The Swiss Watchmaker ROGER DUBUIS partnered with VELVET the Shanghai-based Social Media agency, to underscore its audacious & avant-garde DNA among the savvy Chinese audience. “Daring Partner” campaign invites them to tap, swipe, and shake to digitally find the timepiece that perfectly match their unique lifestyle.
5 years after its creation, WeChat is still at the top of the curve of social media with over 768 million users. Luxury houses have been massively investing through this path as the surest way to reach the connected generation and express a clear brand positioning and voice. VELVET took that bet and partnered with Roger Dubuis, to deliver an easy to interact yet unique experience through China top one social platform, WeChat.
Unique since its very creation in 1995, Roger Dubuis has been at the forefront of contemporary luxury watch industry thanks to its exceptional watchmaking mechanisms and quality combined with highly differentiated, audacious designs. From VIP dinners on the top of the Mont Blanc in the French Alps to innovative format as one of the first brand to deliver experiential content through VR during its branded events, Roger Dubuis takes a strong position about offering unforgettable experiences.
A unique experience with WeChat HTML5 mini-site
To celebrate the uniqueness of Roger Dubuis core collection Excalibur, VELVET designed a fully branded HTML 5 on WeChat where watch lovers can easily tap to answer and shake to get its best Daring Partner timepiece.
After sharing some snapshots of the selected watch – to be found in Roger Dubuis stores – participants will be selected to win extraordinary experiences in China including tickets for the upcoming FFF GT Race in Shanghai this September, or invitations at the most exclusive Roger Dubuis event in October…
Leveraging online influencers (KOLs)
As for any luxury brand looking to amplify its messaging online, KOLs has long been a long-term and effective strategy than traditional advertising. For the campaign, Roger Dubuis has been leveraged to give educational background on the brand core values and cultural references. For instance, JiLiang, a KOL who has over 256,000 followers on WeChat, focused on the sword ‘Excalibur’ as the physical interpretation of every conquering men best partner.
WeChat Moment Ads
In addition, with influencers, Roger Dubuis has been leveraging WeChat advertising system to reach beyond their target audience. Since 2014, Tencent has began to experiment with banner ads on WeChat and later in early 2015, rolled it out on its users’ Moments allowing brands to gain media exposure in a premium location. Over the past year, Tencent has been investing more in the technology that allows advertisers to target ads based on a user’s online activities and preferences allowing more sophisticated formats.
Access Roger Dubuis WeChat Account & Online Experience
VELVET, the digital agency for premium and luxury brands, is excited to invite guests to a presentation about one of the most relevant tools for digital marketers today: social listening and tracking.
VELVET and 6Estates, an AI powered Big Data analytics company, will co-present insights from a study based on the online activities of Chinese outbound travelers to UK and France, as well as the digital discussions around UK and France between the peak travel months of October 2015 to April 2016.
Founded in 2014, 6Estates is a Singapore-based technology company that spun off from NExT a joint research center between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Tsinghua University of China, to provide global business real-time insights and predictions of consumer behavior and preferences with a focus on China.
Leveraging on large volumes of data collection and analysis with AI-based Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning & Knowledge Graph technologies, 6Estates processes digital consumer content to facilitate smarter marketing decisions to bridge the gap between global businesses of which are keen to understand the China market, and Chinese businesses competing in global markets.
Join us in discussing the results of a report based on over one million data points.
The invite-only event is part of a bi-monthly series co-organized with our strategic partner, XNode Co-working Space and Startup Accelerator.
Patrice Nordey, Founder & CEO, VELVET
Patrice Nordey is a digital veteran with over 15 years of e-business experience across Europe and APAC. He consults international companies on the deployment of Digital Marketing & Communication, Social Media, and e-Commerce in China.
Prior to VELVET, Nordey worked at L’Atelier, the innovation arm of BNP Paribas. During his 11-year tenure, he spearheaded major digital projects as part of the strategy department in the Paris head office before serving as APAC CEO in Shanghai.
