Behind the scenes: L for Lacoste exhibition at Westfield

To mark the opening of Lacoste’s newly designed boutique in Westfield London, the clothing brand staged an immersive exhibition to celebrate its heritage.

The ‘L for Lacoste’ exhibition, which opened from the 7th to 11th June, featured rare and historical pieces from the archives of René Lacoste, such as clothing, tennis racquets and replica trophies.

Within the gallery, which was created by agency MKTG and Lacoste, there was also a dedicated space that introduced Novak Djokovic as Lacoste’s new brand ambassador, as well as graphics, visuals and artist impressions of the famous Lacoste crocodile.

Interactive elements included a GIF photo booth where guests could have their picture taken against the backdrop of a giant Lacoste logo. Daily competitions took place, offering visitors prizes such as ATP Final tickets.

To mark the brand’s sponsorship of the French Open, the exhibition featured a Roland-Garros Fan Zone where tennis fans could watch the tournament in a viewing lounge. This is the first time the French Open has been shown outside of ITV.

MKTG used facial recognition technology to provide a deeper measurement of engagement, sentiment and audience demographics.

Lacoste also took over the windows at Westfield’s luxury enclave The Village, showcasing its latest physical and digital assets, as well as directing shoppers to its boutique store and exhibition area.

Westfield’s chief marketing officer, Myf Ryan, said: “Westfield’s Brand Venture team have worked closely with Lacoste to create the ultimate tennis fan learning experience. Customers will enjoy the thrills of the Roland Garros’ centre court through live streaming whilst visitors can embark on a historic journey of the brand.”

To celebrate the brand’s French heritage, guests at the launch event were served macarons from Ladurée, Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial and Le Poire Punch.

Via: Event Magazine

Fortune tellers offer basic health checks to encourage the Thai public to visit their doctor

Many Thai people aren’t aware of their illness until it’s too late. The statistics show that there are less than 2% of Thai people who get an annual health checkup. However, they do like to go to fortune tellers when they want to know about their lives and health, as it forms part of their spiritual beliefs. It is also more affordable than going to a doctor.
The Thai Health Promotion Foundation saw the importance Thais give to fortune tellers as an opportunity to educate the Thai people on the benefits of a basic health checkup. As a result, the first-ever fortune teller booth that offers basic health checkup was established. With the discovery by medical experts that we can basically check our own health by looking at our hands, face and skin condition, similar to the way fortune tellers use for reading people’s fortunes. This knowledge enables Thais to do health checkups at home, creating an initiative for them to visit the doctors.
You can view the video here.

How experiences are becoming the new social currency- by Michael Brown for Event Magazine

Michael Brown, managing director of agency MKTG, explores the evidence that consumers increasingly want to be rich in experiences.

It was about this time last year that Steve Howard, the chief sustainability officer of Ikea, picked up a bit of heat when he proclaimed that the West had reached ‘peak candlestick’.
The term candlestick was a placeholder for ‘stuff’ – a symbol for the things Ikea sells and, given his job title, he was asking a perfectly legitimate question: how does a business like Ikea remain sustainable in the future if the world really has got too many candlesticks, and too many flat-packed coffee tables on which to put them on?
Steve is not alone in calling out the burgeoning phenomena of customer behaviour. Only last month Lord Wolfson CEO of Next used almost identical, but possibly less poetic language than Howard, to explain the slump in fashion retail on the high street. His plaintive quote ‘People don’t want to buy more stuff’ was covered very broadly in the media, and not just in the business pages.
Other indicators out there in the markets could be interpreted in much the same way. Take Apple; the champions of aspirational consumerism have not been immune of late. Wall Street experienced a few ripples in their Chai Latte’s when the corporation announced its third consecutive sales decline in October 2016.
While no one is suggesting that Apple is in trouble, it would seem people are becoming more values driven and less materialistic. We know for certain that some audience groups driven by economic circumstances beyond their control are struggling with the idea of not owning anything ever. Millennials have been priced out of the property market; it’s a ladder they may not ever be able to stand at the foot of, never mind raise a foot onto the first rung. We also know high percentages of people will switch brands if there is a disconnect between their values and the actions of the brand.
At the same time purchase behaviour has swung away from commodity. Two very obvious examples spring to mind; music fans buy much less music as a physical product – they stream it from Spotify. Likewise film fans; who wants a DVD when you can stream it under temporary license from a subscription service such as Netflix?
But if people either can’t or don’t want to be rich in the materialistic sense, it would seem they do want to be rich in another way – in experience.
Reverting back to Wolfson’s observation about the performance of retail fashion, he further qualified this in his statement to shareholders: “We believe the numbers demonstrate the continuing trend towards spending on experiences away from things”.
A whole lot of consumer data backs Wolfson up. The predictions vary depending on where and what you read but Mintel’s American Lifestyle study of 2016 showed a significant increase in spend in ‘non-essentials’. Such things as dining out, holidays, shows, gigs, festivals of every hue should perhaps now be deemed as ‘essentials’.
Barclays’ recently released consumer spending report based on the first quarter of 2017 tells much the same story. They cite ‘splashing out’ on the experience economy as a key driver of growth, with spending on entertainment maintaining double digit growth for an 11th consecutive quarter. Meanwhile, visits to pubs and restaurants both rose by +12%. Leisure time with family and friends was referred to as a priority over other types of spending in the first quarter of 2017.

