Think big: Why luxury brands are betting on giant marketing spectacles

by Samuel Pordengerg Feb 1, 2023 News
Think big: Why luxury brands are betting on giant marketing spectacles

A bunch of houses, cannon stations and planets, with a frog-like face and a wagging tongue, was put up next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris last week, drawing a lot of people to look at it. There is an inflatable in London. It is a giant replica of Howl's Moving Castle, the Japanese fantasy film animated by Studio Ghibli.

One of the messages is uplifting. Jonathan Anderson said in a statement that he was crafting fantasies to create alternative realities.

A giant inflatable is going to travel from Paris to London.

Photo: Thomas Samson/Afp via Getty Images

Several luxury brands invest in large-scale stunts that act as high-profile marketing stunts. In January, to celebrate its latest collaboration with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, Louis Vuitton rolled out a host of global activations, which included a pop-up at London's renowned department store. There is a statue by the entrance of Harrods that looks like it is painting the building.

Customer retention can be increased by large-scale marketing campaigns. It can be difficult to measure and scale a project of this size. The challenge of minimising the environmental impact is still a challenge and many brands have yet to apply their sustainable objectives across all of their marketing activities.

Creating a scene

Selfridges is next to a Spanish luxury label that is staging a multi-dimensional experience that includes a pop-up in The Corner Shop. In Selfridges's exhibition space, dubbed as The Cloud Room, visitors can discover the film's background art by Studio Ghibli, go behind-the-scenes of the campaign and explore the making of the moving castle bag.

The 'otherworldly' spectacle created by the likes of Louis Vuitton and Loewe offer an all-encompassing environment that engages curious passersby, introducing the brands to a potential new demographic. The opportunity to highlight their personality is given by them. Louis Vuitton is a brand that is driven by a sense of wonder and joy according to her. The characters from Howl's Moving Castle are playful.

This approach is more powerful than traditional out-of- home advertising, which gained traction during the Pandemic as consumers experienced screen fatigue, but essentially remains a one-way broadcast. Experiential campaigns are an invitation to participate with the brand. The most effective marketing stunts are similar to the hyperphysical retail spaces created by brands. It makes a brand more memorable to consumers.

Getting it right is hard. If it's not executed well, it's not going to translate and that can hurt the brand. Smaller brands may not be able to take those risks. Because of a lack of real-time actionable data, marketers have limited visibility on who the customer is, where they came from and whether they will buy a product in store or online. It's a challenge to prove a clearROI.

Cross-channel experiences are being prioritised by brands to capture the digital audience. Louis Vuitton encourages visitors to download a dedicated app where they can play mini games to earn digital seeds which are then grown virtually and used to earn collectibles and unlock rewards. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Statue of Liberty in New York, and the Tower Bridge in London are some of the landmarks that will be covered in an augmented reality filter.

Louis Vuitton has created sculptures all over the world, and has collaborated with other companies on augmented reality.

Photos: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images; Snap Inc

Only a few of the Vuitton x Kusama products are available for purchase online, which makes it hard for shoppers to find the limited edition pieces. Zoha Zoya is group creative director and head of experience design at R/GA, an advertising giant whose clients include Moncler and Stone Island. It's possible to build a relationship with your customer that goes beyond a one-off activation.

Other brands are experimenting with augmented reality. The storefront at the Beverly Hills store was brought to life by a mural inspired by the Spring/ Summer 2022 Rodeo Drive collection. Serdari thinks that filters can only go so far. If they were only about augmented reality, they wouldn't be a success. It has to be something that is unique and different.

Future uses

As pressures grow for the fashion industry to respond more urgent to environmental concerns, brands and retailers need to take a more transparent and sustainable approach to marketing

The use of materials, energy and carbon emissions are the main reasons why physical activations are wasteful, according to the CEO of Eco- Age. She says that it doesn't mean that brands should stop all in-person marketing activities.

An external agency was used to store parts of the pop-up installation at a beauty company. The parts were destroyed because the brand couldn't find another use for them. They said they paid through the nose for disposal and storage. Louis Vuitton wouldn't comment on what will happen to the statue once it's done. All components from installations are under the control of the brands.

The Beverly Hills store of Burberry has an augmented reality filter.

Photo: Burberry

There are signs that brands are rethinking their marketing practices. Selfridges has set guidelines for its design and construction teams in order to source sustainable materials. The tie-ups with Paco Rabanne and Victor Vasarely are examples of the components that have been reinvented.

Repurposing their elaborate installations has been more involved by brands. The brand created a huge version of its perfume charm case for the launch of By Far. It is now used as a focal point for the brand. Alexander McQueen reuses its show set and Prada recycles materials that make up its runway shows.

Many brands are not applying their commitments across multiple areas of the business. She thinks that marketing is often overlooked. Consumers and the media are always looking for new things. Every season, brands are expected to come up with something new. They need to think about how to make it last longer and where they can use it. How do you recycle without feeling like you're doing the same thing over and over again?

Serdari suggests that brands could reduce waste by keeping components from installations in their archives. Fashion brands are making a lot of money. It should not only be about preserving the sketch and design of the dress, but also the media and entertainment that they produce, which is a part of the brand's history.

Product and manufacturing are the focus of the discourse when it comes to discussing sustainable issues. Most of them haven't put the whole story together and haven't managed to incorporate sustainable initiatives. To do so would make their campaigns even more effective and will make them even more popular with consumers.

The article was first published on the website

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