Whether you’re an established brand or a startup launching to market, it’s hard to get noticed when there’s already so much choice out there.
Let’s presume your new product is genuinely useful, entertaining, informative or beautiful. How do you tell the world about it? Brands and cultural creators are playing with unexpected formats to generate buzz around their launches. Here is a list of those worthy of your attention.
Earlier this year, Glossier sent the beauty industry into a spin by sending out a cryptic email to subscribers announcing the launch of Glossier Play. For weeks, the cult millennial brand kept fans guessing before revealing it to be a new line of products.
The launch followed the company’s usual template: social media first, an emphasis on community and great attention to detail, particularly when it came to branding. This formula has worked for them from the start and contributed to over $100 million in sales last year.
Adidas Glitch by Iris London
Adidas needed a new route to market to launch its first-of-its-kind interchangeable boot, the Glitch. Putting mobile tech and influencers at the heart of the project, the sports giant created a community that became the co-creators of the brand, from naming the boot to testing the prototypes and defining the marketing.
To create buzz around the launch, Adidas turned an East London chicken take-out shop into a pop-up. Viewers were enticed by Instagram stories, and free boots were served up in a fried chicken box packaging. Every store touchpoint was rebranded, including signage, bespoke Glitch uniforms, napkins and menus. The campaign followed up with a wrap film that also served as the product ad.
Massive Attack’s Mezzanine DNA album
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Massive Attack’s pioneering album Mezzanine, the first album to be streamed for free, the U.K. dance act came out with another world debut: the first album to be released as encoded strands of synthetic DNA.
The band worked with TurboBeads, a commercial arm of the university ETH Zurich, to create limited-edition spray cans, each containing approximately 1 million DNA copies of the album.
Massive Attack has always pushed technology to its limit, and this pioneering first helped to get the attention of industries beyond music.
H&M x Moschino fashion show by Sandberg&Timonen and Warpin Media Stockholm
To coincide with the launch of the H&M x Moschino collaboration, the brands partnered with Magic Leap to create an eight-minute AR experience. Inside, viewers could explore the collection and interact with virtual objects, which would float and melt in front of their eyes.
Designed to mirror the unmistakable style of Moschino, it was a peek into the retail experience of the future, one that will eventually move from the high street into homes.
MedMen’s “The New Normal” by Mekanism San Francisco
L.A.-based cannabis company MedMen collaborated with famed director Spike Jonze and actor Jesse Williams to make its first commercial campaign. The two-minute spot follows the tumultuous history of marijuana, from the Founding Fathers to criminalization to the prospect of cannabis as a burgeoning industry and how it now stands to benefit society.
Decriminalization and legalization in a number of U.S. states is giving birth to a market that, according to BDS Analytics, will be worth $22 billion in 2022. Brands entering this market will seek to stand out and ask people to re-evaluate their perceptions of the drug and the people who use it.