Tag Archives: Asos

Former Topshop, Burberry exec launches Tunepics – an image-based music sharing app

22 May
Tunepics on the iPhone

Will.i.am, Kate Bosworth and Jamie Oliver are among some of the first celebrity names to be using a new music discovery app called Tunepics, while brands including Paul Smith, Chloé and asos are also on board.

Ever wanted to share a song with your photograph to help sum up the mood of the scene more than a filter alone can do? Now you can. Tunepics – launched in the app store for the iPhone and iPad today – enables users to pair images with relevant songs thanks to the iTunes API.

“Over 500 million pictures are uploaded to the internet every day, and over 100 million songs are downloaded each week. Together, that’s dynamite,” says the brains behind the new social network, Justin Cooke, former CMO of Topshop, now founder and CEO of innovate7. His aim is to help create the “soundtrack to your life”.

The experience is an intuitive one: you upload an image, place a filter over the top, then search the 35 million songs in the iTunes library by keyword to add them to your shot. The result appears in a feed alongside those from the friends you opt to follow; each one auto-playing a 30-second preview of the track as you scroll over it, as well as offering a ‘download’ button to buy the full version.

Posts can also be ‘re-tuned’ to your own followers, and shared via Facebook and Twitter where they will appear as a ‘tunecard’. For the likes of Will.i.am, that of course makes the app an appealing proposition for its potential to help drive record sales. It also provides a revenue stream for innovate7 through affiliate sales from iTunes (there’s no advertising model planned on the platform for now otherwise).

Cooke is particularly excited for the opportunity that lies in music discovery, both for consumers using the app and for young, emerging talent to start gaining recognition in a new way. On that basis, it launches with a specially commissioned soundtrack from British band, Ellerby, called Colour Me In.

But the premise of the app, which was built by agency AKQA, otherwise goes further than just being about music sharing and discovery. The aim is to provide multisensory experiences that evoke an emotional response.

“When you hear a picture, it changes everything; it awakens your senses. We want [Tunepics] to be like a cinematic celebration of your life,” said Cooke. “Music is the most powerful way to express the things we see and feel; nothing else comes close.”

To that end, the emotional response that posts receive from followers is also fully visible. Each is accompanied by an ‘emotion wheel’ (the design of which also makes up the app’s logo). This features a spectrum of 16 colours users can choose from, representing different feelings such as happy, moved, jealous and heartbroken.

Said Cooke: “A like doesn’t tell a story on its own anymore. When [Nelson] Mandela passed away, we didn’t want to say that we liked it, but that it moved us. This is all about enabling an emotional experience.”

Which is why this app also makes sense, from the off, for brands. Beyond the initial celebrity appeal, there are also the likes of Paul Smith, All Saints, asos, Dazed and Airbnb already on board.

The expectation is that embedding music into their social content will help heighten the moments they want to talk about. An example post from Paul Smith featured a collection of paint pots and the Rolling Stones track Paint it Black. “His response was that he couldn’t imagine life without music. That’s so powerful, and so true,” Cooke explained. In fact, a similar quote from philosopher Nietzsche features on the Tunepics introductory video from the innovate7 team: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Clare Waight Keller, creative director of Chloé, said the choice to join Tunepics from day one was an instant decision after a two minute pitch. “I just loved the added layers of emotion, simply adding music to an image really brings it to life. It’s like a way to capture what was going through your head in that moment.”

She also appreciates the emotion wheel. “[It] will be really interesting. ‘Likes’ have almost become empty gestures now, it takes no real thought to ‘like’ a picture. But to take the time to select the feeling the image inspired in you, shows real engagement. It’s a great way for Chloé to connect with our audience,” she explained.

Brands will also begin to benefit from the data said emotion wheel collates. Mood charts are displayed beneath each tunepic showcasing people’s responses, which suggests valuable consumer insights could be gleaned should the numbers creep high enough. Unlike Instagram, it is also possible to add hyperlinks to every post, which will prove quite the draw for the likes of Paul Smith again, and all those others with e-commerce capabilities.

It may come as no surprise to learn that prior to his role at Topshop, Cooke spent six years helping to lead the charge at Burberry – a brand not only with a longstanding music initiative in Burberry Acoustic, but with an unquestionable focus on emotive content tied to measurable business results.

Topping it all off is the fact those aforementioned filters are based on the weather – another theme familiar to Burberry fans. Every photograph uploaded can be enhanced with true-to-life overlays of the snow, raindrops, sunshine or even a rainbow.

