Hermès – Apps and Orange Boxes Observatory

Hermès is certainly having a great year. Following up from my last post on ‘Je Suis Un Cheval‘ and ‘Saddle Personaliser‘ here are the other initiatives by Hermès that certainly top the luxury fashion brand digital campaigns list.

The Break App

The App is best described by the brand on their YouTube channel as

A random dose of Hermès
The handy app to help you take a break from the harsh realities of office, airport or public transport…or even a dull date.
Pull the tie and let the game begin!

Each time the user opens the app there is a new surprise content in form of short films, games, tie pattern videos, funny stories, new collection info and even tutorials/tips on how to tie a tie. The fun part is that the user has to pull on the signature orange tie to reveal a new piece of content.

Silk Knots App

The Silk Knots App shows the latest collection of scarves and step-by-step guide on they can be worn in so many interesting ways, as we see in the video preview.

Besides the apps that focus on their signature collections, Hermès also launched an interactive version of their bi-annual magazine on tablets Le Monde d’Hermès.

Users interact with each piece of content and create an origami bestiary out of a selection of images and share these with their friends. The call-to-action drives readers directly to the store locator with the message saying ‘ Where can I find Le Monde d’Hermès?

After all this great work, there is finally some fun content on the Orange Boxes, the DNA of the Hermès packaging and corporate brand identity. I really like how Hermès tries to imagine what the Orange Boxes are actually up to. A series of short films show different shapes and sizes of Hermès boxes doing funny things representing a wild creature…I mean we see animation revealing animal-like behaviour in a fun way. The series of videos have been released on their Facebook page and on a playlist on the YouTube Channel. So far there are 6 videos, may be more to come.

To sum up, the color orange became a part of the Hermès packaging since the World War II post era, when there was shortage of paper supplies and orange colored bags were mostly more easily available and till today the color remains and the orange boxes have evolved over the years and look as luxurious as their products.

Hopefully there is an app coming on the ‘Orange Boxes’. Oooo! I have ideas….but won’t give it away here 😉

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Cool kids on Snapchat…including me ;)

Personal Branding – Let’s begin with this for a change

You can see personal branding right there in the title. No, I am not a celebrity. I am just using this post to begin with an apology to my followers/readers. I have been just too busy to write as my social life + my social apps & jobs have swallowed me way more than necessary lately. Now I have added another social network to my list, SNAPCHAT and I really want to tell you about this.

More Personal Branding – backed by some numbers. People love numbers…here you go! 

Currently I am touching 1800 pictures on Instagram, 7000+ check-ins on Foursquare/Swarm, 9500+ tweets, 2000+ on Facebook, 2000 Spotify songs & 10,000 photos taken on my iPhone since Sep’13. I have been a hyper cool kid, hyper connected, distracted, excited and even hyper ignorant to my blog lately. This will change. I will find time & get back on the scene. Now serious stuff starts below…ha!

Cool Kids (and Cool Brands) are on Snapchat

Here’s the thing. ‘Facebook is dead. Long live Facebook.’

Too strong a start for you? Well let me break it down for you – Facebook was my first social network crush, affair, love and an upcoming divorce. Facebook have come a long way and we have a lot to thank them for rather than point fingers at them but lately they have been on a spree of buying smaller networks to have control. Which is fine but then just because the number of audience on a new network is less, compared to Facebook, then it doesn’t mean that it is fail or has not taken off etc. Facebook has been around for way too long & is a giant roping in many services.

Those looking for something that is not owned by Facebook – please welcome Snapchat!

Snapchat is a bit of a breather. It does not leave you anything to look back to. It destroys the message as soon it is viewed and sent and another option is to have the message live up to 24 hours and then it is destroyed. It is a kind of social network that celebrates our short attention spans and impatient selves, thanks to technology.

Some of you now must be wondering…What is Snapchat and why am I still reading this? I am too lazy to download and check it out…but let’s see if this article saves some effort. It will. So before you close this window read on. And yes there are ‘filters’…I know you are suddenly interested now.

How does Snapchat work? (Tip: Download the app while you read below – if you want to learn on the go)

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Once you download and register – open the camera.

Top Navigation

Top left is to control the flash on/off and top right is to select front/back facing camera.

