American Marketer

Events / Causes

Gucci exec urges luxury brands to leverage video’s untapped potential

September 23, 2013


NEW YORK - A senior Gucci executive at the Luxury Retail Summit: Holiday Focus 2013 last week said that video is an area that still holds untapped potential for luxury brands and should be explored during the holiday season.

The executive expounded upon the brand's efforts to foster a 360-degree marketing approach that allows for flexibility in the realm of video. Since luxury brands are typically associated with traditional forms of media such as print, experimenting with video provides a fresh opportunity to alter consumer conceptions.

“We are taking the 360 approach [this year]," said Barbara Rybka, worldwide digital director of Gucci, New York. "It is a consistent campaign across e-cards, print, video, social media, et cetera.

"There’s a shift not only because we are taking budget away from traditional media," she said. "We start off with what goals we have for the year and see how we can meet them.”

Luxury Daily produced the Luxury Retail Summit: Holiday Focus 2013.

See and hear

Ms. Rybka explained that Gucci optimizes search and measures the impact of mailings to different groups to determine which medium mix is most conducive to its goals. Google Analytics also helps Gucci organize its priorities.

Gucci's Barbara Rybka on the panel (first from left) at the Luxury Retail Summit: Holiday Focus 2013 Sept. 18

She explained that there is a tipping point inherent in advertising. Too little advertising runs the risk of brand obscurity, while too much can aggravate consumers, forcing them to look elsewhere for products.

Rather than segregating channels, the brand tries to implement a common omnichannel theme.

Gucci has been experimenting with video to depart from the confining ad categories with which luxury brands are sometimes associated. Ms. Rybka recommended that other luxury brands should delve into video and unlock its potential.

Holiday fever

Ms. Rybka also discussed Gucci's holiday plans to extend the horse bit loafer campaign that was implemented earlier this year.

Gucci Loafer campaign ad

The brand celebrated the 60th anniversary of its horse bit loafer with an omnichannel campaign. Over a 10-week period, the efforts permeated stores and social media channels and became a universal theme for the brand.

Sales generated by the campaign tripled what the brand had invested. Ms. Rybka explained that double-exposure can skirt the line of over-exposure, so cautiously expanding the original campaign is important.

The brand is busy with its "Bamboo Confidential" promotions before kicking off the second wave of the horse bit loafer campaign.

Bamboo Confidential ad

Gucci is using two different advertising campaigns to simultaneously promote specific aspects of its handbag collection to appeal to a wider audience of consumers.

Both the Bamboo Confidential ad campaign and the fourth and final “Forever Now” effort feature handbags with Gucci’s iconic bamboo handles. Gucci likely increased advertising for its bamboo-handle handbags to associate its brand image with these traditional products (see story).

Ms. Rybka discussed the brand's mission to do fewer campaigns that have a larger reach. During the holidays, approaching consumers with a cohesive message, rather than fragmented agendas, will likely boost sales

“When you think about the holidays, people want to get whatever product they had in mind and they want to get it in time," Ms. Rybka said.

Final take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York