5 so-good-you’ll-wish-you-thought-of-them brand campaigns
Outdoor waterslides are great fun. But enjoying the thrill involves finding a slide, wearing a swimming costume, waiting for a sunny day (rare if you’re UK based) and putting up with the queues. It’s a bit long-winded.
But thanks to Topshop’s futuristic summer 17 campaign, you can now enjoy an epic waterslide experience and see the sights of London at the same time – all from the comfort of your shopping spree.
Visitors to the high street giant’s flagship Oxford Street store can (with the help an Oculus headset) zoom through London’s most famous retail destination via virtual reality – while also encountering lots of Topshop themed surprises along the way.
It’s kind of a shame it’s not real because it would be a great way to beat the crowds.
The campaign isn’t purely digital though; to begin the experience, shoppers sit on an inflatable rubber ring at the top of an actual water slide which extends out of the window and forms part of the display. Sections of the slide also emerge from walls and ceilings all around store.
To support the initiative, Topshop launched a branded Snapchat lens and will be hosting summery pop-ups in store too all season.
SMSW rating: 8/10 – this campaign nailed it by covering so many bases – using VR, social and offline, and keeping fans’ enjoyment in mind at all times. We want a go!
Plasters generally have negative associations. More often than not a kid has run too fast, jumped from too high or played too hard, and a parent is left less than impressed as they patch up the resulting cut or graze.
But Nike’s ready to turn perceptions of plasters around and banish Band-Aid blues for good.
In China, the brand has been giving out packs of plasters with purchases of children’s wear. The message it’s pushing is that a bandage isn’t something to be embarrassed or ashamed of – it’s a badge of honour, a symbol of bravery, courage and giving playtime your all.
The campaign coincided with Children’s Day (1st June) and aims to change the way ‘overprotective’ parents relate to sporting injuries.
Each plaster comes as part of a sheet that unfolds to reveal comic-book style designs. The bold graphics reveal cool stories featuring characters playing sports such as basketball and soccer. The stories are backed up by short animated films featuring cartoon versions of Nike-signed Chinese athletes.
With talk of rolling the campaign out to other markets, it looks like Nike is really hoping the ‘badge of honor’ message will stick.
SMSW review – we LOVE how counter-intuitive Nike were with this one, but how open parents will be to seeing any positive side to their kids’ sporting injuries remains to be seen. We’re not holding out too much hope.
3. WAH Nails
With a dazzling array of colours, effects, shapes, adornments and finishes to choose from, nail art decisions are serious business. There’s no exchange policy, no returning them if you change your mind – so some very careful thinking is required.
To give customers a helping hand, London boutique WAH Nails has turned to VR, creating an app that lets people browse through the ocean of combination options available using their own body as a temporary canvas.
The app works with both Samsung VR headsets and Leap motion devices, and allows users to experiment with digital designs until they find the one that’s perfect.
After that, they can either print out their selection on the WAH Nail Printer, order the colours for home delivery, or send the designs to an in-house technician to use there and then.
VR is a natural fit for the fashion and beauty world – how much easier would life be if we could all road-test an item of clothing or new hairstyle before taking the plunge? Endlessly.
And WAH’s making a smart decision by embracing try-before-you-buy tech fairly early; the better you make the experience, the more customers will value the brand. And that’s the single best way to keep them coming back. Fingers crossed this type of venture catches on.
SMSW review: rather than using tech for tech’s sake, WAH have used it here to give customers something they genuinely want and need, and that will enhance their brand experience.
It’s not new for brands to run competitions that end up giving them a treasure chest of user generated assets to delve into. It’s a win-win formula: the participant is happy because they either win or might win a prize, and the brand is happy because they get a massive non-promotional exposure boost. As long as the prize is enticing enough, or as many people as possible are rewarded in some way, this kind of initiative can work really well.
Next decided to go all-out with the prize for its 2017 summer street style competition, giving fans the chance to win a trip for 2 to the US or Caribbean. The bumper reward came with a catch though – rather than simply uploading one snap of them wearing a particular Next item, people were asked to put Instagram’s new-ish album feature to good use and share 3-5 photos.
While this definitely heightened the barrier to entry, the chance to win a holiday more than balanced it out.
The contest requirement earned a shoutout from us based mostly on the fact that it was such a clever way to triple the content from each entrant, and showcase the versatility of the items too.
There’s little that will drive someone to buy an item of clothing more than realising they can wear it many different ways, and proving that by showing real-life customers putting it to the test is definitely more powerful than simply saying “yo, this item is super versatile.
SMSW review: okay, so this one isn’t exactly groundbreaking but it’s still a cool example of a sneaky way to make a barrier to entry work in your favour.
Kids can turn most things into a toy. Chair? Cardboard box? Sure. It’s all fair game (literally). One thing that rarely gets talked up for its entertainment value though is… wallpaper. And for good reason too. Most of the stuff is boring AF for adults, let alone children.
But French home improvement retailer Castorama doesn’t agree. Mainly because its new ‘Magic wallpaper’ is extremely freaking awesome.
The product is scattered with loads of cute characters, which – when aligned with their app counterpart – each reveal a story.
So kids can decide which of the characters they want to read about each night, then just point their device at the chosen one, and enjoy the story that loads automatically through the app.
If picking only one little character is too tricky, they can choose two instead – which will trigger the release of a whole new tale.
Any and every combination of characters has its very own story attached, so no bedtime reading session need ever be the same.
Seriously, book cases better up their game. They’ve got some serious competition in Magic Wallpaper, and we would hate to see them left on the shelf.
SMSW review: this is so innovative, so fun and so useful – seriously, how/why has nobody done it before? We’d love to see this progress into VR integration in the future too, although good luck trying to get the kids to go to sleep if that happens.