Connected moments

Brands like Secret Cinema and Tough Mudder are properly evolved experience economy businesses. As brands and experiences they are poles apart, but both these, and every other business in the experience 2.0 economy are united by what they sell; connected, communal moments – the connectedness and the community providing all the power in the commercial offer of these brands, and the attraction of such to an audience.

And the brands to watch are the ones that are not visible yet but have invested into the experience economy. What is the next Secret Cinema – where is that going? What might that represent on a global scale? Airbnb is one of the experience economy brands that are constantly evolving. It is trying to evolve to own the notion of experience in a much more holistic way.

Social currency

The experience-savvy brands provide for yet another way for a non-materialistic audience to become rich. Not just in experience, but in social currency. They give their audience the bragging rights and the kudos in the celebration of those who were there, against the envy of those who weren’t.
Which explains the explosion in the variety of experience 2.0 businesses over the last few years; an evolutionary arms race vying to provide ever more multi-sensory and ever more immersive ways to spend both time and money.
Who would have thought locking yourself in a room with a bunch of mates, and spending an hour trying to get out would take off in the way it has. On record there are 6,881 Escape Rooms in 1,306 cities in 100 countries from Azerbaijan to Aberdeen. People are doing Escape Room-themed Gap Years. Likewise Zombie Experiences!
As we know, eating out has been extended to include all the senses; who wants to dine out these days if you cannot taste with your eyes and ears as well as your buds? You will all be familiar with Gingerline’s famous Chamber of Flavours, the Black Cat Supper Club, Django’ Bango’s Gold Rush and other such luminaries on the immersive dining scene – a trend that has been with us for a few years now.
It is these sorts of businesses that have been bringing the vision of futurologist Alvin Toffler to life almost 50 years after his 1970 book Future Shock predicted an ‘experiential’ economy in which people would spend high percentages of their salaries to live amazing experiences. It is now these businesses that are driving the economy by getting people out more, connected more and allowing people to be ‘in the moment’ – all of which are indicative qualities of an economy less obsessed with consumption. Unsurprisingly the old economy brands, the people who actually have physical ‘stuff’ to sell, are changing the way they do their advertising: experiential as a marketing buzzword risks becoming passé, brands are doing immersive now.

