Precision-cut crystal maker Swarovski is enticing public involvement in its Shanghai exhibit with mobile and social touchpoints that interact with local Chinese consumers as well as those around the world.
The brand is using QR codes and Chinese foursquare-esque mobile application Jiepang along with country-specific social media channels to enhance its Sparkling Secrets exhibit through the month of July. Swarovski chose these channels due to past successes in reaching consumers via social media, per the brand.
“Effectively incorporating mobile touchpoints in experiential marketing efforts is an exercise in subtlety and sophistication,” said Scott Forshay, mobile and emerging technologies strategist forAcquity Group, Austin, TX.
“The touchpoints should always be additive to the experience and not detract or compete for the attention of the exhibit audience,” he said. “Opportunities for the audience to engage deeper with the experience should always be present and available, as in the QR execution, for those looking for additional dimensionality to the experience.
“Recently, we have seen examples of museums successfully augmenting the visitor experience in this way and doubtless the brand took inspiration for its own exhibit from those executions.”
Mr. Forshay is not affiliated with Swarovski, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Swarovski was unavailable for comment before press deadline.
Behind lock and key
Swarovski is sharing its crystal-making process with the public in an exhibit that will incorporate a behind-the-scene look at the brand with interactive experiences.
The exhibit spans the brand’s history from establishment to present and pinpoints major collaborations with luxury fashion brands.
Sparking Secrets opened to the public July 13 and will run through July 31 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.
Earlier this week, the brand held an opening ceremony for select press and celebrities that incorporated the reveal of the fall/winter 2012 collection and the ending of a brand film centered on the exhibit.
The video stars Chinese actors Qin Lan and Zhang Lu Yi. It was directed by Chinese director Zero Lin and shot by Taiwanese photographer Shu Hao Chou.
The story in the film is the romance that is sparked with the brand’s Nirvana Ring. It debuted June 18 on Swarovski’s Chinese social media channels such as Sina Weibo, Youku and Tudou as well as its Web site and international social media channels.
Sparking Secrets’ opening ceremony was also streamed online via Chinese social media platforms and Facebook.
There was also a live tweet and photo stream on social platforms including Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, Kaixin, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
On the move
In addition to its social efforts, Swarovski is using mobile to reach consumers on-the-go and while they are at the exhibit.
The brand created a mobile site where consumers could view the opening ceremony, watch the video, find exhibit information and news, use interactive polling, RSVP to the exhibit and interact via Weibo.
Swarovski is using Chinese mobile check-in app Jiepang to give select users free admission to the exhibit. Users that check in at Swarovski boutiques can earn virtual badges and admission tickets.
At the exhibit, the brand is using QR codes and a virtual fitting mirror to increase interactivity.
Visitors can get mobile-exclusive information about the stories within the exhibit by scanning QR codes with their smartphones.
Also, there will be mirrors that use facial recognition technology so that visitors can virtually try on Swarovski jewelry. These images can be shared via social media platforms from the exhibit.
“I think it is a great idea to use QR codes to transcend the exhibit to an interactive mobile experience,” said Matt McKenna, founder and president of Red Fish Media, Miami Beach, FL.
“In addition, the mobile site will be a home run for the event,” he said. “This will allow fans to interact with the brand in unique ways and gain access to exclusive content.
“More and more, fans want to engage with their favorite brands and this campaign will empower them to interact in a variety of ways and share socially with their friends.”
Swarovski is probably trying to up its mobile presence, since much of its efforts have concentrated on social media.
For example, it asked its Facebook fans to make videos of themselves dancing in virtual Swarovski sunglasses for the chance to win eyewear from the brand’s new collection.
In addition, Swarovski created a Facebook app that lets its consumers virtually travel the world with two recurring characters, Erika and Eliot..
Although, the brand did create a dedicated mobile site designed to help consumers with all of their St. Valentine’s Day needs including gift ideas, restaurants and spas in February.
The combination of mobile and social channels in its exhibit campaign will likely help the brand reach its target audience.
“The brand expertly synchronizes the on-premise and off-premise exhibit experience through its use of game mechanics, rewarding boutique check-ins with social currency and tickets to the event,” Acquity Group’s Mr. Forshay said.
“The luxury consumer seeks greater degrees of intimacy from the brands they most covet and rewarding loyalty with priority access to the brand is the essence of the ideal luxury game mechanics model,” he said.
“Given its inherent transitive nature, mobile is the ideal medium to transport the brand narrative from touchpoint to touchpoint and is unique in its ability to add layers of dimensionality to the exhibit experience.”
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York