November 2, 2021
Italian fashion house Versace is inviting its audiences to indulge in the holiday spirit and seasonal luxuries with a new film campaign and gift guide.
As the holiday shopping season gets under way slightly earlier this year, brands are kicking off the festive period with themed, creative messaging. The “Versace on Ice” campaign follows a figure skater as she prepares and executes a routine, fully outfitted in pieces from Versace’s holiday collection.
"There is a gracefulness about Versace’s holiday campaign that celebrates dance, music, ice skating, sports, holiday colors, outdoors and entertainment," said Rebecca Miller, founder/CEO of ARTful Communication, New York. "It feels warm, joyful and inclusive as if the audience was personally invited to participate in the performance.
"The storytelling expresses hope while not intruding and does not shout 'buy,'" she said. "Just, 'enjoy our wishes and our delightful product—its colors and product assortment in unexpected places.'"
The vignette opens with archived-style footage of models getting hair and makeup done, audience members waiting restlessly and apparel items getting prepped — all elements of the behind-the-scenes of a runway show.
While getting her makeup done, one model stares into a Versace snow globe as the tune of Tchaikovsky’s recognizable “Swan Lake” begins.
Standing behind a tall, dark curtain, the model removes her black Versace robe to reveal a skating outfit. She steps out on the ice, and performs a high-energy routine to an electronic musical piece.
A model preps for her Versace on Ice performance
Scenes of the skater spinning with Versace bags, scarves and jewelry quickly flash before the audience, with close-up shots of her sharp footwork, culminating when the film reveals she has etched “Versace” into the ice with her skates.
She raises her arms in the air, as to signal she has completed her performance, and the screen fades to black.
After a beat, the campaign humorously returns to the ice rink, where an ice resurfacer, colloquially referred to as a Zamboni, is smoothing the ice. With Muzak, or elevator music, as the soundtrack, the mundanity of the scene is distinctly juxtaposed with the electric nature of the performance.
For its 2020 holiday campaign, Versace embraced the excitement of heading home during a time when people around the world craved the comfort and familiarity of home and their loved ones.
Due to the pandemic, many brands took more meaningful approaches to their marketing strategies. Versace was inspired by the sentiment of returning home for the holidays through a colorful, festive road trip (see story).
This year, with less restrictions on travel and socialization, the brand seems to be reaching for more opulence, energy and glamor as people begin returning to the new normal.
"Last year’s campaign focused on traveling home for the holidays which, given the limitations of COVID, might have had less appeal to Versace’s global audience," Ms. Miller said. "This year’s campaign feels more fitting reflecting where we are at in our own evolution with COVID and our personal environments.
"The visual message is much stronger and on point with the traditions behind season."
Versace’s holiday collection includes a plethora of gifts for women, men, children and the home, ranging from $75 to $3,750, and is currently available on the brand’s online site.
Season of luxury
With early holiday shopping events and shopping, various sectors are beginning to roll out holiday-themed campaigns and new festive offerings to get consumers in the seasonal spirit.
Italian fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo turned the clocks forward, jumping ahead to the wintry holiday season to celebrate the warmth of friendship and joy of being together.
Through a collection of still imagery and short films, Ferragamo’s “It’s Movie O’Clock!” campaign shares the story of a group of friends who have reunited for dinner and a movie. Showcasing various items from the brand’s holiday collection, the cast of actors, composers and musicians emote festivity and warmth (see story).
Auberge Hotels & Resorts' Commodore Perry Estate is showcasing its newest experiences just in time for the upcoming holiday season, including the traditional mansion lighting, gifts from Santa on Christmas Day and more.
Throughout the month of December, guests visiting the Austin, Texas property can participate in several holiday events, from indulgent to immersive, in spreading the season cheer (see story).
"Historically, retailers relied on 20-35 percent of their annual revenue to come from holiday sales," Ms. Miller said. "Ecommerce, resale sites and a shortage of products this holiday will impact those figures and luxury brands may have an advantage in that they are desirable and often gifted on special occasions throughout the year.
"Marketers need to understand their customers' desires and respond with focused engaging content driven campaigns that speak to them in order to increase emotional connection to their brands through-out the entire year," she said. "What better time that around the holidays when emotions are prevalent."