Asics: The Big Race

In January of this year, Asics launched a 5K run with a difference; what they described as an film noir adventure called The Big Race. Runners were invited to track down a mysterious lady in red through downtown Los Angeles. They crashed into gigs, through walls and were chased by gangsters. As with any immersive event happening, tickets were limited, which means that when brands do immersive, the content is also crucial. The Big Race film aired in all Asics key markets including the UK, USA, China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Russia and all of Europe.
As with the Asics case study, increasingly the product or service is getting substituted for a destination event experience at the heart of the media plan.
The Event Track Study by the Event Marketing Institute of America and Mosaic, a large scale US-based agency, is now in its fifth year. The report documents the relationship between 220 of the Forbes 1,000 blue chip corporations and their consumers in context of experiential marketing services. There are many positive take outs for marketing decision makers. These include the findings that experiential drives not only propensity to purchase, but also significantly drives sales. It further finds the medium as effective for increasing brand perception and recall.
Even more interestingly, past iterations of the report stated that more than half of those Forbes 100 corporations use experiences to launch their campaigns, to build the campaign and the campaign assets out of the event itself.
The Event Marketing Institute’s  2016 Content Benchmarking report confirmed that 51% of brands intend to spend more marketing money on their event content generation than they did in the previous year. A further 39% reported they would spend similar amounts. This study, along with the others alluded to above, would seem to be Bellwethers of a future in which all advertising will be experienced.

Lucozade give commuters a free tube ride with contactless bottles

In the latest in a long list of marketing efforts essentially based around giving people free things to interact with the brand, Lucozade not only offered commuting Londoners a free bottle, but on account of it being ‘magic’, they’ll received a free tube ride, too.
Lucozade gave away thousands of its bottles at Oxford Circus from Tuesday 30th May – Friday 2nd June 2017. Each bottle had a chip fitted in the bottom of the bottle, as part of the brand’s ‘Find your flow’ campaign, especially targeted at busy commuters.
All members of the public had to do is swipe the bottom at the tube gates, just like a contactless bank or Oyster card.
Londoners would have had to be quick though, the bottles were only be handed our during rush hour, or ‘whoosh hour’ as Lucozade named it.

Via: PR Examples 

Why in the future all advertising will be experienced

Emerging tech is causing advertising to become increasingly multi-sensory and fully immersive as it moves off screen. Michael Brown, Managing Director of MKTG discusses with Campaign Magazine.

Technophiles the world over are looking forward to a day when all forms of content are freed from its present confinement within the four edges of a screen; to be fully multi-sensory, 360-immersive, and at some point beyond the far off horizon, indistinguishable from the real world. The message will not be contained by the medium.

How far are we from such a horizon, and are we sprinting or strolling there are questions that a lot of clever people in white lab coats are posing.

VR may take us a few tantalising strides closer. Some will groan heavily at yet another mention of this particular tech, but if we move our focus away from the headsets and instead look at how the content can be deployed and enjoyed, then interesting signposts emerge.

Earlier this year I was at the launch of the Allianz-sponsored Drone Racing League. A world championship heat will be taking place in the capital as part of London Tech Week this June. Sky were also present to announce their ownership of the broadcast rights. They intend to show the proceedings from an entirely different perspective; those with a heavy dispensation towards all things geek will already know that drone racers pilot their craft through goggles linked to a Go-Pro camera mounted on the drone. This means that home viewers with a Sky package and VR headsets can get closer into the action in an immersive sense – a pilot’s eye view.

Can’t get a ticket to the Champions League Final? Experience it at home through the headsets from multiple immersive perspectives; as a player, the referee, from the dug out, in the crowd.

Home viewing of sports is set to become a little less passive. It should also open up new channels for a broadcaster to sell to individual brands. A brand taking a behind the scenes approach may wish to sponsor the home dug-out experience for instance. Another, wishing to build on their brand ambassador program may look to extend their sponsorship rights to create an immersive viewing experience using the footage from a micro camera mounted on their player.

Such a way of viewing sport would be very intriguing technologically as you could mix live footage with VR as an exclusive to the home viewer: One could easily imagine Antonio Conte virtually tapping you on the shoulder during a live broadcast telling you to get your boots on.

Meanwhile, there are tech companies who have taken an active dislike to those clunky goggles. Globally there are circa 200 companies developing goggles-free VR to achieve a more inclusive, mass participatory approach.

Dassault Systèmes has long been a pioneer in 3D experience. At its Paris HQ, the Cubic Immersion Room offers an experience where every surface, including the floor, is a screen. The technology, known in the business as a “Cave” (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment), required that users wore a headset featuring several antennae which calibrated the graphic render on the screens with every movement around the room to more accurately create the illusion of perspective. When I visited, I was able to walk, with several other colleagues, around an unfolding render of Paris, stroll up any boulevard, go into any building, take the stairs or lift and walk into any room – the experience fell just short of being able to order a croissant.

