As more and more consumers switch to doing the majority of their shopping online, the experience can become an increasingly solitary one. We've spotted a range of fashion brands connecting their online experiences with tangible events or in-store activity to foster a sense of community.
Australian underwear and clothing brand Bonds
have launched a new website that creates a connection between each day it has been in business and the Australian public. Created in conjunction with Clemenger BBDO
, Mediacom Melbourne
and Baker Brand
, The Birthday Project
celebrates the fact that 'Aussies have grown up in Bonds since 1915' and seeks to find one person born on each of the 35,301 days it has existed.
To participate in The Birthday Project people have to visit the We Are Bonds
website, go to the date they were born and upload a current photograph of themselves. The brand will give away t-shirts personalised with people's dates of birth to the first claimants of all 35,301 days. At the We Are Bonds website, people can scroll through all the dates back to 1915 and Facebook users can login to automatically fill in their friends' birthdates and see which dates are still available. Ted Baker
is immortalising 100 of its UK fans on paper rather than t-shirts with a campaign created by Guided Collective
. Later this month the brand are launching a new in-store campaign called Ted's Drawing Room
. Customers will be encouraged to try on the new collection and then pose for a photograph in an Instagram photo booth. Images will be sent instantly to an artist's studio, and 100 lucky posers will be put to paper by a team of fashion illustrators in an original piece of artwork. Successful subjects will be sent a digital copy to share, and will receive their signed and framed illustration soon after. A live stream of the illustrators at work will also be broadcast in participating stores and on the Facebook page.
In Japan adidas
aimed to bring people together in the hot summer following the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, whilst successfully launching their range of quick-drying sportswear. The disaster meant a reduction in Japan's power generating capacity and as a consequence the government imposed energy saving restrictions. This included reducing the use of air conditioners. Embracing this challenge, adidas and TBWA/Hakuhood
Japan offered a discount to the particular clothing range that was activated whenever the temperature rose above 35 degrees Celsius.
On the website, the temperature was updated in real time, and a celebration movie was played whenever the temperature rose high enough. By scanning a QR code with their smartphones, users could then access and save discount codes. Proactive involvement from celebrities, athletes and government officials encouraged users to check the temperature regularly via the website and sales in adidas stores increased by 132%. Contagious Insight /
Bonds' campaign is a brilliant way to celebrate the brand's age and visualise its Australian heritage, whilst inviting a spirit of community by getting people to post available dates on social networks. In addition, it also means that people reach out to older relatives and friends who might not be so digitally savvy to make sure every shirt is claimed going back to 1915.
As a brand Bonds offers basic products that can be worn by both genders of any age and this project is a great way to remind people of that so many have relied on the brand for their clothing staples for years. Moreover, the personalised tees will act as outdoor advertising, and catching someone wearing one of the 35,301 tees will keep the campaign front of mind.
In taking personalisation in-store, Ted Baker demonstrates how a bricks-and-mortar initiative can spill into online communities via real-time content and live streams. This bridges the gap -- fusing the instantaneous and shareable world of digital with the tangible resonance of the physical. Fashion illustration came back into the spotlight recently, brought to life with a flurry of coffee-table books and an exhibition at London's Design Museum, so it's nice to see Ted Baker tap into the zeitgeist.
By seizing the opportunity to coincide the launch of a product with a time of national crisis, adidas was able to create a positive attitude towards an unavoidable consequence that could further have dispirited people. Though the 'news jacking' angle has the potential to backfire if interpreted as exploitative, the fact that the results were so positive indicates that this campaign was hugely successful product launch. Even the most adverse conditions can be an ally if tackled with the right attitude.