Center button

With one click you can take a picture and if you keep it pressed, you start taking a video. For images you can select for how many seconds should the image appear for your friends to see, max 10 seconds. (Short attention spans – an insight – you see!). The arrow down button is to ‘Save’ the image to your camera gallery. The boxy+ button is to add it as a story.

Text

To add text, simply click on the image once you have captured it and start typing. You can also select the doodling tool & doodle. Scroll through the color palette to select your choice of color.

 Filters

Once you have captured your Snap, slide to the right and it’ll give you basic filters and there’s even a black & white.

You probably get the gist of it. It is pretty basic & can be fast. You need to get used to it & be reactive and spontaneous to go to the level of ‘Storytelling’

 Snapchat Stories

Grubhub shared a story on Snapchat a few hours ago today. Those who see this post today, probably have a chance to experience it first hand today if you are able to still find it online. I took screenshots, because it is a very good example to show Snapchat users how they can get involved.

Snapchat2

It’s National Hot Dog day – so Grubhub decided to have some fun on Snapchat & engage the audience who will otherwise Snapchat Hot Dogs anyways today.

If you see these screenshots, which I have placed in the order as it appears, you’ll notice how within just 60 seconds, Grubhub has rolled out a call-to-action for their followers and even shown ‘HOW’ it has to be done on Snapchat.

If you click on a friend to chat to them, you can send the photo/screenshot to them that you saved in the camera gallery. (See Step 2 in the image)

This is a pretty neat example showing how brands can use Snapchat and involve people who are still trying to figure out how Snapchat works. There is a comfort level for the users and they address that some users still struggle to use Snapchat because a majority of us are so used to clear labels across the Internet. It is a good idea to walk the followers through and grow with them. Earn that comfort level side by side on a tool that many people I know just shun it because they don’t get how it works.

This is certainly not a flaw; it is the future of tech. Minimal design is the future and with wearables tech coming up in other news, icons & advanced technology, with even lesser and automated steps, will become more widespread. We have to adapt.

I hope these screenshots and an example of story help further to understand the user and marketer way of using Snapchat.

I know you must be thinking now…where did the Cool Kids part go. It is here.

Cool Kids on Instagram – ‘Casey Neistat’ and ‘Audi’

Ladies & Gentlemen, our famous New York based YouTube filmmaker – Casey Neistat, is the ‘coolest’ kid on Snapchat. And I am really trying to be cool like him on Snapchat…I am really cool otherwise too 😉

Why is Casey Neistat a cool kid on Snapchat?

Because he gets it & he is not afraid to try. No he did not pay me to write this and does not even know me. But may be he will know me now. I still don’t want to get paid for this advertising. I am a TRUE FAN!

Casey is one of the coolest filmmakers around and has embraced YouTube when it was taking off in all sorts of short-film making world online. He is well aware that Snapchat stories means videos too & bam, he picked it up just like we all should.

Casey uploads about 4-5 Snapchats daily, I guess. And has even incorporated it into his top social network business card. Here’s the screenshot I took that I really really love & would like to develop something similar for myself personally attached to my CV 😉

IMG_9965

Casey is making an effort to take out time & share interesting experiences on Snapchat. It’s like you can see what he is doing when he is not filming, how he prepares for films, some personal experiences that can be shared with public, cool restaurant reviews and for this non-stop entertainment he has even backed up the batteries. Disclaimer: Snapchat addiction can drain batteries. And if your personal stats are like mine on social networks, then get ready to charge your phone for an extra round during the day.

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We need cool kids like Casey to ‘assure’ the talent in our industry like celebrity endorsements, marketers, brand managers, interns, creative directors, account managers, clients, clients who don’t get social media, clients who want to be cool, clients who want to be clients, …’assure’ that it is OKAY to NOT BE PERFECT at all times & real-time is so much more fun and authentic than locking up copywriters in booths and making them go through 5 rounds of changes, just because people want to contribute more in terms of competition of giving feedback, rather than adding value & understanding what ‘social media’ actually means and make it so perfect that it is so numb and dumb and superficial, that it doesn’t really do its job.

Opinion. A very strong opinion.

I still believe that 70% of our digital industry still does not understand that social media can be so simple & the beauty of it is that it does not need to be superficially perfect. It is one of the rare areas where we are allowed to talk freely and let go sometimes, to keep it real and original.

I think you need to watch some of Casey’s videos to see just how cool it is to capture some moments in a natural way & this is the real storytelling, than micro managing every single dialogue that is shared by a brand and make it look like the most dry-cleaned and social proof message in the history of social media.

