High-end brands have often operated on a velvet-rope principle: an air of exclusivity and secret luxury concoctions. But as the industry has grown increasingly transparent, both from the brand and consumer sides, a number of companies are offering a more behind-the-scenes look at their operations through immersive activations.
With Les Journées Particulières, LVMH has been showcasing the creative and technical prowess of its brands since 2011. “Les Journées Particulières presents a rare opportunity for visitors to discover the locations where our products are made, engage with the people who make them and gain precious insights into our long history of craftsmanship and our Maisons’ rich legacies. We feel that it is important to showcase the quality and skills that go into these products and encourage the transmission of our artisans’ savoir-faire to new generations,” Anish Melwani, Chairman and CEO, LVMH for North America, tells BeautyMatter. Activations included Officine Universelle Buly hosting a calligraphy workshop and Guerlain taking consumers on a deep dive into its sustainability efforts, with the bees, the providers for its Abeille Royale range, at the center.
This year, Fresh participated for the first time, making it the first time that an American LVMH Maison (alongside Tiffany & Co.) has taken part. For the occasion, the brand’s Union Square flagship store was transformed over the course of three days to host a mask flight showcasing the origins of the skincare brand’s hero ingredients (from black tea to brown sugar), as well as a journey into the history of the brand, with its founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg. The mask flight included coordinating teas and snacks as guests were taken through Fresh’s five bestselling masks—Sugar Face Polish, Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask, Rose Face Mask, Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask, and Crème Ancienne White Truffle Overnight Mask—and the ingredients driving their success.
“The family spirit of this event, with all Maisons coming together, is completely aligned with Fresh’s core values and we are really excited to add our brand voice to this year’s event for the first time,” adds Anne Collinet, CEO of Fresh. “We are inviting guests to take part in a memorable multi-sensorial experience that is perfectly tailored to our sensorial products and to discover the origin stories of our hero ingredients. It’s a wonderful moment for us to showcase the uniqueness of Fresh and provide special access to those in attendance.”
In other brand realms, Armani took visitors through the creation process of its Crema Nera Reviscentalis Meta Concentrate at a recent pop-up in Canada’s Holt Renfrew Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Experiential activations have certainly been at the forefront of marketing opportunities, but as consumer thirst for ingredients and a complete behind-the-scenes look at a brand's operations grow, events which look into how the actual product is made have an undeniable pull.
Furthermore, as brands fight for consumer time and attention, the stakes for a successful offline activation are becoming higher and higher. The more you are willing to show your inner brand workings, the better. Whether it’s an industry-only event or a gathering open for all, that kind of openness generates hype that lasts beyond event day.
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