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Interacting through digital

All Saints and Bally’s latest campaigns attempt to fuse video with user interaction. So how have they done?

As businesses continue to tailor their marketing campaigns towards a digital focus, high street retailers Bally and All Saints have both launched interactive digital initiatives.

All Saints’ campaign is called ‘We Are All Saints’ and is an interactive video that allows users to drag their mouse over the video, moving it around to view the full arrangement. The video features a group of young creatives (musicians, dancers and models) wearing autumn 12 product. As users move the video around each individual has a marker point on them, which are clicked on to see more details.

However, it then takes at least another three clicks to add any of the products shown into a basket, giving plenty of time for potential customers to log off.

Max Childs, marketing director of rich-media etail platform Amplience, explains: “The experience is really interactive, drawing you in. Cues to discover more about product details strike the right balance between being easy to find, yet not intrusive. However, while this is a great piece of consumer engagement and brand-building media, conversion opportunities could be enhanced. The most important missing feature is ‘Add to basket’.”

Online consultant Leon Bailey-Green also points out the importance of having a strategy behind every campaign. “This looks like innovation for innovation’s sake. I’d have thought their customer would be too time-poor to play with this dragable video.”

Bally has taken a slightly different approach, launching its ‘Bally Interactive Campaign’ on YouTube.

The video is essentially an advert but as the footage plays, product shown in the video then appears in a box on the right-hand side with a prompt to ‘Shop Now’. However, the video actually stops when product appears on screen and the process can seem clunky. As Lee Friend, creative director and executive producer at digital fashion photography firm Fashot points out: “The transitions are savage and the composition is a little predictable. As a shopping experience it assumes the second someone sees something they want, they will halt the video. It doesn’t work for me.”

Allyson Tremblay, UK sales director at online merchandiser Fredhopper, says: “Effective merchandising should be immersive, and where it’s interactive it should have confidence in the power of suggestion and give the user control of what they choose to explore. Bally has got it wrong this time - this campaign was about interactive shopping ‘just for the sake of it’, to the point of being patronising. It’s great that Bally is trying to head in this direction, but there’s still a long way to go here.”

All Saints’ campaign had more than 40,000 views in its first weekend. A statement from All Saints says: “We’ve seen improvements in performance in the past few weeks. We believe this is the result of a larger plan of which the campaign is one key aspect.” However, it has yet to reveal any direct sales figures resulting from the campaign.

So while interactive campaigns can work, retailers must think carefully about their execution. And most importantly, how to translate them into sales.

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