Benetton took home the top retail award at the digital creativity exposition 2012 Digital Signage Expo, held in Las Vegas from March 6 through today. The brand’s Live Window’s Project, created by Benetton Group’s research laboratory Fabrica, received the Gold Apex Award in the retail category (the other two nominees were Sony Stores and Fresh).

Conceptualized from the idea that a storefront is the first point of contact between consumer and brand, Benetton came up with a digital program that connected ten of its international flagships together in real time in places such as New York, Paris, London, New Delhi, Moscow and Shanghai. Instead of mannequins or traditional two-dimensional imagery, each store was equipped with high definition video walls playing the company’s ad campaigns and product offerings.

Benetton believes that a retailer’s physical location is the place where the consumer’s perception of the brand takes place — and this heightened digital experience is essential in engaging shoppers and inviting them to interact with the brand, according to Alfio Pozzoni, who created the Benetton Live Windows Project for Fabrica and accepted the award on behalf of the brand Thursday a dinner at Caesar Palace in Las Vegas.

While content varied slightly by location and was tailored for each city’s local audience, window displays also included social content with interactive elements to further the shopper’s interactive experience.

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