“I’ve always had a fascination with music, colour, images and the weather, and how they influence our mood and emotions. I want people to be able to share the depth behind the moments they experience and to articulate all the ones that they dream of having,” Cooke explained.

Digital snippets: Nike, Burberry, Selfridges, DKNY, John Lewis, Burt’s Bees

4 May

It was perhaps Nike that was the buzziest of brands over the past couple of weeks, if you take into consideration both the successful launch of its unofficial World Cup campaign, Winner Stays (as above), and the rumoured shift in strategy for its FuelBand wearable device. That latter news reported the brand is laying off 70-80% of the fitness tracker’s hardware team in a bid to focus on software and the NikeFuel metric instead. A further interview with Nike President Mark Parker added fuel to the fire on a big partnership with Apple.

Burberry meanwhile was another brand with various stories to follow. It opened its new Shanghai store to much theatrical, multimedia fanfare; pushed yet another social tie-in via WeChat; launched an online store on Alibaba’s Tmall; and was announced as one of the first brands to advertise using Instagram video. And if that wasn’t enough, Angela Ahrendts just made that move officially over to Apple. “Did you notice?” asked the FT.

Safe to say, some other companies were up to things too. Here are the best of the fashion and tech stories not to be missed…

  • Selfridges launches biggest ever beauty campaign with Google+ partnership [Campaign]
  • DKNY shoppers go product hunting with Awear Solutions chips [FierceRetailIT]
  • John Lewis looks back on British history in TV spot to mark 150 years [Campaign]
  • Burt’s Bees creates promotional messages via appointments in digital calendars [NY Times]
  • What can fashion-tech companies learn from Instagram’s success? Co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom shares his start-up secrets [BoF]
  • Instagram is brands’ best bet for consumer engagement… but not for long [Fashionista]
  • ‘Brand tagging’ mobile apps: China’s next selfie sensation [Jing Daily]
  • Fashion retailers eye up image-recognition apps for smartphones [The Guardian]
  • Microsoft to push into fashion space “like never before” as it boosts commitment to UK start-up community and unveils ASOS as partner [The Drum]
  • Why online retailers like Bonobos, Boden, Athleta mail so many catalogs [WSJ]
  • Crowdemand is like Kickstarter for fashion designers [Mashable]
  • Like a dating site for fashion, PopInShop plays matchmaker for brands and boutiques [Fashionista]
  • The golden era of ‘fashion blogging’ is over [The Cut]

The best April Fools’ Day pranks from fashion brands

1 Apr

This post first appeared on Fashionista.com

aprilfools

If we’re basing it on sheer volume of pranks, Google probably wins April Fools’ Day. But, perhaps seeing the “holiday” as a prime marketing opportunity, the fashion world got in on the fun as well — some of them incorporating elaborate videos and impressive new products into their jokes.

Here are a few brands and retailers that almost had us fooled…

Hunter

Hunter introduced a new open-toe Wellington boot just in time for festival season. Referred to as the “latest in product innovation” from the brand, the design is a replica of the original rain boot first introduced in 1955 but with a new focus on breathability. “This revolutionary design enables air flow to circulate from the opening at the toe, traveling along the footbed to then exit at the top of the boot (and vice versa). The wearer is afforded a truly ventilated experience. This new technology is expected to represent an industry changing moment for rubber footwear,” read the fictitious write-up.

Bonobos

Bonobos made fun of the wearables market with the “launch” of a line of tech-enabled shirts, blazers and jeans meant to make “living your life as effortless as your style”. In the above video, a man demonstrates the capabilities of a washed poplin shirt. There’s “wi-fiber” that keeps you constantly in contact with a female voice seemingly inspired by Spike Jonze film, “Her”; smart fabric that knows when you’re lying based on your body temperature; and a feature that posts things to your Facebook wall, sometimes when you don’t want it to.

John Lewis

This would be clever if it weren’t creepy: UK department store John Lewis announced a new hi-tech electronic mirror that will provide shoppers with their precise measurements in seconds. The Scanning Computer and Mirror (SCAM) system – note the first clue – was to be trialled in the retailer’s Isles of Scilly store – clue two – before being rolled out around the country. It will use technology similar to that in airports, allowing fit “advisers” to get an eyeful of customers, reported the Daily Mail. As a result, sales associates were to be given “special intimacy training so as not to infringe the customer’s dignity” according to the brand.

