Right Brain, Left Brain Blog

11 posts categorized "Fashion marketing"

03 June 2011

Why Roland Bunce could be a PR coup for Next

The UK press has taken much delight in reporting the story of Roland Bunce. To bring you up to speed, Bunce is one of the contestants who took part in an online modelling competition with UK clothing retailer Next.

Next is a mid-price high street fashion name, present in most town centres across the UK. As part of its latest ‘Make me the Next Model’ competition, potential models can post photographs to a website for public vote. The highest scoring entries are shortlisted for final adjudication by jury and the winner gets to appear in a Next photo shoot and receives £2,000 for being good looking and popular enough to win the competition.

As marketing ideas go, this is a nice idea but fairly unremarkable. That is until 24-year-old Roland Bunce decided to take part. In modelling terms, Bunce is not what one might term ‘classically good looking’, but then since this is a competition open to the public, Bunce gave it a go and submitted his picture.

Next presumably wanted to encourage submissions from people of all shapes and sizes, but what they might not have counted on is the astonishing popularity of Bunce in the competition. His unlikely appearance in a competition of tall, dark and handsome men has struck a chord with the online audience, who have voted him into the top 10. To date his profile page on Next has been "liked" an astounding 32,000 times.

The UK press has reacted very strangely, with the Daily Mail claiming the competition has been sabotaged. The insinuation being that the competition is a mockery if Bunce wins. If the rumours surrounding the controversy surrounding Britain’s Got Talent are true, it’s nice to know that we can still have an honest competition in the UK.

Next were no doubt surprised – but since the final decision rests with a judging panel they can obviously pick a winner to suit their purposes, but I can’t help but feel that if Next had the guts to go with what seems to be the public favourite, there is massive PR potential in turning the Roland Bunce into a stylish man about town, kitted out in Next clobber.

I wonder if the people in charge are up to the challenge.

WHY IS THIS ON CREAM? Getting the public involved in a campaign is always going to be risky, but even the most unexpected result has potential – provided the brand involved has the vision to deal with and the backbone to see it through.

By Mark St. Andrew

13 May 2011

Topshop's virtual fitting room mirror

There have been several attempts over the years at using augmented reality and mirrors to allow retail customers to try on virtual clothes.  This one isn't perfect but is the most realistic that I've seen.  The gesture based interface also makes any lack of realism seem much more acceptable.


Via electricpig.co.uk and OMD

04 April 2011

Social Media Changing the Face of Luxury Brands?

Oscar de la Renta

When it comes to luxury brands, exclusivity is crucial to their survival as they thrive on their elite image. So how can these brands cope in today’s social media age where the power is shifting from the brand almighty to the consumer?

After all, marketers and so-called social media buffs all champion this new era as the time when consumers need to be listened to and appreciated. Many brands have even taken this a step further by giving up partial control, taking up the curious activity dubbed ‘co-creation,’ where consumers actually take part in the creation of the product.  

How can luxury and more specifically designer brands who rely so heavily on their unattainability survive in this brave new world? Few have succeeded. In fact, Gucci and Burberry are the only ones who come to mind. Burberry’s Art of the Trench website, where fans shared pictures and anecdotes via Facebook about the emblematic Burberry trench coats, was a triumph.

Thus, while every other brand is desperately trying to figure out how to jump on the social media bandwagon, luxury brands are increasingly pressured to follow suit. Gucci has succeeded in getting four million fans to “like” their page on Facebook. Does every single one of those fans own a Gucci product? Most definitely not, but social media is allowing the designer brands to communicate with their audience in whole new ways. These new digital platforms allow high-luxury brands to share pictures, videos, and all sorts of information about upcoming collections and events. While not everyone will be able to afford that five thousand pound dress, people can dream about it, talk about it, and who knows, maybe someday own it.

Oscar de la Renta is taking things to a bold new step, as it launches its first fragrance in ten years on Facebook. Indeed, in order to generate buzz over the new scent, these next few weeks will be dedicated to giving out samples of the perfume, Esprit d’Oscar, on a special section of the social media platform. Michele de Bourbon, Oscar de la Renta’s head of marketing for fragrance claims that through social media and its more affordable fragrance line, consumers have been able to “experience the world of Oscar.”

Although this is not the first fragrance to be launched via Facebook—Marc Jacobs launched a perfume through a Facebook game last year, it will be interesting to see how Oscar de la Renta fares with this digital launch. I certainly think it’s a brave move, but if the brand wants to make waves, it can’t do this halfway. Just giving out samples on Facebook seems a bit shy to me. But I’ll be watching this closely as this could mark a new era for the luxury industry and social media marketing.


See also "Watch Building Tutorial," where Jaeger Le Coultre creates an app that teaches people about the craft of luxury watch making and JCDecaux installs scented airport posters to deliver perfume sampling.

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