Xu Tao, Head of Product, 6Estates
Xu Tao is a passionate Product Evangelist specializing in products and solutions that improve the consumer experience and generate consumer insights. Throughout his career, he has helped build web apps, mobile apps, data analytics applications, and virtual chatbots using NLP/NLG and machine learning technologies. Prior to joining 6Estates, Xu Tao was the Regional Product Manager for WDS, a subsidiary of Xerox.
- Top sightseeing and shopping destinations in the UK/France
- Top brands shopped in the UK/France
- Top brands discussed online
- Travel preferences by demographic
- Purchasing patterns
- Points of influence & impact (celebrity, events, news, public policy)
On Thursday April 21, 2016, VELVET organized the event Virtual Reality for Brands, featuring Crow’s Nest, a leading virtual reality content producer. The event was attended by members of the French Chamber of Culture and Industry, China (CCIFC).
Speakers for the event included VELVET CEO and Founder Patrice Nordey, Crow’s Nest Founder Eloi Gerard, Crow’s Nest Co-Founder Robert Ellis, Youku Business Development Director Jim Lerch, and Thomas Cook Business Development Associate Director, Solene Anglaret.
According to Gerard, humans have been projecting the self into reality since they started creating art. Virtual reality as we know it is the product of the convergence of smart phones and the internet. 2016 also marks the first year that affordable devices will be available to the masses—some could say it is Year One for Virtual reality.
Gerard went on to explain the difference between virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. The virtual reality experience is one of being submersed in an entirely different environment while augment reality involves placing virtual elements directly into real space. Mixed reality is where the virtual continuum extends from reality to augmented reality and augmented virtuality.
In terms of how brands use virtual reality, the popular options include events, cardboard (an inexpensive version of a headset made of cardboard), and in-store devices. Popular industries that use VR include travel, real estate, auto, and retail.
Automotive – PSA
The French car manufacturer commissioned Crow’s Nest to create a corporate video that contained scenes from the board room, test lab, and inside a car. The video was published to WeChat.
Retail – Metro
For its 20-year anniversary, the German supermarket commissioned Crow’s Nest to create a video that featured a host walking through a market to showcase the layout, products, and overall consumer experience.
Travel – Thomas Cook
The pioneering British travel agency decided to take advantage of the natural synergy between virtual reality and showcasing travel offerings. For the China market, it hired Crow’s Nest to produce a video that told the story of a Chinese couple’s holiday in Thailand.
As for the distribution model, it is easier in Europe because there are over a thousand retail locations and it is easy to distribute cardboards in store. In New York, sales increased by 300% after the introduction of virtual reality content. However, it’s hard to say for China, since the company started with virtual reality here, according to Business Development Associate Director, Solene Anglaret. In China, the company often distributes cardboards at Chinese partner company Fosun corporate events. The next step would be distribution at airports, sent to homes, and so forth.
Regarding whether virtual reality will replace real holidays, Anglaret seemed doubtful, saying that while she could imagine someone who wanted a quick pick-me-up by watching a travel VR video, for the most part, VR will aid in the decision making process.
What’s next in VR?
Youku Business Development Director Jim Lerch spoke about the potential for VRC (the virtual reality commercial), as well as branded entertainment and VR games. Youku (the “Youtube of China”) recently launched the 360 VR channel. Within Youku, there is a dedicatd APP. It is currently building out its VR product offering. Youku’s approach is content-driven, unlike competitor Tencent, which is more hardware driven.
VR content marketing is in its early stages. So what is the future of branded entertainment? One idea is doing original content teasers in VR, such as an extended movie trailer. Rather than a passive experience, it has the potential to be like a choose your own adventure.
VR e-commerce is another interesting prospect. Consumers will be able to experience a lifestyle and shop direct.
Of the four major players in the VR industry in China, Alibaba is the only one that is focused on content. The other three are closed ecosystems, similar to Facebook: Tencent (building out ecosystem with a headset and leveraging its user base), Baidu and LeEco.