American Eagle Outfitters

“We pulled your tail” shouts the headline on American Eagle Outfitters’ blog today. It introduced the idea of a doggy line called American Beagle Outfitters a week ago, but what was intended to be an April Fools’ joke to raise money for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), actually got such an overwhelming and positive response, the retailer is actually making it happen. A real canine collection is set to debut for Holiday 2014.

Lululemon

Lululemon promoted its new “Spray-On Yoga Pants” on its site today: It’s a $1200 can that pokes fun at the company’s see-through pants scandal of 2013. “Designed for lightweight flexibility and versatility, our newest innovation, Spray-On Yoga Pants, will take us to and through our practice without the fuss,” read the hilarious description.

Toms X Uber

Toms announced a partnership with Uber in a new initiative called shuberX. Basically, cardboard cars collect passengers and give them a pair of Toms shoes to wear as they run down the street. What’s great about this prank is that new Uber users who do actually enter promo code #shuberx when ordering a car will see $10 donated on their behalf to Footwork, TOMS’ partner in fighting podoconiosis. How very Toms of them.

Asos

On its men’s blog, Asos wrote a post chronicling the trend for beard bleaching. Those in the know are growing big bushy beards and then dyeing them radical new colors, like electric blue with purple highlights, it claimed. The e-tailer even attributed the trend to one “revolutionary Danish barber”: Alaxånder Alexandrå.

Honorary Mentions:

Here are couple of others we chuckled at:

Personal bra shopping site True&Co’s new kitten-themed sizing system

Statement anklets from Cupcakes and Cashmere

Lucky mag’s desks covered in Josh Hutcherson photos

Digital snippets: Oculus, Luxottica, Wren, Asos, Nike, Birchbox, Tom Ford, Kenzo

28 Mar

The big tech story this week has of course been about Facebook’s purchase of virtual reality headset company Oculus VR. But there were lots of others to know about too. Read on for an edit…

oculus-rift-dk2

  • Google deal with Luxottica will bring Glass to Ray-Ban, Oakley [WSJ]
  • How Wren made a viral video of strangers kissing and increased sales by nearly 14,000% [Business Insider]
  • Asos and Nike celebrate 27 years of Air Max with first Google+ shoppable hangout [Marketing Magazine]
  • Birchbox, seller of beauty products, steps out from web to open New York store [NY Times]
  • Tom Ford joins the world of e-commerce with sexy new web store [Fashionista]
  • Kenzo’s virtual aquarium highlights the danger of overfishing [PSFK]
  • Chanel releases new Coco Mademoiselle Keira Knightley ad – She’s Not There [The Inspiration Room]
  • Lancôme ramping up digital initiatives [WWD]
  • How Yoox became the Amazon of the fashion world [Telegraph]
  • Why in-store tracking might not be as bad as it sounds [CNNMoney]
  • The Shazam of fashion is here, introducing ‘ASAP54′ [Styleite]
  • Silicon Valley never talks about the real reason you don’t own a smart watch or ‘wearable tech’ [Business Insider]

 

Asos offers personalised styling sessions via Google Helpouts

18 Dec

Asos_helpoutsAsos is taking advantage of Google’s brand new Helpouts service this Christmas, offering shoppers 15 minute time slots for real-time video chats with style experts.

Based on the Google Hangouts technology, these one-on-one sessions aim to provide live styling advice in a way that “really breaks down the barriers between the brand and our customers”, said a representative from the e-commerce site.

The promo / sign-up page for the initiative offers men and women “the lowdown on what’s in, what suits you and where to find it”. Users can get tips and advice on what to wear for specific events, on choosing someone the perfect gift and on new ways to wear items they already own. There are also make-up artists on hand to talk beauty.

Sessions can be booked for free anytime from 9am-9pm, Monday to Friday for those in the UK, US and Australia.

Launched just on Monday, December 16, three reviews on the Helpouts page prove the initiative is resonating with consumers already. One reads: “Fantastic service, really helps you find [the] end product of that ‘idea’ you were looking for.” Another concluded: “It is quite obvious that Asos is an innovator when it comes combining personalized ‘fashion advice’ with a national brand.”

The only other brand currently utilising Helpouts under the fashion and beauty category is Sephora. It has a total of 12 different sessions available based on how-to get a smoky eye through to achieving the perfect brow, but this time with a cost of $15 for each.

