Tech Meets Tradition This Holiday Season


Charlotte Wooding | December 22, 2016

With the countdown to Christmas in full swing, there’s a chance for luxury brands to really stand out from the crowd. This year the best brands are combining tech with tradition to get customers into the festive spirit.

Whether it be interactive stories on Snapchat, immersive displays or subtle gifting guides to capture of the joy of giving, there’s no doubt that marketers are adding an extra layer of magic this Christmas.

Campaigns that engage with emotional appeal will do well this time of year. After all, the shopping experience should reflect the thoughtfulness which goes into buying a gift. So which brands have celebrated this season and made a lasting impression?

One such brand is Claridge’s. The London hotel introduced tech to its traditional Christmas tree through a collaboration with Apple's Jonathan Ive and industrial designer Marc Newson, following in the footsteps of brands such as Lanvin and Dolce & Gabbana.  The duo created an immersive installation in the hotel’s lobby, where guests can step into in a magical, snow-covered forest. The installation features four-metre high light boxes that glow with black and white photographic images of snow-covered silver birch trees.

Meanwhile, Italian designer Fendi is encouraging consumers to participate in traditional Christmas pastimes with its interactive Instagram Stories.

The brand’s #12DaysofFendi campaign gives its followers playful tasks each day, such as building a snowman or decorating their own Fendi Christmas tree, allowing consumers to tap their way through a world of festive cheer.

Once the task is completed, consumers can seamlessly swipe up to an ecommerce page within the Instagram app, allowing them to browse without ending their social media experience. Including an interactive click-through within a story is perfect for luxury brands like Fendi, as it helps to engage consumers on an effortless journey to the ecommerce site.

Elsewhere, a number of iconic store windows in New York including Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Cartier, have attracted a digital audience this year with the help of Google’s “Window Wonderland”.

For 150 years, New York city has delighted visitors with its festive window displays, which remain a powerful way to grab the attention of New Yorkers and tourists alike. This year, the tradition has taken a digital twist. Google has created an engaging online experience that replicates the feeling of strolling outside the shop windows. And with many people not having the opportunity to visit New York this Christmas, the Window Wonderland might be the next best thing.

Finally, Barneys in New York celebrated the joy of giving and receiving the perfect gift through a seriously stylish version of ‘Secret Santa’.

The brand’s #BarneysUnwrapped involved a gift swap with its fashion and entertainment influencers. Each influencer had to choose another person in the group at random, then visit Barneys to hand-pick a special gift for their recipient. The unwrapping was then filmed and posted on Instagram, offering a subtle gifting guide for its followers.

From supermodel Ashley Graham gifting DJ Mia Moretti, to Leandra Medine of Man Repeller gifting Phoebe Robinson of 2 Dope Queens, viewers could see familiar faces light up with the joy that comes from getting a great gift from Barneys.

And that’s the end goal: to connect with consumers and create a lasting impression. Whether that’s through immersive installations or social stories, the brands that do this well will be gifted with consumers keen to buy this season.