Need to Know
22 : 07 : 19

City signage to address over-tourism, China Airlines pokes fun at transformational travel and why US shoppers are embracing direct-to-consumer brands.

Balenciaga’s realistic portrayals of modern love

Balenciaga winter 2019, Paris

Paris – Real-life couples discuss one another’s quirks in the luxury house’s autumn/winter 2019 campaign.

The campaign, which takes the form of a short video and series of images, stars real-life couples from Paris, who discuss the nuances of their romantic relationship through voiceovers. With young heterosexual, lesbian and gay couples represented, the campaign contrasts the highly elaborate and glamourised love stories often presented in luxury marketing.

Shot by Ed Fornieles and mimicking the style of user-generated content (UGC) on social media, the film comprises footage that has been captured on surveillance cameras. In this way the brand offers a fly-on-the-wall aesthetic that is able to capture the couple’s intimate moments.

Luxury brands such as Balenciaga are using their campaigns to burst the authenticity bubble, demonstrating how modern relationships can still be explored in marketing without romantic overkill.

SolarCloud envisages public art as a source of green energy

solarCLOUD by Superspace solarCLOUD by Superspace
solarCLOUD by Superspace solarCLOUD by Superspace

Abu Dhabi – Istanbul-based studio Superspace’s SolarCloud project imagines 1,500 solar balloons that are both a source of renewable energy and a kinetic sculpture.

The project has been shortlisted as part of the Land Art Generator competition, which provides a platform for artists, architects and creatives looking to develop forward-thinking solutions for sustainable energy that double as public works of art.

Designed to be installed at the gate of Masdar City, SolarCloud consists of a canopy of balloons made from solar fabric. In the daytime, the structure creates shade below while harvesting solar energy from above. Behaving like a kinetic sculpture, the balloons would gently fall at night to create a lower canopy, while serving as a canvas for light art shows. In addition to creating green energy, the proposal intends to create a new landmark for Masdar City.

For more future-facing energy solutions, read our Renewable Energy Market.

These signs encourage tourists to discover Paris’ suburbs

Paris – A temporary signage system will direct tourists away from the French capital’s landmarks and towards lesser-known sites in the suburbs.

The 43 signs, which are strategically placed at popular tourist attractions, are the result of a collaboration between cultural centre Magasins généraux and the Enlarge Your Paris project. On display until October, the aim is to connect both Parisians and visitors with neighbourhoods that are often ignored, encouraging the public to explore the overlooked highlights of Greater Paris.

For example, a sign at the Musee d’Orsay will point visitors to discover Van Gogh’s landscapes ‘in real life’ by visiting the suburb of Auvers-sur-Ois, while a sign at the Jardin de Luxembourg suggests Parc de Sceaux as an alternative destination. All of the spots signposted as part of the Par ici le Grand Paris project will also be accessible via an interactive map.

Similarly, we discuss Paris’ suburban awakening in our Emerging Youth: France Market.

Par ici le Grand Paris by Enlarge Your Paris and Magasins généraux, BETC

China Airlines debunks clichés around travel advertising

What Travel Brings You, China Airlines, by Leo Burnett Taiwan

China – The airline’s What Travel Brings You campaign takes a tongue-in-cheek look at life after returning home from a trip.

While holiday campaigns tend to revolve around paradisiacal destinations, China Airlines has chosen to highlight the unusual souvenirs one can expect to take home from a travel experience. ‘Every journey may bring something new into your life,’ reads a statement by the airline, ‘be it new knowledge, new experiences, or even a whole new life.’

The ad follows the stories of a man who has recently returned from the mountainous Japanese region of Hokkaido with a cast on his leg and a snapped snowboard, a woman with a positive pregnancy test after visiting Australia and a couple discarding a marriage certificate following their trip to Las Vegas.

New travel and tourism campaigns are breaking the mould of idyllic sunsets and happy families. In a similar vein, Vienna’s tourism board earlier this month unveiled a campaign that highlighted the city’s worst online reviews.

Stat: US shoppers embrace direct-to-consumer brands

Just under half of consumers in the US now purchase from direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, according to the IAB’s Disrupting Brand Preference report. The study identified that these consumers tend to be younger and driven by the desire to convey something about themselves, with 53% saying they are expressing who they are when they make a purchase.

This is compounded by a wish to seek out new products and those who shop DTC brands are at least 36% more likely to research a brand before making a purchase, the report reveals. As part of the discovery and research process, they are 83% more likely to go to a pop-up or physical store location pre-purchase.

In response to these behaviours, new multi-brand retail formats are bridging the gap between digital-first products and physical spaces.

Thought-starter: Is Denmark Europe’s most exciting luxury market?

With an affluent domestic market and a sharp rise in tourism, Denmark’s luxury sector is burgeoning, led by fledgling fashion labels and disruptive jewellers.

Local spending is strong. Driven by low unemployment levels, a largely affluent society and bolstered by seven years of negative interest rates, which means Danes are able to pay off their mortgages quickly leaving them with more disposable income.

Copenhagen was named the world’s top city for travellers in 2019 by Lonely Planet. Among the guide’s reasons to visit are the regeneration of areas such as Jægersborggade and the Meat Packing District, now home to chic boutiques and bars; eco-attractions such as the Copenhill ski slope that sits atop a recycling centre; and foodie highlights like sea container street food destination Reffen.

Worth about £432m ($550m, €481m), fashion is the most commercially important segment of the Danish luxury market (source: Statista). Vibrant Copenhagen label Saks Potts, run by 26-year-old co-founders Barbara Potts and Cathrine Saks, draws inspiration from youth culture and contemporary art. Its collections are available in more than 50 stockists across the globe, with a recent capsule collection for Net-A-Porter reported to have sold out almost immediately.

Look out for The State of Luxury: Denmark here.

Skagerak, Denmark
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