Users of Flipboard are able to access special content created by Estée Lauder to publicize the relaunch of its Advanced Night Repair serum.
Acting as a small, product-focused magazine, Estée Lauder’s Beauty Book includes 24 articles with a centralized theme on the restorative properties of sleep. The content was submitted by beauty editors from Hearst outlets including Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire, Elle and Elle’s Beauty Book, ABC News and XoVain.
Four Seasons - Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts united consumers by hosting a digital ice cream social through mobile image-sharing application Instagram and via events at 17 of its properties worldwide.
In addition to reaching a global audience, the “Insta-Meets” helped the hotels show off menu offerings. Although this was the second year that Four Seasons has hosted the Summer of Ice Cream Love campaign, this year the hotel chain added the social component of Insta-Meets to get more consumer attention worldwide.
Insta-Meets took place July 15-21, which led up to National Ice Cream Day July 21. A number of Four Seasons properties hosted Insta-Meets, where attendees shared images of the ice cream socials using the hashtags #IceCreamLove and #FSTaste.
Harrods - London department store Harrods is increasing its exposure in China by being the first British retailer to launch a WeChat social media account that conveys its latest content and special offers to Chinese consumers.
Harrods is building off the success of its Weibo blog to reach more consumers as China continues to be a power player in the luxury market. Through the use of local social media platforms, brands and retailers are able to appeal to local sensibilities.
The WeChat app will give Harrods access to more than 235 million Chinese users around the world, many of whom are unfamiliar with the retailer. For consumers who have already experienced Harrods through travel and ecommerce, they will be better connected to the retailer which may drive purchases.
Harrods is giving away prizes to the first consumers who sign up to chat with the retailer to celebrate the launch of its WeChat account. The prizes will be selected from Harrods’ special-edition Archive Collection that adds a modern twist to its vintage charm.
Kurt Geiger - Footwear label Kurt Geiger engaged fans with a branded, street-style themed Instagram video contest for the chance to win a shoe wardrobe.
The “#WhichStyleIsUpYourStreet” Instagram video competition asked users to film themselves wearing the label’s shoes while out and about.The contest ended Sept. 28 and the winner selected three different types of shoes from the London B Series, which comprises the Britton, Buckingham and Baker styles.
To enter the contest, Instagram users posted an image of themselves wearing their Kurt Geiger shoes on the street while out. Also, users tagged the label in their post and used the hashtag #WhichStyleIsUpYourStreet.
Lexus - Toyota Corp.’s Lexus promoted the 2014 IS vehicle with a collaboratively created, stop-motion Instagram film that draws on the perspectives of 212 fans to show the vehicle in a range of angles and tones.
Under the orchestration of a directorial team during Instagram’s #WorldwideInstameet, car enthusiasts and Intagram users from a variety of background blended their personalities in a film that colorfully animates the IS. By leveraging Instagram in this unifying fashion, Lexus grabbed the attention of a younger demographic and may trigger more collaborative, stop-motion films.
Jacob Rosenberg and the Bandito Brothers directed the film that features the song “Hefe” by The Hit House. A 2014 Lexus IS F Sport weaved throughout the lot to permit a wide range of views and so the vehicle appeared in a natural setting.
Marks were drawn on the grounds to instruct people on where to stand and at what angle to take shots of the vehicle. Directors facilitated this process with 3-D mapping technology.
However, participants could edit the shots however they wanted. The directorial team then printed out each still, clipped them to a huge board and sequenced them to create a coherent film.
Mercedes Benz USA - Mercedes-Benz USA invited five of Instagram’s most lauded users to ignite interest in the CLA model among young consumers by touring the United States in the vehicle.
The automaker opened up the journey to a sixth entrant who was selected by the five recognized photographers to boost fan interest in the promotions. The contest appealed to Generation Y consumers by using Instagram and allowing fans to participate in the campaign.
Each of the five photographers have a towering list of Instagram followers and photography backgrounds. Interested fans followed the journeys at the handle @mbusa, through contestant’s personal feeds or Mercedes-Benz’ other social media pages.
For five days the contestants had creative license to capture the spirit of their CLA-empowered journey. The sheer volume of Instagram followers eliminated unfair advantages that might have resulted from the contest's growing popularity.
Net-A-Porter - Online retailer Net-A-Porter looked to increase engagement among brand enthusiasts and tech-savvy consumers through The Netbook, a new invite-only social network application available for Apple devices.
Resembling a diary, The Netbook is free for download from the iTunes store, allowing users to follow friends and fashion trendsetters and share their favorite looks and pieces curated by Net-A-Porter. Creating a sense of community among brand enthusiasts will likely benefit the brand as it continues to grow.
A black snakeskin book appears when The Netbook app is launched. On initial download, users make a profile with a detailed overview of their sense of style and favored apparel and accessories brands.
Users can choose to follow or “admire” other Netbook users as a way to create a community of fellow brand enthusiasts with a similar sense of style. The homepage has four options for users to explore.
A “Global Feed” function gives users access to fashion news and “Admiring Feed” shows users what the people they admire love.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts - Starwood Hotels & Resorts kept up with the expansion of its Starwood Preferred Guest program in the brand’s fastest-growing market by releasing an Android application for Chinese consumers.
The app allows guests to better organize and coordinate their travel experience and is modified to reflect Chinese sensibilities. Ensuring that the brand’s multichannel advances in China enable a seamless experience will likely help the brand create loyal guests.
Starwood chose to design an Android app because Chinese mobile phones predominantly run on the Android operating systems. Members using the app have access to account information such as Starpoint balance, upcoming and past stays, as well as the ability to send a confirmation or other details to other members via text or email.
Throughout a stay, the app provides relevant travel information including directions, property dining options and other hotel amenities. Integrated social media channels including Weibo allow users to virtually “check-in” to their stay, remain connected to family and friends and engage through SPG’s various social media channels.
Vanity Fair - Condé Nast’s Vanity Fair increased its mobile outreach by releasing an iPhone application that coincided with the latest September issue featuring Diana, Princess of Wales and the introduction of many fall/winter campaigns.
Since September issues usher in fall/winter fashion advertising campaigns, this month’s Vanity Fair was likely sought after by both fashion enthusiasts and the magazine’s regular fan base. Vanity Fair likely launched the iPhone app to maximize readership in an issue that generates a lot of interest from the fashion world.
Vanity Fair readers who downloaded the iPhone application were able to access content found in the print and iPad version of the magazine’s style issue. Although the fashion ads are scaled down from the print version, the app offers many of the same ad campaigns that are found in the print version.
Featured on the cover is the late Diana, Princess of Wales. The front-of-the-book ads include the fall/winter campaigns of Giorgio Armani, Prada, Gucci, Dior and others.
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York