Uniqlo heats up Times Square

Uniqlo releases street teams; Agent Provocateur promotes new viral campaign; Flickr launches fashion photo feature; and more

Mimes, silver bodysuits, and a thermograph scanner. It's either an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark or a Uniqlo promotion.


Uniqlo it is. The retailer, often referred to as the Japanese H&M, gave away its' new Heat Tech innerwear via a giant human vending machine in Times Square on November 18. A Uniqlo rep describes the vending machine for New York Magazine:

"Basically we're going to have two mimes. A male and a female mime inside the machine. And the public can see them through glass. When you get there, we're going to have Uniqlo reps dressed in the silver bodysuits. And they're going to hold a thermograph scanner — think of an airport security machine. The thermographer identifies cold spots in your body. After you go through that, you go to the vending machine and push a button and the mimes are going to do a synchronized choreographed routine and then your outfit comes out."

 The company also recently launched a guerilla initiative called "Global UNIQLO March" described as "new-style global participatory promotion content." Thirty-five people marched through Japanese cities in new Uniqlo flannel shirt styles. According to the press release, the march was filmed using a special camera with a wide angle lens, and video footage of scenes covering more than 50 meters in street length were uploaded to the Uniqlo Web site.

Also in style:

 

Eye patches are in style in Agent Provocateur's new viral campaign. The UK-based lingerie brand recently opened an office in the US. “I've been pushing [the campaign] to all the weeklies and all the newspapers,” says Jeananne Williams, the new US press manager. “Our main focus now is to get the US media trained that these campaigns are coming out four times a year.”

 

One of the many retailers battling for the recession-minded consumer, JC Penney will launch a weekly video "newscast" discussing gift ideas. Mike Boylson, the retailer's CMO, told the Wall Street Journal, "It's a whole new way of communicating that's much more engaging than static print." The story continues that Penney plans to send more email alerts this holiday season and promote its Web site in stores.

Flickr launched Flickrista, a culmination of the best fashion photography uploaded by users. Flickrista editor Andreas Climent will choose from the huge database of public photos. According to the “About Flickrista” page, the hope is to attract a wider audience to photos that are mainly uploaded and viewed by fashion photographers.
 
Reebok launched a pop-up store on the Bowery and tapped John Maeda, graphic artist and dean of the Rhode Island School of Design, to design an exclusive shoe.

WWD talks to Alexander McQueen about his much anticipated line for Target. WWD reports, “When Ed Filipowski, the publicist and events producer, suggested to McQueen that he work with Target, the designer said he was initially ambivalent. ‘I've never understood Target,' he said. But the idea of spreading his name appealed to the designer.”

Last week, Lucky Shops - a three-day shopping event featuring pieces from the magazine - worked with Fingerprint Communications on a media outreach initiative to drive consumers to the shop. According to Sasa Nikolic from Fingerprint, the PR team secured pre-event coverage with a story in the Associated Press and held a VIP preview party a day before the launch. 

Maybelline has taken sampling to high altitudes. Fashion blog Fashionista reports that Jet Blue handed Maybelline's Great Lash mascara to females on a flight.

 

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