2010: The year of the “Un-Branded” Brand

2010 Highlights in Advertising and Marketing:  Dream On

Just to begin, let’s just say that the world is no longer a place where we are commanded  to show up on a Thursday night and watch Seinfeld.  Those days are gone.  We’re on to a 21st Century ideal of having our media served up to us at any time.  Yup, we’ve arrived.  We’ve now become the wizards of our own private universe. We’re off and running into this  ideal world where we’ll be able to reach people on a per moment basis to talk about something we want them to notice. Let’s see…total consumer disclosure of  likes, dislikes, friends,  family and more… Priceless. We’ll be living our “best lives” before you know it.  That sounds like a better experience for everyone, but  a more challenging mandate for marketers who come to the table to create this content.  That’s why  “un-branded” content has become so important, to luxury marketers.  The artist, creative writer,  filmmaker  or “visionary” can create or begin the telling of the story about a brand, its history, lifestyle, its characters, in a way that is indirectly related to the main story.  The audience is naturally drawn in by the experience, as, its somewhat mysterious, and, inviting. The elements of commerce are hidden, and become a “back story” to the main plot line,  which indirectly is the brand itself.  This is something new, exciting, engaging, and very powerful, almost…entertainment. This has created a new dynamic to the hallowed idea of brand engagement and has re-written advertising as we know it.   The consumer will participate in the “distribution” of this message across many platforms making it more authentic and lending their voices to the story.   Luxury brands can still be the “directors or producers” of their content, but the audience will be interacting in their own way by responding and expressing themselves.  This has broken through the “glass ceiling” of advertising for the luxury markets making the term “the sky is the limit” apply.  One example of this for 2010, was, BURBURRY’s “The Art of the Trench” (artofthetrench.com) in which the company set up a special micro site to allow its customers to send photos of themselves wearing their trenches.   As a “photographic essay” of the storied brand, this concept created many layers of  engagement and is considered by marketers to be the “gateway” to the future of advertising that a luxury brand can engage.  Chanel and Dior perfumes began this trend by creating short films that engaged us for a few moments in a drama,  then at the last possible second showed us the product.   The  “un-branded” content film, or a digital media presentation, microsite, or other unique channel is the evolution of this idea. The concept is to generate mystery and reveal the “un-branded” story of the main event, which happens to be the luxury brand. No longer just a passerby, staring in the window, the audience can now participate in the dream, and, become, the dreamer.

“We are, such stuff as dreams are made on”  W.  Shakespeare

Pikke Allen,  Brand Curator,    ARTIFICE ATELIER AGENCY

And a last word from the Luxury Gurus….

“Digital media is certainly the most qualitative channel (after retail) to showcase our luxury products. Luxury consumers can explore our brands and products online in all their complexity, beauty and cultural dimensions, through all kinds of content and media formats: videos, rich media advertising, e-commerce site, deep information about brands history and heritage, bloggers’ reviews… I strongly believe that digital is a wonderful opportunity for luxury marketers to transform simple consumers into brand-engaged connoisseurs.

Franck Sagne, Head of Digital Marketing, Moët Hennessy