Fast-forward to the present day, and the French giant has been doing interesting integrations with VR headsets and Immersion Rooms. This includes advancements that are far superior to commercially available VR such as the ability to see your own body. Users can recognise and interact with other people also wearing the headsets in the Cave. Not in an atavistic sense either; you can meet a colleague in the room and recognize that it is your colleague and not a graphic construct.

The practical application of this technology is being used in a myriad ways; an architect through to a product designer can construct, test and more importantly collaborate and discuss their grand vision with their colleagues in the Cave before a single foundation stone is laid, or a patent applied for.

This is all very well for the present day, but there is an emerging technology whose potential has had VC investors and technology gurus foaming with enthusiasm: Lightvert’s Echo technology is a light-triggered illusion capable of creating large scale graphics, seemingly in empty space. The images exist only in the user’s eye and not in reality.
The roll out of Echo displays is not limited by user uptake of wearable and mobile tech, or in fact the current planning laws and policies that currently govern Lightvert’s primary target customer; the out-of-home advertising industry.

Chief executive Daniel Sidden believes the world is now ready for Echo, citing that emerging mobile tech will enable interaction with the digital realm on a more natural and fluent level.

Sidden argues that: “Visual and audio based mixed reality technologies, such as HoloLens and Google’s new audio assistant technology will become ubiquitous and the opportunities for digital OOH in this area alone are clearly phenomenal.”

As this technology becomes yet more sophisticated, we should begin to see exciting developments for advertising. Technically any surface, or gesture, or motion sensor could be used to trigger content while people are out and about in the built environment or any open space.

That content might be an evolution of Echo’s static graphic renders into moving imagery, and from there, a further evolution into 360-immersive micro experiences. Sidden is unequivocal about the ability of content to break out from its present day limitations. “Media that was once previously confined to screens will be integrated into our every day actions and be capable of working with us and for us at all times, eliminating the barrier between physical and digital engagement.”

There you have it folks: the day is not far off when all advertising will be experienced.

Via: Campaign Live 

The world's first LED track where runners can race themselves

Nike has created a pop-up running stadium in Manila, Philippines that allows people to race themselves via LED screens.
The 200 foot long race track has been launched to promote the Lunar Epic trainer and has been specifically shaped like the sole of the shoe.
The track has also been fitted with LED screens along one side. Visitors are invited to run one lap, with their lap time being logged. They then re-run the track, racing against themselves via a projection on the LED screens.
The ‘Unlimited Stadium’ running track, which was created by BBH, takes over a city block in the centre of BGC, Manila’s business district and running hub.
According to BBH, the idea behind the experience was to fuse offline and virtual worlds. As many as 30 runners can use the track at one time and Nike will be tracking the total distance and data across the 17 days the track is open.
Via: The Drum 

Sticker stunt on cars encourages public to be sun-smart

South Africa has the 2nd highest rates of skin cancer in the world after Australia, and has one of the highest rates of melanoma worldwide, as far as Caucasians are concerned.
At least 20,000 South Africans are diagnosed annually with non-melanoma skin cancers, and a approximately 1, 500 are diagnosed with melanoma. However, many South Africans dismiss marks on their body and are reluctant to get checked out, and are more concerned about the marks on their cars than on their bodies.
CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) aim was to raise awareness of this and encourage the public to be sun-smart. Stickers mimicking that of melanoma were stuck onto the driver’s doors of cars at the beach. Upon noticing the stickers and peeling them off, the vehicle owners would see a message with sun-safe tips on the reverse, which also served as a token for a free screening down to identify potential melanoma risks.
169 dangerous melanomas were identified but due to early detection, could be easily treated.
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Pringles creates edible cloud based on the nation's favourite flavour

Crisp brand Pringles created an edible flavour cloud in London on the 26th April with TV personality, Kelly Brook.

The invention was developed following a survey, conducted by Pringles, which asked people to predict food technologies of the future. Submissions included a pill that delivers all of the flavours in a meal, to a snack drawer that automatically replenishes stock.

