American Marketer

Events / Causes

Gucci widens halo via student fund concert

July 16, 2012


Italian label Gucci is widening the halo around its timepiece and jewelry division by pushing its education fund with the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation via a Los Angeles-based performance, for which tickets can only be purchased from its local retailers.

Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry is among the hosts of a performance July 20 at the Grammy Museum that will give Chinese music students the chance to show what they have learned during a weeklong cultural exchange program. Interestingly, the label is exclusively offering tickets to the performance at three of its Chong Hing Jewelers retailers as well as posting a behind-the-scenes video produced by the students on its timepieces and jewelry Web site.

“Gucci's strategy to associate its philanthropic approaches with the C.S.C.L.F. is to aid in the opportunity of discovering talented, prestigious musicians and continue the cultural momentum,” said Dalia Strum, president of Dalia Inc., New York.

“Essentially, the attendees of the concert as well as young musical talent are Gucci's target consumer as this is a prestigious event,” she said. “This highly-esteemed program synergizes with Gucci's lifestyle within the arts.

“These award-winning students are working towards making a difference in the music industry and Gucci has committed to the preservation of these historically-significant moments in the global music vertical.”

Ms. Strum is not affiliated with Gucci, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Gucci declined comment.

Music to my ears
The performance July 20 is hosted by Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry, the Grammy Foundation, The Recording Academy, C.S.C.L.F. and Gucci retail partner Chong Hing Jewelers.

Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry began its music fund in January with C.S.C.L.F. to provide scholarships to talented Chinese students in top-notch establishments such as the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing; Xian Conservatory of Music, Shaanxi, China; and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The most talented students from the C.S.C.L.F. – Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet were invited to participate July 16-21 in the Grammy Cultural Exchange Program, which is put on by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation.

Grammy Museum concert venue

The program showcases educational activities for students and ends with the public performance featuring the students of the Grammy Cultural Exchange Program and a finale performance by Gucci’s five-student quintet.

A limited number of tickets to the performance are available exclusively at Gucci retailer Chong Hing Jewelers’ Southern California locations in San Gabriel, Los Angeles and Rowland Heights.

Grammy Cultural Exchange Program events for students include Grammy Camp Guest Professionals Day July 17 when students will meet industry professionals, a performance July 18 for students from three California-based youth music programs and a performance July 19 for students from Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.

Gucci will post a behind-the-scenes video July 20 on its timepieces and jewelry Web site at that documents the exchange students’ journey. It will be produced by students in the Grammy Camp’s music journalism program.

Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Web site

Patrons of the arts
A few other luxury brands are supporting new talent in the arts.

For instance, Bottega Veneta, Condé Nast’s Vogue and Red Digital Camera partnered to host a contest for undiscovered photographers to award a prize package that includes the opportunity to work on a special project with the Italian fashion house (see story).

In addition, German automaker Mercedes-Benz and international high-end online retailer Luisa Via Roma hosted the first fashion film festival in Florence June 17 with videos presented by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s luxury-focused content site

The series of five 60-second films were created by new designers showing at each of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week events in New York, Madrid, Stockholm, Berlin and Beijing (see story).

Gucci’s intentions in its efforts seem to be primarily philanthropic and the concert will widen the public awareness of its music fund.

“Gucci is backing its fund and program without being overly overt," said Courtney Albert, brand strategist at Parker Avery, Atlanta. "In terms of communication, the focus is square on the cause and not the product.

“This strategy enables the consumer to focus on the most important elements first, the organization’s purpose and accomplishments, while the label is providing the means to stage the live concert and relating endeavors,” she said.

Meanwhile, the brand will likely benefit from the exposure in the Chinese market and among supporters of the arts in Los Angeles, a top U.S. market.

“In most recent years, luxury brands have pushed towards establishing a stronger presence in China and engaging this very profitable consumer,” Ms. Albert said.

“I think that we have started to reach a new level of sustainability not just from branding and goods, but now it is a move on a cultural level, within the community and supporting causes that are on a more personal level,” she said.

“As a consumer, we are more receptive to brands that can make that connection without being condensing and maintaining a respectful presence.”

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York