But the industry is moving quick—Huawei also announced a headset.
Examples of VR for social media include meeting friends on the moon or having a meeting with your boss and coworkers who are all avatars.
Basically, VR is like the new internet and everyone wants to be Google and the challenge moving forward is about moving beyond the gimmick to create something sustainable, with longevity, Gerard concluded.
Get in touch to learn more about how to incorporate virtual reality into your marketing strategy.
The following is synthesized from a talk by VELVET and Carlipa, a technology company, about in-store digital luxury experiences. The talk took place in Shanghai on March 31, 2016 and is part of a bi-monthly morning series in partnership with our strategic partner, XNode Co-working Space and Startup Accelerator.
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One of the biggest challenges in a digital age is recreating the in-store experience online and delivering brand value across a fragmented experience.
The digital experience is important because it is about business.
While a lot of the projects are linked to improving customer experience in store and to providing an interesting and outstanding experience, one of the big subjects is also to solve retail issues. Digital in-store experiences are not limited to communication, they also have a direct impact on sales.
Digital in-store experiences contribute to sales value, greater frequency of purchase, and customer loyalty. The digital customer experience is about business.
So what constitutes good customer experience? It’s not something you can measure, it’s not a metric-–it’s a perception. The only way to know is to ask the customer.
According to Forrester Research, there are three elements that are crucial for building customer experience. A brand should deliver value by bringing something useful that meets the needs of customers. A brand should delivery it in an easy way, and here technology factors a great deal. These two elements are very rational. The third element is extremely irrational and many people forget-–the experience needs to be enjoyable. So these are the three: useful and easy (rational) plus enjoyable (irrational).
The next idea I would like to share with you before starting is the fact that when we interact with clients through different channels and touch points, the interaction will set the expectation. Particularly with luxury, the promise and expectation is that customers will have an incredible experience. So you have all the traditional channels–-TV, ads, print, radio, email, web, digital–-that will set the expectation. But you need to deliver the promise. The higher you set the bar, the greater your deliverable becomes.
Some channels will deliver the value. The in-store experience, the way the manager welcomes you–-all of this delivers value. Furthermore, customer perception will be hard to shift once expectations have been set. The more you meet these expectations, the more you create incredible customer service.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the role of technology within all of that. So we return to the store, because this is the topic of today. We have drafted a value chain and there are three elements technology contributes at the point of sale. First is foot traffic. More traffic means more business. The second element of value is the experience at the point of sale, be it product information, engaging the manager, browsing the catalogue, etc. The third element is the sales conversion, to help conclude sales more efficiently. For example through mobile payment, so a customer doesn’t have to line up to make a purchase. Of course all the tools that lead to loyalty are also here.
That’s one layer. There are actually three layers.
The second layer is capturing foot traffic, which is usually very qualitative. The technology will help to capture the data and to target new customers to deliver personalized offerings.
The third layer involves how technology has the potential to empower staff. At the end of the day, most of the experience will be delivered by the staff, by the beauty adviser, the store manager, so it’s not just about technology for the customers, it’s also about how it will help the sales deliver better service. Technology delivers value to all three layers.
In conclusion, digital in-store experiences can improve overall customer experience and help resolve customer frictions. It is also important to remember that brands should deliver unique messages tailored for local market specificities while remaining true to the brand DNA. Lastly, content is critical to the success of in-store digital experiences. Content must be consistent, useful, qualitative and updated on a regular basis.
A PDF of the presentation containing case studies is available upon request.
After decades of being relegated to the domains of science fiction and fantasy, virtual reality is finally coming to the masses. The year 2016 marks the first time virtual reality devices and content are accessible on a mass scale to consumers. In fact, it is possible to access virtual reality content through one’s smartphone and a simple cardboard glass for as little as RMB 20. Considering the imminent spread of virtual reality, the marketing potential for brands is immense and industries such as travel, real estate, and auto are among early adopters.
