I’ve got a glass of wine, Twitter fired up and have been passing the time until tonight’s airing of ABC’s Scandal by watching… clips of Scandal (what can I say, I can’t wait). Tonight’s episode is set to be a doozy, because lead character Olivia has discovered that her boyfriend may have killed her mother on her father’s orders.
But that (incredibly juicy plot) is not the point of this post. This tweet, from Seagram’s Gin is:
Seagram’s Gin tweets to Scandal fans before tonight’s broadcast
It appeared in my feed tonight, prior to the episode. I love the tie to the show and character (the “something stronger” is a reference to Olivia’s wine habit), and the the insight into the fan base. Scandal is well known as a Twitter phenomenon, with the cast and viewers live-tweeting each week. As a promoted tweet (targeted, likely, to people who follow Scandal and the cast’s Twitter accounts, or who have referenced #Scandal or #AskScandal in the past) running between the east and west coast broadcasts, this is the smart, relevant, timely advertising that digital can offer.
Now, back to my drink.
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day, when an ad in my news feed caught my eye (embedded ads work! Tell your friends! More important – tell your media planners!). It was for Target Cartwheel – a beta site that is a true hybrid: part Pinterest, part weekly flyer, part coupon app and part Flipboard.
The site allows visitors to browse or search for deals, and flip up to 11 offers to their Cartwheel. Once they have selected their deals, coupon barcodes are generated (print them out, or save to a smartphone). Once a customer brings the coupons to your local Target, they can revel in their discount glory.
There are a bunch of sharing functions that I don’t really understand in this context (I’m not one to seek out coupons, let alone share 5% off grated cheese with my loved ones), but I can see how being able to save the coupons one wants and having a single handy barcode sent to one’s phone would be super-helpful. And, apparently it is – over $7m has been saved by Target customers on the beta.
Apple has announced the appointment of Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to a newly-created role of SVP, Retail and Online Stores. This is the second recent luxury fashion hire hot on the heels of Paul Devene, who left his role as chief of YSL to become VP of Special Projects for Apple.
Earlier this year, Ms. Ahrendts was profiled by Harvard Business Review about turning around the iconic British brand and saving it from ubiquity. It’s a great read – especially the part about their retail strategy.
I applaud the hiring of Ms. Ahrendts, whose work at Burberry turned the brand around and has led to exciting digital integration in their stores, most notably the amazing wonderland that is the Regent Street flagship (I talk about this store far more than is reasonable, but I’m unashamed. What they’ve done is remarkable and sets a high bar for retail experience), and their awesome online store, Burberry.com
Let’s see what magic she can work for Apple.
I know I’ve been talking about fashion and retail marketing a lot lately, but it was fashion month so I can be forgiven! This Thursday (Oct 3rd), Diane von Furstenberg, aka DVF, is hosting a very cool online event. Using various Google tools, she’ll be presenting her latest line to customers, chatting with them, showcasing exclusive items and selling it all, using Google+ and Google Shopping. This was announced on YouTube, which closes the Google integration quite wonderfully.
I love this idea and will be online, breathlessly awaiting the event to see this program in action… and maybe pick up an item or two. If this works, this could herald a new level of customer engagement and ROI model tied to actual sales. Exciting!
Here’s the announcement trailer, here’s the DVF Google+ page and here’s the event mini-site. You can RSVP here: goo.gl/baAYHs
Follow #shopthehangout tweets
Fans of ABC’s hit “Scandal” are passionate about the show’s drama, revelations and characters. They’ve even turned the show into a social media phenomenon, live-tweeting twist and turns and chatting live with the actor (hop on Twitter on Thursday at 10pm and watch the #scandal #Gladiators #askScandal action). The only thing that fans may be more passionate about is the show’s fashion; specifically, the *amazing* outfits worn by Olivia Pope. Even people who aren’t fans of the show are likely to know about the fashion, in part because of star Kerry Washington’s frequent appearance on “best-dressed” lists, and because the show’s wardrobe has become a bit of a phenomenon itself (check out articles here, here, here, here, here and here). Heck, search “Olivia Pope” on Pinterest and you’ll get all this.
It was only a matter of time until the savvy “Scandal” team decided to jump into the real world of fashion and retail, so I was unsurprised and very happy to hear about a partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue. The windows of the NYC flagship store are being Scandalized to feature outfits from the upcoming third season, and other items by Olivia Pope’s favourite designers. In-store displays will appear in locations around the country, supported by a multi-platform campaign which includes social media. A kick-off event will be held this Wednesday with Kerry Washington and showrunner Shonda Rhimes.
I love this, and hope it is a big success. My fear is always that a show with fantastic fashion will end up with some god-awful Banana Republic line, so it’s good to see a partnership that is true to the show and its fashion. If this goes well, I’d love to see a partnership with “House of Cards” featuring the swoon-worthy style of Ms. Claire Underwood.
Nordstrom has some fun tech integration in their stores, including this new one in the shoe section. The display features a few pairs of Sam Edelman shoes on a table, with a motion-sensing projection image. If you pick up a shoe (as I did, mid-right of the photo), the style name, price point, colours and suggested outfits appear. It’s a very cool application of projection (and, I assume, Kinect) technology, though I did find the content a bit light. It would have been great to get right into recommended ways to wear, rather that seeing the name and price point, which I could otherwise easily discover by turning the shoe over and reading the tag.