Now December is in full swing, fashion brands are quickly getting into the Christmas spirit by launching advertising campaigns in time for the holiday season. From launching campaigns with WhatsApp to featuring cameos from The Muppet Show characters, the fashion industry is becoming increasingly creative – and even good-humoured – to win consumer approval this year.
Short Films Favoured By Both the High Street & The High End
Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director for retail performance analysts Springboard, suggested that the high street resurgence could have been caused by consumers’ increased interest in ‘experience’ culture. “Black Friday is still changing ... The overall story seems to be that stores are holding their own and the move towards experience is helping, because once people are out they are more likely to visit a store,” she told Drapers.
This year, H&M commissioned all-star director Wes Anderson to create a short festive film in his signature quirky style. The result is Come Together – a small masterpiece, running for less than four minutes, starring Adrien Brody. Brody plays a conductor on the H&M Lines Winter Express railway, wherein delays mean everyone onboard might end up missing out on their plans for Christmas but, fortunately, Brody saves the day. While there is some evident H&M branding, the thrust here really is the story and the emotions that come with it – a bold move for a retailer whose advertising strategies are normally more focused on promoting their low prices and on-trend, constantly updated stock.
At the opposite end of the price scale, Burberry and Mulberry have both produced short films that represent their British heritage. Mulberry’s film, It’s What Inside That Counts, celebrates the family quirks and high emotions that are all too relatable during the festive period. All of the characters in the film, which is split into two parts, are played by child actors, which gives the storyline an amusing tilt and an endearing feel. In just over three minutes, Burberry’s festive film, The Tale of Thomas Burberry, chronicles the life of the brand’s founder, Thomas Burberry, in all its highs and lows; directed by Academy Award winner Asif Kapadia and starring the likes of Sienna Miller and Dominic West, it’s a wholly moving, cinematic effort that seems perfectly aligned to Burberry’s roots in British culture.
Star Quality and Humour from Michael Kors, Kate Spade and More
Kate Spade, meanwhile, wins in the humour stakes, as the brand has chosen Miss Piggy to head up its holiday campaign for 2016. A series of videos have appeared on the brand’s social channels recently – some featuring Miss Piggy solo, others showing the iconic comedy character playfully bickering with the actress Zosia Manet and Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine. Deborah Lloyd, President & CCO of Kate Spade New York, has dubbed working with Miss Piggy, Mamet and Medine as “a joy” in a press release, adding that the women “embody our Kate Spade New York girl in a truly smart and playful way.”Featuring celebrities and models in any form of advertising campaign is a surefire way to draw attention to your brand, so it’s little surprise to see other brands following through with the same formula: ShopBop, for example, has enlisted Pretty Little Liars actress Lucy Hale to front its festive campaign, which focuses on party-appropriate dressing, and Tommy Hilfiger has once again selected Gigi Hadid as the poster girl for the brand’s ‘Holiday Voyage’ campaign.
Michael Kors has a reputation for partnering with some of pop culture’s hottest figures, and the brand’s holiday campaign for 2016 is no exception. ‘Snowed in with Taylor and Tate’ sees model Taylor Hill, and her dog Tate, forced to take refuge in a studio due to adverse weather conditions – cue Hill playing dress-up in Kors’s most luxurious AW16 clothes and taking selfies with the brand’s holiday season-ready gift options. Afterwards, viewers are encouraged to ‘Shop Taylor’s Picks’ online. The new video aligns with Kors’s ongoing interactive series The Walk, which offers consumers an immersive, fully shoppable experience. Participants are encouraged to share their Michael Kors purchases on social media using the #Sidewalkspotted hashtag.
Agent Provocateur Launches Through WhatsApp
One of the most interesting takes on holiday campaigns this season has come from Agent Provocateur, which has recently launched its ‘Menage a Trois’ service through WhatsApp, offering up the unique opportunity for couples to engage in a three-way conversation with an Agent Provocateur representative through the messaging platform. Sales representatives will initially chat to the couple over WhatsApp, in order to determine their tastes, budget and style preferences, before recommending products based upon these criteria. Agent Provocateur’s utilisation of WhatsApp is part of the brand’s all-encompassing holiday campaign, Naughty or Nice, which features an interactive video starring the actress Juno Temple, along with the remerchandising of Agent Provocateur’s bricks-and-mortar stores to fit into either the ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ aesthetic.
The Menage a Trois WhatsApp feature marks Agent Provocateur as the first brand to launch a campaign through the messaging app. Bridley Lipscombe, CEO of creative agency Cult LDN – who were taken on board by the British lingerie brand to master its holiday campaign this year – told Luxury Daily: “The initiative takes a revolutionary step into using the messaging platform to drive a campaign … WhatsApp was a natural channel to consider for Agent Provocateur and their consumer for many reasons, among which are that 1.6 billion people use their mobile devices to shop online globally, and a predicted 56 percent are choosing mobile to purchase presents in the run up to Christmas.”
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Image Source: Burberry