Digital snippets: Selfridges, Prada, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Asos, Lancôme, Valentino

24 Nov

A highlight of the top stories surrounding all things fashion and digital of late: 

Selfridges_drivethru

  • Drive-through Dior? Coming right up at Selfridges London [CN Traveler
  • Wes Anderson debuts latest Prada feature [Fashionotes
  • Victoria’s Secret creates 3D-printed angel wings for fashion models [Huffington Post
  • Gap rolls out “reserve in store” service [CNBC
  • Valentino jumps in on China’s high-tech runway revolution [JingDaily
  • Under Armour looks to take a bite out of FuelBand success with MapMyFitness acquisition [BrandChannel
  • Pinterest opens API to retail partners [TechCrunch
  • Google’s Eric Schmidt invests in retail tech designed to help personalisation and data measurement [WWD
  • Here’s why ‘The Internet of Things’ will be huge, and drive tremendous value for people and businesses [Business Insider
  • Why companies desperately need to make wearables cool [Wired
  • How brands get shoppers to volunteer their personal data: transparency and better experiences [PSFK
  • Social media drives less than 1% of shopping sessions, study says [Fashionista
  • Fashion retailers are still failing to optimise email marketing for mobile [Econsultancy
  • What retailers can learn from mobile commerce in the UK [Shop.org
  • 15 stats that show why click-and-collect is so important for retailers [Econsultancy

Note: Look out for a separate holiday-specific digital round-up later this week, featuring all the top retail campaign stories as well as insights into the biggest innovations being pushed for the festive season. 

Asos wins tech award at World Retail Congress

22 Oct

Asos_fitvisualiser_virtusize

Asos won the retail technology initiative of the year at this month’s World Retail Awards, for its Fit Visualiser tool.

Powered by Swedish company Virtusize, the technology enables shoppers to see how well an item might fit based on similar pieces they already own.

As pictured, it plays out in the form of a button next to the colour and size options on a product page (at this point for Asos’ own-brand products only). By clicking on it, users are invited to add measurements of a piece they already have to compare to the one they’re trying to buy.

The tool will then display overlaying silhouettes of the two garments in two-dimensional form and pinpoint the exact variations in bust, waist and length for instance. Different sizing options alongside allow the shopper to work out which to buy.

According to reports at launch earlier this year, using such a tool is proven to reduce fit-related returns, in some cases by up to 50%. Virtusize co-founder, Peder Stubert, said: “Many virtual fitting companies have tried and failed in this area because their solutions have been too costly or inaccurate. Our positive results from the ASOS [six-month] trial signal that there is a bright future ahead for our 2D garment comparison method.”

Other retailers who have used the tool include Nelly.com and Stylebop.com. A video below loosely demonstrates it being experimented with:

Digital snippets: social media rankings, Topshop, Hermès, Free People, Asos

23 Jul

Here’s a highlight of stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

BOF_Top10

  • Do the digital and social media rankings that have flooded the fashion industry really mean anything? [BoF]
  • Topshop, iTunes team up, web users able to sample and download music as they shop [WWD]
  • Hermès promotes silver jewellery collection with ‘symphony of silver’ video [PSFK]
  • Free People gets 10% of its online sales from app in first week [Mashable]
  • Attention, shoppers: store is tracking your cell [NY Times]
  • Analysing online department store SEO: ASOS gets the basics right [Econsultancy]
  • Meet the other woman behind Net-a-Porter, president Alison Loehnis [Fashionista]
  • Announcing Divvy: the app that won the Co.Labs and Target Retail Accelerator [Co.Labs]
  • With Cinematique’s ‘touch-enabled’, shoppable videos, product placement might not be so bad [TechCrunch]

Cannes Lions 2013 round-up: fashion and beauty winners

11 Jul

CannesLions_JustinCooke_Topshop

It was a big year for fashion at the 60th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – the ad industry’s version of the Oscars if you will. As already reported, Burberry, Vivienne Westwood and Annie Leibovitz were all on stage, as was Justin Cooke, CMO of Topshop (as pictured), in a guest appearance during YouTube’s slot.

He talked to the idea of emotion in marketing: “When people feel happy, they want to influence others to do the same. At Topshop we refer to the three I’s; ignite a conversation, inspire our customers and then use that influence to build our UK-centric brand into a global entity.”

Topshop walked away with a bronze Media Lion for best use of social media for its Future of the Fashion Show campaign in February.

