Analogue Appeal in a Digital World: The Value of Live Events

Guests post an Instagram picture from inside "The Infinity Mirrored Room"

Guests post an Instagram picture from inside "The Infinity Mirrored Room"

While we’re living in an increasingly digital world, the best way to engage with your customers is still through real human connections. From immersive events to instagrammable museum exhibitions, brands need to do more than just post pretty pictures online. Because there's so much noise competing for your audience's attention, brands need to be thoughtful of the real person behind the social media post. You need to create moments that not only jump off the screen to make people wish they were there but at the same time also make them feel a connection to the event. Let’s take a look at some examples of more human ways to connect with customers amidst the digital deluge.

Take for example, American fashion brand Rag & Bone, who eschewed the traditional fashion formula and stopped doing runway shows at New York Fashion Week. Instead, they opted for a more analogue approach to celebrate the brand’s 15th anniversary and put on an exhibition of huge Polaroids featuring more than 70 “friends of the brand” (ranging from Thom Yorke of Radiohead to Super Model Joan Smalls) dressed in clothes they liked from Rag & Bone’s new autumn/winter 2017 collection.  The installation still showed off the clothes, but in a more relatable vehicle that allowed customers to immerse themselves into the Rag & Bone world.  Rag & Bone estimates that the brand received US$2 million to US$3 million worth of content from the photo exhibition – proof of value in physical exhibitions and in doing things differently.

If you’ve been on Instagram in the last year you probably have seen your friends totally spaced out, in photos, that is, taken within the Infinity Mirrored Room.  Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room, is a mirror-lined chamber that houses a dazzling and seemingly endless LED light display. Kusama, a Japanese artist, may have created one of the most instagrammed art exhibit in America.  Guests would step into the chamber and for 45 seconds seem to be immersed in an endless dimension of space and light - all while fumbling for their phones so they can immortalize the brief experience forever on social media. It’s a great example of how a simple art installation is able to connect multitudes of people, who experienced it live, through social media.

I also have to give props where it’s due to the Museum of Ice-cream. This Los Angeles-based installation gives adults, and children alike, moments of pure inspiration and joy as guests dive into pools of sprinkles or snapped photos in front of the rainbow sherbet wall.  Even celebs, like Beyonce and Katy Perry, got in on the action because the museum took food that everyone enjoys, and turned it into a cultural movement.  The real life experience of immersing yourself in ice-cream gave birth to a plethora of posts on people’s walls. 

So when you’re strategizing your next marketing campaign, think also of the extended reach that live events can bring.  The Rosta+Tann team are pros when it comes to not only producing live experiences but also strategically mining meaningful content from those moments of human connection. The investment into a single moment can live beyond the event itself through content that speaks to your audience, providing a lasting connection that can convert them into customers.  Now that’s the true value of event marketing.


The Democratization of Fashion

A Screen Grab From Kenzo's Perfume Video

A Screen Grab From Kenzo's Perfume Video

Like the music business before it, fashion is going through an industry-wide tidal shift.  From battling the “see now buy now” trend to finding relevancy within a younger demographic, the industry has been undergoing dramatic change.  In the midst of this upheaval, fashion brands from across the spectrum are questioning why they should follow established paths. 

It used to be a simple formula that fashion houses always held runway shows during fashion week, with waif-like models trotting out the seasons’ latest styles to a room of exclusive insiders. But as Instagram and mobile phones have democratized the runway, it became more difficult for brands to have a voice when everyone has something to say about the collection. No longer does the general public have to wait for editors to provide their opinions on the clothes in monthly glossies - now anyone can check into Instagram to catch nearly-live feeds of the look of the season.  Also, these days, anyone can make a piece of content or comment on the collection, which means anyone can be a fashion editor.  

The key is creating a meaningful connection between brands and their customer base. Creating video content, especially in the form of creative short films, is a great way to tell your brands’ story without cloying advertising.  

Ermenegildo Zegna created a short film, directed by Francesco Carrozzini, with Robert De Niro and McCaul Lombardi talking about “defining moments” in their career and lives, of course while donning ever-so-dapper Zegna clothes.   Prada shot a funny short called A Therapy (2012), directed by Roman Polanski and starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Kingsley.  Prada clothes were like secondary characters in the film, taking a turn in the storyline just as much as the actors themselves.  

For us mere mortals, however, you don’t always need A-list talent or big budgets to make an impact.  Sometimes all it takes is a little creative subversion and a killer music cue to make some noise.  French luxury house, Kenzo did just that for their new perfume, which seeks to connect to a younger audience.  While other fashion houses are rolling out glossy images of the same faces, this is how you breathe new life into an established luxury brand:

These short films all feel like small coups of cool, innovative brand building. Because they are so far removed from regular fashion commentary, they come across more like an inside joke between the brand and its fans. Meaningful connections are really about “authenticity” and “relatability” – two words of great importance in communicating your brand today.

The team at Rosta+Tann understand the tenets of creating great content to forge meaningful connections.  Let us help you elevate your brand’s message.