Your guide to doing the Festival de Cannes right

The Festival de Cannes 2016 ended a few days ago and, just like every year, celebrities proudly posed in their designers’ outfits on the red carpet. Brands, just as they do every year, happily shared photos of celebrities wearing their latest designs across their social media channels.

Some brands, however, decided to shake things up. Surprisingly, the two brands I have in mind went for a similar message: a guide to experiencing the Festival de Cannes the best way.

Dolce&Gabbana’s guide to making the most of the Cannes Film Festival

Dolce & Gabbana took advantage of the famous movie festival to launch a social media campaign centered on the event. The brand share pictures (of models only) at Cannes, doing things celebs do at Cannes, and wearing the brand’s designs. The twist of the campaign was in the posts’ descriptions.

Dolce & Gabbana clearly positioned its campaign as a “guide to making the most of the Cannes Film Festival” and shared 16 rules. Rules ranged from “dress to impress“, to “surround yourself with stylish friends“, “never blend in with the crowds” or “take an ice-cream break“. This touch of humor, paired with the too-perfect-to-be-true scenes pictured, made for an entertaining campaign that spread over 4 days on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Too bad it didn’t the brand long to go back to sharing photos of celebs wearing its creations again, slightly ruining the efforts of the campaign to position the brand as a self-deprecating one.

#whathappensinCannes (stays in Cannes!) with Elie Saab

Elie Saab, on the other hand, mixed celebrities photocalls with fun and self-deprecating content, ranging from gifs of a suitcase being filled, to pictures featuring a key piece form the brand’s collection and a second degree caption.

For example, the brand shared a gif of woman scrolling through her Instagram feed, with the caption “Half way through, time for a recap”.

Mixing fun, on-point insights of young women with high fashion content, the brand successfully twisted the traditional Cannes communication. All contents of the campaign are gathered on the brand’s site.

Half way through, time for a recap. See #WhatHappensInCannes on #TheLightOfNow | Link in Bio #Cannes2016

A post shared by ELIE SAAB (@eliesaabworld) on

 

These two initiatives brought a refreshing touch to the way brands approach major red carpet events, and it follows the trend of campaigns focusing on humor and millenials’ insights that we have seen among luxury brands in the past few months. It seems luxury brands are finding their voice one after the other, and they seem to have chosen a young, friendly and social media savvy voice.

Jaguar reveals your inner villain

I have always dreamt of driving a sports car, just to get a sense of it. Who hasn’t? With all those action movies and Formule 1 races on TV, most of us want to drive at an extreme speed and picture themselves as the next Schumacher, for a brief fantasy of our cooler selves. What a genius move it was from Jaguar North America to leverage this child dream of ours last year. The brand’s multi-channel “British Villains” campaign promoted the F-Type Coupe, the brand’s newest high-performance sports car at the time, which was to be launched in July 2014 in the US.

Credits: Jaguar North America

Credits: Jaguar North America

You may have heard of Jaguar’s 2014 Super Bowl 60-second spot… Yes, the brand really went for it! (It was Jaguar’s first spot during a Super Bowl, and we all know those spots are quite pricey.) Featuring three renowned British blockbuster actors (Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong), the spot was filmed by awarded movie director Tom Hooper. It promoted the tagline “It’s good to be bad”, appealing to customers’ inner villains, and launched the hashtag #GoodToBeBad. A spectacular launch for a spectacular campaign, which helped the British brand challenge its competitors on the North American luxury cars market.

Let’s jump to the online side of the campaign (as cool as the spot may be, you are after all on a blog called Digitizing luxury). Aside from online ads and community management (what I like to call the classics, or basics, given nearly everyone does it), Jaguar launched an application process for wannabe sports car drivers. The idea was to create a Jaguar Villain Academy (keeping the marketing communications very coherent, as you can see) and make four lucky contestants win a trip to Austin, TX, to try the new car before its launch, in July.

The best part? Winners wouldn’t just drive the car; they would spend a full day with the car, testing its capabilities, performance and handling on the Formula 1 track in Austin. Yes, you read me well. Way cooler than playing Gran Turismo on your screen, right? How’s that for a motivation to share content about Jaguar on your social media accounts? The brand promoted the application page on social media and applicants were asked to indicate their Instagram and Twitter accounts, indicating a social media campaign (nothing surprising here). A few months later, contestants were contacted by e-mail and asked to complete challenges. This campaign encountered quite a success on social media, with loads of shares and retweets or regrams.

Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong in the British Villains campaign. Credits: Jaguar

Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong in the British Villains campaign. Credits: Jaguar.

Jaguar North America also leveraged the potential of branded content. Several partnerships were created, including one with Sports Illustrated. Jaguar sponsored an original video series talking about infamous sports villains on SI.com. The two companies thereby made their respective fields meet to increase both of their audiences. Another great idea was the partnership between Jaguar and Pandora Radio: subscribers were offered to contribute to a crowdsourced playlist (the GoodToBeBad Mixtape) of the best of British music.

Therefore you see that Jaguar went all in to engage with its fan-base, through those means and many other channels (I chose to focus on social media and branded content, but there were more channels used, including online). Featured in countless media pieces, this campaign sure made a buzz.