VELVET invites Eloi Gerard and Robert Ellis, co-founders of virtual reality content company Crow’s Nest, to speak on the latest developments in virtual reality and how brands can integrate it into marketing and communication strategies to better serve consumers. Solene Anglaret, Business Development Associate Director of Thomas Cook will present a case study and demo of a campaign in partnership with Crow’s Nest. Jim Lerch, Business Development Director and Enfys Luk, Senior Manager of East Asia, Integrated Marketing, both of Youku, will join for a Q&A session.
Crow’s Nest is the leading virtual reality agency in China, specializing in virtual content creation. Combining storytelling and filming expertise with 360 VR technologies, we build new worlds and amazing immersive experiences, from concept to production, and deliver content-driven campaigns online and offline. Thomas Cook, Club Med, Metro and PSA trust us to tell their brand stories and explore with us endless possibilities in VR.
Eloi is the founder of Crow’s Nest. Thanks to a decade of experience as a consultant at Deloitte and a film producer, Eloi
has an extensive background at the crossroad of sales, operations and film production. He came to China in 2012 and joined the media production agency Must, where he met Rob. Throughout his career, Eloi served many brands (VW, Porsche, Volvo, Michelin, Bridgestone, Google, Puma, Adidas, Nike) and agencies (TBWA, DDB, Edelman, Jack Morton Worldwide, Y&R,
Co-founder of Crow’s Nest, Rob has over a decade of experience in video, film and creative direction in UK and China. Rob worked on major film productions across UK, including “Batman” and “Alexander”. In 2009, he came to China to work for a photography agency and soon joined Must, where he met Eloi. As a creative director, Rob has been a driving force in assisting brands such as Porsche, Tudor, Converse, Johnny Walker, Martel, Adidas, Coach, China Mobile, L’Oreal, and more.
EVENT DATE: April 21st, from 6:30 pm
VENUE: CCIFC Shanghai
(This event is open to members of the French Chamber of Commerce (CCIFC) only.)
VELVET is excited to announce an official strategic partnership with XNode Co-working Space and Startup Accelerator.
VELVET and XNode have worked together on several key collaborations since 2015 and this announcement marks a new chapter in our continued partnership. Through the partnership, VELVET will continue to connect the network of XNode startups with board-level brand executives visiting China on learning expeditions to observe Chinese innovation. VELVET’s clients will also gain unlimited access to XNode’s massive startup network in China. In addition, VELVET and XNode will co-organize exclusive, qualitative events at XNode venues throughout Shanghai with the aim of uniting brand executives with China’s foremost innovators and startups.
The first event will take place on Thursday, March 31 in Shanghai. The exclusive gathering will feature guest speakers from Carlipa, the leader in connected, luxury retail experiences, speaking about omnichannel and O2O marketing best practices.
XNode was founded to be the center of innovation in Greater Shanghai, with five prime location spaces in central Shanghai by the end of 2016: Fudan University, Jing’an Temple, North Bund, Zhang Jiang Hi-Tech Park and Donghu Road. Our vision is to source, filter, identify, mentor, and accelerate high-caliber startup ventures that possess the passion and ability to create scalable businesses that will disrupt traditional sectors. We plan to do this by providing each team with not only first class space, but relevant mentorship, financial investment and business support.
XNode focuses on building international entrepreneur communities by setting up close or exclusive partnerships with global leading incubators and accelerators. In addition to offering VC/PE/Angel investor access and mentorship, XNode links startups with major Chinese corporations and top professional service firms i.e. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, King&Wood Mallesons, etc. through the Corporate Innovation & Incubation program.
More information: www.thexnode.com
VELVET is a China-born, French-led digital strategy and activation agency serving luxury and premium brands. VELVET’S core expertise include social media, influencer marketing, media planning and buying, search marketing, strategic consulting, corporate training and learning expeditions.