Another day, another step forward in the combination of interactivity and video. This time, the magic comes in the form of Urban Tour
, an epic dance-themed web experience from online fashion retailers ASOS
and BBH, London
, with production from Stink Digital
In order to show off the broad range of menswear available on the site, BBH enlisted the help of five talented street dancers from around the world, costumed them head to foot in clothes from ASOS, and choreographed them into an extraordinary sequence of interactive video clips. As the video plays out to a gritty mix of dubstep, hotspots in the film link to additional sequences - chances for the dancers to really demonstrate their skill, and of course to showcase the clothes. Visitors to the site can also learn more about the dancers and click through to buy items. Whilst the 'London' section of the site is the only one to feature interactive video, other tabs link to areas focusing on fashion in Berlin, Paris, Los Angeles and New York.
to explore for yourself. They're really, really good. Dominic Goldman
, creative director at BBH, told Contagious that the type of male consumers ASOS is targeting got their fashion inspiration from what they saw people wearing on the street. The agency therefore sought out interesting things happening in street culture. 'We had everyone, including VICE magazine, scour the planet for stories about what youths were doing,' he said. 'A lot of videos we found were dance related. Some of these videos were so gritty and fresh, and the performances seem to be heavily resonating with young people.'
Goldman added that the campaign was 'a chance to give [ASOS] menswear a brand tone. We've seen other fashion brands, like Wrangler and UNIQLO, do interesting things online; it makes brands come across as much more cutting edge and cool. Young people will say: "I love that experience you just gave me and therefore I like the brand." '
He said that the campaign was risky because it such a new concept that no one knew what would come out of it. But he insisted that it was worth it for brands to take risks.
'I've had tons of ideas that never saw the light of day,' he said. 'Clients instead said show me the 30 second TV ad. They want to play it safe but in the long run they shoot themselves in the foot because they're not standing out enough.'
As retailers grapple with the dichotomy of showcasing something as tactile, and personal as fashion in a two-dimensional web interface, Urban Tour represents a step forward in the way that we browse clothes online. It combines the lifestyle implications of a fashion shoot with the fluidity of an online catwalk, whilst showcasing the effervescent personality of the models and dancers.
ASOS already has a well-deserved reputation for innovation in e-commerce and social media. This latest effort should cement its status as the one to lead where others follow, and in the fickle world of fashion, the cutting edge is everything. www.asos.com/urban-tour