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PARIS — Paco Rabanne is inviting fans of its Black XS fragrances to experience the life of a rock star with the launch of its new Web site, be-a-rockstar.com, part of a major push into digital by parent company Puig.
The Barcelona-based firm has struck a partnership with Universal Music Group to develop the site, which features video content produced by Universal’s Paris-based production arm Off TV. Dubbed The Black XS Off Shows, the short films about nine bands — starting with Kaiser Chiefs, Two Door Cinema Club and Cold War Kids — will also air on the brand’s YouTube channel and off.tv.
This story first appeared in the September 16, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The site, which was scheduled to launch today, will feature an immersive game that allows users to see the world from the perspective of a musician, and provides opportunities to win concert tickets, backstage passes, free downloads and Black XS and Black XS Pour Elle fragrances.
“It’s a big step forward in digital,” said José Manuel Albesa, chief brand officer of Puig, noting that Black XS had previously focused on event sponsorship and animations.
Puig has hired a team of eight to develop digital strategies for key lines within its portfolio of brands. In addition to Paco Rabanne’s Black XS, those fragrances will include Nina by Nina Ricci; Candy by Prada; Valentina by Valentino, and 212 by Carolina Herrera.
“We established a road map for change and we classified five types of ways to reach people: brand awareness, brand experience, brand engagement, brand loyalty and brand service,” Albesa said. Focusing on 16 key countries worldwide, the division is developing specific content for lines in their most relevant markets. Its first initiative, unveiled earlier this year, was the launch of a Facebook page for Nina, which has since garnered more than 415,000 “likes.”
“Sometimes we focus more on microsites or games contents or podcasts, sometimes it’s more about video or blog communities or social networks, or e-mail marketing, or sampling,” said Albesa.
“What is really important is the DNA of each particular line, so whatever tool we use for one line will never work for another,” he added.
Digital currently accounts for 8 to 9 percent of Puig’s total media spend, and Albesa aims to increase this to 15 percent.
“We are really happy with the results,” he added. “The first key PIs that we are getting are really much better than the average results in digital, so it’s really exciting,” he said.
The be-a-rockstar.com site marks the first time Puig has joined forces with an outside partner on digital content.
Mathieu Baumgartner, in charge of digital media at Universal, said linkups with brands, media, broadcasters and content platforms would become increasingly important as the music industry settles into a new landscape, where album sales make up just a fraction of its revenues.
“It’s a platform for exposure for our artists that we can’t afford to neglect, and when a brand wants to do it in a way that is consistent with our codes and values, it can only be beneficial for them and for us,” he said.
“A few years ago, when an artist joined forces with a brand, it was frowned upon by the profession. Nowadays, provided it is well done and that there are real mutual advantages, an artist joining forces with a brand is a win-win situation,” Baumgartner added.
In recent years, countless music stars have not only launched their own fragrances, but also appeared in ads for major brands. Justin Timberlake is the face of Givenchy’s Play fragrance, and The Strokes front man Julian Casablancas will star in ads for Azzaro’s new men’s scent, Decibel.