December 27, 2013
Luxury marketers bolstered in-store events with digital dimensions and unveiled large-scale, image-defining campaigns during the fourth quarter of 2013.
Michael Kors led the fight against hunger, Lexus twisted a familiar narrative to fit its new marketing style and Swarovski initiated an ambitious global campaign centered on supermodel Miranda Kerr. Overall, multichannel campaigns exuded a holiday spirit that tightened each brand's image on multiple fronts.
Here are the top 10 luxury brand multichannel marketers of the fourth quarter of 2013, in alphabetical order:
Cartier: French jeweler Cartier is animating holiday sentiments in its fourth annual “Winter Tale” video that frames its jewelry and watches in an enchanted and playful light.
Debuting Nov. 19, the fourth installment of a Winter Tale continues an ongoing tradition that Cartier enthusiasts look forward to each winter season. Continuing, but reinterpreting, a festive campaign stirs up enthusiasts' nostalgia and becomes part of their holiday season routine.
To amp up anticipation, Richemont-owned Cartier used Instagram to release teaser materials of this year’s Winter Tale. Cartier then posted the teasers on its Facebook page to reach a wider audience.
The first image showed a playful behind-the-scenes photo of the video’s stars, a panther cub and Cartier page, looking pensive while on the set of Winter Tale. Cartier also released an approximately 10-second clip on its Instagram that revealed slightly more by including the opening scene and quick shots of the panther cub and page.
Cartier has also featured its panther cub in holiday print campaigns in leading publications such as Architectural Digest and Town & Country.
Harrods: London department store Harrods gave its winter sale consumers the royal treatment with a red carpet event held during the hours before the store opens Dec. 26.
The retailer served complimentary hors d’oeuvres and hosted live entertainment outside of its store on Dec. 26 to raise consumers’ spirits and get them in the mood to spend.
Harrods turned the line outside of its store into a red carpet affair, with butlers serving food to those waiting to shop the sale.
The department store enlisted Michelin-star chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin to create the food for the event. The brothers whipped up two canapés, a smoked salmon belini and a poached quail eggs benedict.
Harrods posted a video of the chefs discussing their menu to its Facebook page, in which they mention it took them a year to develop the cure for the salmon. The Galvins say the breakfast hors d’oeuvres will give shoppers energy for the sale.
Lexus: Lexus injected some of the zest and energy brimming in its "Lexus Design Disrupted" efforts into the traditional "December to Remember" sales event to marry two sides of the brand's image.
The three television spots chop up pithy narratives with creative transitions and feature the modern fashion and pop music that played a continual role for the brand in 2013. Since consumers cherish predictability during the holiday season, it's smart that Lexus is able to use the same foundation as previous years while tilting the angle to keep things fresh.
The three TV spots in the campaign are called "Precision," "Artistry" and "Craftsmanship" and diverge from one another in subtle ways. Each video features vibrant colors, creative transitions, music by Grammy nominated artist Sam Sparro, some take on a big bow being crafted and Lexus models sporting the bow that is a hallmark of December to Remember campaigns.
This year's campaign also contains radio, print and online components through Jan. 2. Out-of-home extensions include placements in DC Gallery and Times Square, according to Lexus.
The automaker continued its "Check in for Charity" social component. A custom application accessible through Facebook and Foursquare allowed fans to check-in to generate donations.
Michael Kors: U.S. apparel and accessories label Michael Kors furthered its "WatchHungerStop" campaign through a month-long initiative that included giving away T-shirts at five stores on World Hunger Day Oct. 16, stepped up social media efforts and encouraged consumers to make small donations when purchasing products.
T-shirt recipients were able to get their pictures taken in the Phhhoto Stations at participating locations, which were then live-streamed on Times Square billboards and on the WatchHungerStop microsite.
Also on World Hunger Day, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was presented with the first Michael Kors Award for outstanding community service at the annual God’s Love We Deliver Golden Heart Awards Dinner in New York. Designer Michael Kors and Vogue editor in chief and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour presented the award.
Last year, Mr. Kors donated $5 million to the charity God's Love We Deliver to assist with a major renovation of its Manhattan headquarters.
The WatchHungerStop microsite can be found at http://www.destinationkors.com/watch-hunger-stop. On the microsite, visitors can learn about the campaign's progress, read uplifting stories, watch videos and donate to the cause.
Mulberry: British apparel and accessories brand Mulberry took over five windows at London department store Harrods to tell a branded fairy tale to engage consumers this holiday season.
These “Festive Fairy Tale” windows were a part of a larger holiday campaign by Mulberry, and served as the theme for the brand’s gift guides. By infusing storytelling into its window display, Mulberry was able to tap into consumers’ nostalgia for their childhoods during the holiday season, and inspire entry-level consumers to choose Mulberry when they shopping for presents.