Here are some of the other fashion and beauty campaigns that won:

Dove Real Beauty Sketches: No surprise here – this campaign picked up the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes as well as gold Lions in nearly every other category. Created by Ogilvy Brasil, it aimed to prove to women they’re more beautiful than they think they are by conducting a social experiment whereby an FBI-trained sketch artist drew their portraits based first on their own descriptions and then a stranger’s. The resulting film, which captures their reactions to the sketches, racked up over 4.5bn social media impressions. Dove also won a gold in the Film category for its Camera Shy campaign.

Nike Find Your Greatness: Always a big winner at Cannes, this year was no exception for Nike. It won a silver in the Titanium category for its Find Your Greatness campaign that surrounded last year’s Olympics. Ambush marketing at its finest (given Nike wasn’t an official sponsor), it highlighted that greatness isn’t reserved for just the elite athletes participating in the big event in the chosen city, but can be found worldwide – importantly in all the other places around the world also called London. Nike also won a silver for its Jogger campaign, and bronzes for She Runs the Night and Voices.

adidas Window Shopping: Not to be outdone, adidas also walked away with an armful of awards, this time for its adidas Neo Window Shopping initiative created by TBWA Helsinki. This saw a fully functional virtual store accessible from on the street by combining windows with the brand’s already existing e-commerce. Users could connect their smartphones via a simple URL and a pin (no need for an app or QR codes here), and then interact with the products on screen, dragging them into a shopping bag to make them appear on their own device to buy. It won both gold and silver Cyber Lions, as well as three bronzes in the Media and Mobile categories.

Macy’s Yes, Virginia the Musical: Macy’s localised its long-standing Yes, Virginia campaign in 2012 with a musical for schools in the busy run-up to the Christmas period. That initiative, created by JWT New York, saw it winning both a gold and a silver Lion in the Branded Content and Entertainment category.

Uniqlo Storms Pinterest: A smart move by Uniqlo over Pinterest also scooped a gold Lion in the Design category at Cannes this year. To promote its new Dry Mesh T-Shirts the Japanese retailer, along with Firstborn New York, created an impossible-to-miss, branded mosaic on the virtual scrapbooking site. As users scrolled through Pinterest’s public feeds giant blocks of branded images appeared and seemed to animate. It was done using 100 shell accounts on the platform that were later switched to branded Uniqlo ones. Uniqlo also won a bronze Media Lion for its Wake Up campaign.

Kmart Ship my Pants: You may have spotted this one already – Kmart’s humourous new video ad that plays on the phrase “Ship my Pants” to tout its new free shipping service. A winner for me on element of surprise alone, and at Cannes with silvers and bronzes in both the Film and Promo & Activation categories.

Geox Amphibox: Geox’s campaign for its everyday waterproof shoe walked away with gold, silver and bronze awards in the Cyber category as well as a bronze in Media. The aim was to prove the performance qualities of the shoes, so the team took four Facebook fans to the wettest place on earth, Cherrapunjee in India (which receives 11.7m of annual rainfall) to put them to the test. An online interactive documentary resulted.

Asos #bestnightever: I’ve commented a lot on shoppable films in the past, but there’s no escaping the fact they’re slowly making an increasing impact in the advertising space. Asos won a silver Media Lion on that basis this year for its #bestnightever campaign (even if the stats that went alongside aren’t necessarily directly the result of it to be honest), which saw three shoppable music videos created.

Bronze awards otherwise went to:

  • Louis Vuitton in Film for its Core Values campaign starring Muhammad Ali
  • Converse in Outdoor for its Highways campaign

And here’s a particularly nice message from Christopher Bailey, chief creative officer of Burberry, to close: “You have to take a leap of faith to move into a world that your industry or sector is not used to, but if you believe in it, and can feel it, it will be stronger and more believable in itself.”

Digital snippets: 3D printing, Burberry, Barneys, Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi, Primark

25 Jun

Time for yet another catch-up on recent stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital:

nike_3dprintingSHOE

  • New stamping ground for Nike and adidas as 3D shoes kick off (as pictured) [FT]
  • How Burberry uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ [Econsultancy]
  • Barneys targets social-savvy men via new Instagram account [Luxury Daily]
  • Fendi to unveil revamped website [WWD]
  • Primark makes online debut with Asos partnership [Marketing]
  • Retailers’ digital ad spending nears $10 billion [Mashable]
  • Apple-like ecosystems for luxury brands? [BoF]
  • Gilt launches first brick-and-mortar retail store [PSFK]
  • Fab raises $150 million from investors in China, Japan [Mashable]
  • Rad, a Parisian hipster fashion portal, gets $3.3m led by Index to go international [TechCrunch]
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