Virtual Reality Makes Saks’ Glam Gardens Blossom
With the help of a 360-degree virtual reality video, department store chain named Saks situated at Fifth Avenue is able to wander through the secret garden. The virtual reality video which was developed in support of its 2016 Glam Gardens in-store and digital experience, was created with the intention of introducing beauty brands offered by Saks to consumers who are unable to attend physical aspects of the initiative.
This has, however, made many marketers to implement virtual reality aspects into campaigns so as to turn an ordinary 2-D experiences into something that is more submerge for every consumer to interact with and enjoy. Mark Briggs, who is the executive vice president of the Creative Centre of Excellence which is situated at Hudson’s Bay Company, of whom Saks is a subsidiary, commented that “digitizing our marketing campaigns is an effective way for us to reach and to provide our customers with the iconic Saks experience beyond the store.”
Mark Briggs also added that “the Glam Gardens 2016 : The Secret Garden 360-degree videos, both on Facebook and YouTube, are meant to provide our customers with an immersive experience, yielding insight into luxury brands, the Fifth Avenue location, unique Saks creative and visuals -all at the convenient touch of their fingertips”.
“With every initiative and campaign, we aim to up the luxury experience both in and beyond the store. The addition of 360-degree videos further enhances our celebrated Saks experience, and our customers have only responded positively to our advancements in digital communication.”
“The Secret Garden” is the theme with which the retailer’s Glam Gardens campaign returned with for the second year in order to establish a tradition. The multi-channel effort would, however, be launched with a dedicated magazine, special high tea, store window displays and several digital experiences such as Snapchat geofilters.
On the 26th of April, Saks’ 2016 Glam Gardens was able to kick off with a High Tea which was hosted outside its New York flagship on the sidewalk along Fifth Avenue. As at May 24, Saks was partnered with 30 brands all over the beauty category which includes Dior, Aerin, Penhaligon’s, Lancôme and Burberry through the month-long effort.
Saks shared a 360-degree virtual reality video on social media as a means of bringing the campaign to life. This in turn will ensure that all consumers who are living outside of New York area will be given the chance to share in this experience and also gain a deep inspection into the brands of beauty available at the retailer.
Saks Fifth Avenue’s facade for Glam Gardens 2016
The newly developed virtual camera by Saks, exposed many consumers to its flagship between 50th and 49th Streets and Fifth Avenue. This enabled consumers to have unlimited access as regards interaction as they could either make use of their mouse on the desktop version or their finger and by turning the screen on a normal mobile device.
Every customer is given an ultimate chance to experience the feeling of walking down the street when they only come across the window displays at Saks, with each windows showcasing a different beauty brand. Sisley skincare and Jo Malone fragrances happens to be one of the first brands to appear. A mini advertisement is being created as each window pane demonstrates a different unique good that is available from each beauty brand while the virtual reality experience continues. A street lined with beautiful white flowers and green blades grasses as well as some nearby landmarks like the Prometheus statue within Rockefeller Center, are being sited just as the consumer walks through the corner of East 50th Street. In addition to the experience going on along the Fifth Avenue, just from above some petals drops slowly and Saks’ Glam Gardens begins to flutter in the breeze overhead. Just as if it was painted on the ground.
The full experience lasts two and half minutes and follows the windows from Saks side entrance on East 50th Street to the opposite doorway on East 49th Street. During the virtual reality window tour, consumers are shown interactive displays from Givenchy, Tom Ford, Creed, Chanel, La Mer, Bulgari, Penhaligon’s, Dior, Lancôme, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Guerlain, Chloe and Killian, among others.
Experience the Saks Glam Gardens in 360-degree/VR
In order to create the virtual reality experience, imagery was “stitched” together in After Effects and a 4D software before assembling it in a 3D environment with the use of a VR software known as Mettle 360. Mr. Briggs commented that “in partnership with HSCUSA.TV, Saks Fifth Avenue brings the illustrious Fifth Avenue location to users around the world via a 360-degree video – the first multi-brand retailer to offer such an experience”. Even though only few specific sectors will make it a priority, virtual reality will be more influential with respect to advertising as most of the marketers begins to enlarge their storytelling initiatives beyond the platforms of social media. Companies have started sitting up and making notice as lots of the major brands which includes Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have started trying to lay hands on virtual reality in innovative ways in order to link up with younger consumers and leverage mobile. Though, this may, however, be unsuitable for many brands, it should not be ignored as it would prove useful to executives in the food, retail, automotive and hospitality industries to hit a marketing home run. This can be achieved through taking advantage of the mobile applications and cheap cardboard packaging which can be used to create a memorable augmented viewing experience.
A major example of this is in the luxury space is the legend that Swiss watchmaker, Tag Heuer was able to craft with the help of the virtual reality mobile application of New York Times. Readers are, however, placed at the center of New York Times’ content through the NYT VR application and also the brands produced by its partners with the use of immersive 360-degree video experience which allows interactive narrative. In addition, the LVMH-owned by Tag Heuer, also used the storytelling capabilities of the NYT VR application to distribute the heritage of its Carrera timepiece with New York Times’ audience, which showed both its modernity and placement within the watch industry worldwide.
The CEO and co-founder of Youvisit, Abi Mandelbaum stated that “For brands implementing new campaigns, virtual reality video is the newest and most engaging channel right now. This kind of content allows consumers to be completely immersed in the brand’s story, ultimately giving them the opportunity to interact with a company in ways that were never really possible through 2-D media”. Abi Mandelbaum continued and said that “Virtual reality gives each viewer the opportunity to make the experience their own, allowing them to control what they see and how they engage and explore the content”. He also said that, “Because of this, virtual reality is taking storytelling to the next level by making the consumer part of the action”. “Virtual reality takes multi-channel to new heights due to the nature of the content itself and because it enhances the experience across every other medium. This kind of content can now be incorporated into social strategy with platforms like Facebook and YouTube supporting 360-degree video.”