Another Cool Kid – Audi – also a well known brand 😉

So Audi is young and plays it safe when it comes to their brand. But on Snapchat, they are wayyyy off brand and have a refreshing unexpected side of sharing social content. Their recent partnership with ‘Pretty Little Liars’ is surprising & Audi is posting funny Snapchats with hints on the next season, in creative executions, that are not Audi like. ‘Emojis’ are the new copy here as clues to what will happen in the next episode.

pretty-little-liars-audi-clues-july-22-silence-of-e-lamb

Emotional Conclusion

Emotional because I am disappointed that brands are so slow on taking up Snapchat & I am in meetings discussing Facebook fan growth and reach at least 4 hours every week.

Can you creative directors please wake up the industry, learn and embrace such networks and follow a new way to express ‘brand’ content. Make it more fun, more reachable, more connected & more comfortable to consume. Desktop is so irritating!

General Disclaimer: I am a cool kid on Snapchat but only with my close friends for now. When I become a celeb, you can follow me 😉

Reality Disclaimer for the Brand Manager

I am not saying throw your brand guidelines out of the window. Use this platform to add an element of surprise & an opportunity to get noticed. Don’t be afraid to break through the clutter.

Already on Snapchat and ‘been there done that’…then download TUNEPICS. (Stay tuned for the next blog post on TUNEPICS)

Download Links to

Snapchat https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/snapchat/id447188370?mt=8

Tunepics https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tunepics/id796420945?mt=8

Snapchat Doodle Tip

Buy one of these for a very ‘fine’ DOODLING experience on Snapchat. Enjoy!

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Car Tube – What happens on the road, stays on the road!

This is not for real but if this does happen, will be well cool in a way 😉

Volkswagen: Hidden Frame

Volkswagen, in partnership with YouTube, exploits the YouTube’s technology, in a simple engaging way to show the difference its innovations like Side Assist make in people’s lives.

Done by their agency, AlmapBBDO.

Porsche 911 Projection Mapping

The Porsche center in Padova, Italy has created a beautiful projection on the new Porsche 911. I enjoyed watching this video so much online, I can only imagine how awesome it must be to experience it live.

Apparently, it has been done by an authorized Porsche dealer at an event and I must praise the interest and creativity put in creating this projection. The soundtrack and the projection theme build up and generate an interest where using a 911 car as a projection screen seems to be limited but the overall projection has come out great with the various emotional touches to the theme.

Social Media Revolution 2013

Hugo Boss 3D Fashion Show

Luxury brands are being praised a lot lately with regard to their approach with online marketing. Most luxury brands have shown the same high standards online as offline and at the same time have utilized the advanced technology with sense and without cheapening it. Jimmy Choo using Foursquare, Calvin Klein using QR codes, live streaming of fashion shows on Facebook tabs by Gucci, iPad apps and magazines and brilliant experiential websites by Chanel and Cartier to name a few are some good examples to prove the same. But for Hugo Boss it just did not stop here, they jumped in the 3D world before anyone else did to launch the “first 3D fashion show ever” to be streamed on Facebook , Website and Mobile.

3D can be very exciting if done well and if the content is interesting. FCUK, London launched 3D outdoor billboards in Oxford Circus, London last year outside their stores and people could see them by getting into the store, picking up the glasses and going out to see the billboards/window displays. Such a stunt raised footfalls in the store and created a lot of exciting buzz on the social networks. Hugo Boss has taken 3D to another level when their online audience have reached a decent number and worth spending billions to bring rich content to these users.

To create excitement of their 3D Boss Black Fashion Show Beijing they communicated using all the relevant and current online social trends like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, iPad, Websites and even enewsletters. To make the viewing even special they allowed interested users to order special limited edition Hugo Boss branded 3D glasses to see the show online.  Following is what I noticed was done well:-

Instagram

Considering that Instagram is quite new for the brands and many of them are still not using it even though they know they should because they are not sure what value it will bring and how to actually approach it. But we have many brands who have the budgets, their targets and their teams in place to exploit Instagram. Hugo Boss being one of them, used Instagram, in a subtle and non-intruding way to reach their followers. How many times have we seen people exploding the stream with their updates and a brand doing so with irrelevant or dull pictures will certainly not take us more than a few seconds to unfollow them unless we decide to go back if a reward is attractive enough to take the news feed exploding pain.