The window display, brought to life by set designer Shona Heath, featured a magical mulberry tree with golden acorns, which turns animals that touch it to gold. Consumers who visited the pop-up shop put in orders to have Mulberry leather items monogrammed and picked out fairy tale-themed gift tags and stickers that also feature woodland creatures.
Mulberry has transformed its Web site for the holidays, using the fairy tale theme to display its gift guides.
To enter the contest, consumers guessed which fairy tale Mr. Leech read based on a short video clip. Once they answered which story he read, users then selected a Mulberry bag and entered to win their favorite.
Neiman Marcus: Neiman Marcus donated ten percent of proceeds from The Ken Downing Gift Collection to benefit 41 art-based youth charities around the country from Nov. 20 to Dec. 25.
The 37 gifts selected by Neiman fashion director Ken Downing for the campaign ranged in price from $28 to $1,795 and included brands such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Moncler.
The Heart of Neiman Marcus program aims to “impact educational performance and creativity and enhance community health.” The retailer partners with local organizations to get a better understanding of where to allocate funds.
Neiman’s exclusive items in the collection included an alligator bi-fold wallet, a men’s silk two-piece pajama set, a cashmere throw, an elephant cookie jar, a cased glass box and Chanel’s L’edition Ultime Nail Set.
Rent the Runway: Rent the Runway jumped from its online-only foundation Oct. 17 with a new showroom in Henri Bendel's New York flagship store that provides consumers with a guided and efficient way to find the right outfit.
The 1,400-square foot, second-floor showroom features a rotating collection of the retailer's 175 designer brands and lets consumers work directly with Rent the Runway Go-To Girl personal stylists.
Consumers can now travel to a showroom to try on dresses prior to renting them. Also, Rent the Runway Go-To Girl personal stylists will be able to work directly with consumers, whereas only distanced interactions were possible before.
Consumers can book appointments and create style profiles at www.renttherunway.com/henribendel. Style profiles include information such as size, shape and style preferences.
Go-To Girls will be able to view the style profile prior to appointments to learn about the customer. The stylists will provide one-on-one consultation while customers try on dresses and search for an outfit. Each fitting room contains a scanner and iPad so that stylists can upload dresses to a customer's "virtual closet." Notes can be added to each dress in the virtual closet and the closet can be viewed at any time.
Stuart Weitzman: Footwear label Stuart Weitzman celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its signature 5050 Boot through a digital pop-up shop with online off-price retailer Gilt Oct. 17 - Nov. 5 to reach a global audience while experimenting with a new ecommerce tactic.
The digital format allowed Stuart Weitzman to build product awareness on a scale that bricks-and-mortar locations are not able to match. The label’s digital pop-up approach may become a trend among other online retailers looking to set themselves apart from competitors.
Stuart Weitzman designed 10 styles specifically for the capsule collection that are available exclusively to members of Gilt. The 10 styles ranged in price from $598 to $10,000 for the Safari 5050 Boot.
To announce the collaboration, the two parties posted on their social media pages to promote and spread the word about the 5050 Boot pop-up shop. Both posts included links to the pop-up at http://www.5050bootcamp.com/.
Swarovski: Precision-cut crystal maker Swarovski initiated a 25-country, multichannel campaign featuring supermodel Miranda Kerr and original music by singer, song-writer and producer Pharrell Williams that aims to spread awareness and enliven the brand's image.
The campaign's print advertisements began in November followed by a television commercial that aired in France, Italy and Hong Kong. The campaign's use of vivid images, music by a well-known producer and pliable content allows it to seamlessly travel from one country to another.
In the commercial, Ms. Kerr wears select pieces of jewelry such as bracelets, a necklace and earrings and dances to music by Pharrel Williams. Red, pink, yellow and white flower petals fall all around Ms. Kerr and the background changes colors and textures.
Swarovski has added social components to the campaign since its debut.
Valentino: Italian fashion house Valentino took an unconventional approach to promote the opening of its new store location in Shanghai by unveiling an exclusive collection Nov. 15 that will be available at this location months before it hits the shelves in other stores.
The Maison’s creative directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, designed the Shanghai collection that premiered Nov. 14 on the Bund and via a live-stream on its Web site. By live-streaming the show, Valentino gave consumers around the world the opportunity to participate in the opening of its newest flagship even though they cannot be there in person.
Leading up to the live stream, the brand posted a video series titled “L’Unico” on its Facebook page to take viewers behind-the-scenes as the tailors created dresses from the Shanghai collection. The first of three videos begins with the tailors going to work, walking through the streets of Rome.
Once inside the atelier, the tailors get to work sketching, creating patterns, cutting fabric and sewing. Viewers then see a model walk in the created dress in front of Ms. Chiuri and Mr. Piccioli, as they inspect the creation before locking up for the day.
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York