Most Brits believed it would be 2037 before they could taste on their favourite flavours in the air, but Pringles has proved them wrong with today’s stunt.

The cloud, which appeared in Potters Field park in London, was three-metres-tall and six-metres-wide and could hold up to 10 cans of Pringles using a unique vortex canon technology.

TV personality Kelly Brook was at the launch as 18% of Brits named her as the celebrity they’d most like to share a snack with.

There was also a ‘selfie station’ at the park with Pringles given away. Visitors were encouraged to share their selfies on social media using the hashtag #PringlesFlavourCloud.

Via: Event Magazine 

Volvo stages Scandinavian-styled sanctuary

Volvo Car UK is bringing a Scandinavian sanctuary to London, following similar activations in Edinburgh and Manchester, offering members of the public a retreat from the stresses and strains of daily life.

The ‘Escape the City in your City’ pop-up studio opened in Edinburgh’s Castle Street on 18 April for four days and took place at Manchester’s Spinningfields from 24-30 April. This week (2-5 May) it will take place near London’s Canary Wharf. The studio is offering a selection of relaxing and complimentary 30-minute sessions, including yoga, Swedish massage, meditation, art classes and guided run clubs.

For those who want to explore the city beyond their everyday routes, Volvo is also providing free-of-charge cycle hire at the event.
Taking design cues from Scandinavian architecture to create a warm and intimate environment, the multi-functional space is displaying Volvo’s new XC60 premium SUV before it arrives at dealerships later this year. With a clutter-free cabin featuring natural materials and a nine-inch touchscreen, the XC60 will provide a relaxing and welcoming space for all its occupants, wherever the car may be.

Jon Wakefield, managing director, Volvo Car UK, said: “As a human-centric company, we want to reinforce the importance of taking time out of our busy schedules. Much like the interior of the new Volvo XC60, our pop-up studio will provide people with a calm, relaxing space to escape the rigours of city life.”

Earlier this year, Volvo teamed up with Tablet Hotels to launch a ‘Get Away’ lodge in northern Sweden. The brand also staged Scandi-inspired pop-ups in Manchester’s Arndale and Kent’s Bluewater shopping centres.

Via: Event Magazine

GORE-TEX® brings 5D experience to Westfield London

Outdoor apparel brand GORE-TEX® staged a 5D experience this weekend (8th-9th April) at The Atrium in Westfield London . The multi-dimensional brand experience, created and produced by MKTG, allowed visitors to test the range of resistances and efficiencies of the revolutionary GORE-TEX® fabric in some incredible environments.
The GORE-TEX® Brand 5D Experience kitted out visitors with GORE-TEX®  footwear and then exposed them to the elements, including wind & rain, as they experienced 5D simulations of some of the UK’s most stunning natural beauty spots.
The first location was Henrhyd Falls, the tallest waterfall in southern Wales, boasting a spectacular 90-foot drop over the edge of a rugged rock formation. Visitors could also experience the historic beauty spot of Malham Cove in North Yorkshire, with a chance to see the amazing panoramic views from the clifftop, standing at around 260-feet high.
GORE-TEX®  also ran  a competition throughout the activation, giving away a pair of men’s, women’s & children shoes every day.
An online hub will deliver rich content for outdoor enthusiasts, with a dedicated area for the experiential activation, while a paid social and earned media campaign will take the experience into the digital world.
The GORE-TEX® 5D Experience was activated through a collaboration between MKTG, Carat Edinburgh & iProspect Edinburgh.
Murray Macadam, Marketing Associate at GORE-TEX®, said: “We wanted consumers to interact with our brand in a meaningful way, and make it their brand.  Adding the experiential element into a predominantly digital campaign made that more likely and provided a hub around which all the channels, with their respective roles, could orbit.”
Luke Wretham, Senior Client Executive at MKTG, added: “The GORE-TEX® 5D Experience is a perfect example of an integrated and collaborative campaign where all digital communications are built around the activation, which sits at the heart of the media.  This is GORE-TEX® first foray into experiential and is testament to the efforts of all partners involved to execute such an original and exciting media campaign.”