Hugo Boss created a 3D effect for all their content online even the videos. For Instagram all the pictures from the day of announcing 3D fashion show were rendered in a 3D fashion as shown below. Some of them actually looked cool with 3D glasses and some not so appealing. But all in all, it intrigued the current and potential users with the buzz about the 3D fashion show. In terms of content the pictures were interesting and had an “insiders” theme to it creating even more interest and wait for the LIVE stream of the fashion show.

Facebook 

Hugo Boss Facebook page offered not only the gossip and insiders content like photos, updates and videos but also allowed Facebook fans to create their own 3D photos with a hallmark of 3D Hugo Boss in Chinese. The design and steps taken to create a picture were minimum and to-the-point. It did not distract the user at all and used Facebook functionality to make it easy and quick for users to create their picture with no hassles. The share functionality was properly optimized for Facebook showing a screenshot of the image user created and giving apt description for the same.  A lot of times we see many brands being lazy about optimizing the share copy/content for whatever reasons and it is nice to see that Hugo Boss has made an effort to get all details on-brand and in the 3D campaign theme.

It does not just end here, there was a LIVE STREAMING on Facebook application and there were no unnecessary call-to-actions distracting the user. Hugo Boss skipped using a chat box for all users watching the show and decided to use that area to allow users to sign-up for more content following the show. This kind of makes sense for now since the 3D show was intriguing and could have generated a lot of comments but then at the same time it was not an extraordinary one as well, so I believe to avoid the embarrassment of having a low engagement on comments, why not get higher views and get the ones “actually” interested to sign-up for more news by the brand. There was also an option to view it in 2D for people who did not have the glasses.

Twitter

Hugo Boss exploited Twitter features by using animated 3D Twitter profile picture and updating the look with relevant messaging on banners and background designs. What I like the most about the way they used both Twitter and Facebook is that all the 3D glasses which were mailed to users who signed up were definitely cool and got a lot of recognition online via tweets and Facebook updates. Hugo Boss posted all the pictures being tweeted by their followers on Facebook as a separate album and shared engaged people with what they were missing otherwise not being on Twitter. A lot of retweets were seen by Hugo Boss promoting the gossip, news and user content on their 3D Fashion show. They even used a hashtag for the event #hugobossfashionshow and encouraged Instagram and Twitter users to use the same for sharing content and aggregating it all over one place and shows just a few results but it is also because the hashtag was not well communicated from the beginning I guess. Might be one of those last minute decisions to use it I guess.

Overall I would rate 7/10 for their Twitter and Facebook efforts, they could have communicated the hashtag earlier on, maybe used Promoted Tweets and given some Hugo Boss limited edition 3D design merchandise away celebrating the same. I bet many people would have “bought” that.

YouTube

On their YouTube channel Hugo Boss added a 3D flair by giving users an insight into the diary of “Miss Hugo Boss” and all the video content was in 3D. There were short clippings on the fashion journey to Beijing and was good to see how not only photos but even videos were transferred into a 3D effect for the show.

Website

The website used Facebook and Twitter widgets below the LIVE STREAM box to let users share their thoughts on the show. There seems to be a low engagement here but then I’m sure many people watched the show and were not necessarily into making comments. How do you actually make a comment while using 3D glasses anyways, you can just watch the show and leave the rest to after the show is over.

The 3D glasses

I managed to sign-up on time to receive 3D glasses by mail in time and I swear I loved the entire package. I have always signed up for goodies and limited edition launches for brands including many luxury brands but this one so far has been quite special. Hugo Boss stuck to their luxury roots and their perfection for details. They could have just handed over basic glasses but they took time to brand it, created package with 3D effect to headlines, branded 3D black awesome glasses and even mentioned the local timings for top cities like New York, London, Beijing, Berlin, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo.

To conclude, we can see how thought through the campaign was. I am sure it was supported by online banners as well but I did not really see any so no updates from me on that end. I really liked all the elements I got a chance to interact with and I hope we see more such campaigns from Hugo Boss and other top luxury brands, who can use the technology fashionably and create case studies and lessons for other brands to learn from. Even today we see many brands who do not consider the details and fail to deliver an overall great package but Hugo Boss has proved that details really count and can help to shape and add a positive effect to the overall theme and picture of a campaign as big as this.

Explore Hugo Boss on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube  and their website.