Gucci x The North Face’s Multifaceted Launch
Gucci’s recent collaboration with US outdoor clothing brand The North Face keenly illustrates heritage luxury’s continued love-in with streetwear. Conceived to speak to younger consumers by integrating street art, gaming and social media tech tools, core launch tactics comprised outdoor murals, phygital Gucci Pin pop-up activations and a tie-in with Pokémon Go.
Here are the key launch tactics:
Early Access Entry: Building hype, fans could enter an online draw for early access to the collection, which pre-launched on Gucci.com for My Gucci members (a free loyalty scheme) before anywhere else.
Artistic Out-of-Home Advertising: Gucci’s ArtWalls (first launched in 2018) concept comprises murals in fixed locations across major cities that the brand updates to match its latest campaign. Street art-influenced, they feature designs from the collection. Its current Milan mural – a realistic rendering of a quilted jacket – garnered 800k likes on Gucci’s Instagram (its posts average 70k).
Pin Stores Takeover: The collection is also available in Gucci’s Pin pop-ups – a store concept initiated in late 2019 – permanent locations that play host to revolving campaigns and collections. The Pin stores take their name from Google Maps’ pins and are denoted on Google Maps, Gucci.com and in the Gucci app by branded pins, using patterns from the brand’s textiles.
Pins offer digital experiences, such as collection-themed augmented reality filters for Snapchat and Instagram, accessible through the Gucci app and social platforms, including Instagram, WeChat and Korean platform Kakao.
Nature-Centric Store Design: Store designs draw inspiration from the great outdoors, with tent-like geodesic domes and QR code access to nature sounds in 8D audio (audio mixed so it sounds as if it’s moving around the room). Pins double as Gucci PokéStops, meaning Pokémon Go players can unlock Gucci x The North Face clothing for their Pokémon avatars.
De-Stereotyping the Outdoors: Notably, the campaign features a racially diverse cast hiking in the Alps, de-stereotyping outdoors advertising and acknowledging diverse fan bases.
Creative Partnership Amplifies Black Voices: Gucci's ongoing partnership with London creative agency A Vibe Called Tech saw the agency work with four Black creatives, including British-Ghanaian Tate curator Osei Bonsu to reinterpret the collection. See also Brands Foregrounding Black Creatives.
Look out for Harnessing the Outdoor Opportunity, publishing February 25.