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Marionette Madness

February 21, 2013

Recently in Tokyo, Japan, clothing store United Arrow commissioned the installation of an attention-grabbing window display. Meshing both the traditional and the uniquely futuristic, the display “comes alive” in an effort to encourage shopper participation, as well as ultimately create a rather notable shopping experience. Utilizing Kinect technology (as well as a motor and a series of wires), passersby can have their movements mimicked by a marionette-style mannequin, dressed, of course, in United Arrow garb and accessories. While positioned in front of the window display, shoppers can move from side-to-side, raise arms and legs, even dance while the appropriately named Marionettebot follows along nearly in unison.

It appears to have been well received by the audience in Japan’s Shibuya District, as seen in the YouTube video. A mostly younger crowd lined up to test the technology and challenge the Marionettebot with different moves and poses.

Definitely a fun display, but what do you think of it as a marketing tool? Does it encourage you to buy more United Arrow items?

For United Arrow, this adventurous window display more than likely enticed a good number of customers to venture through their doors. Were they existing or new customers? Loyal or just curious? The numbers aren’t available to determine, so what other purpose did the display ultimately serve? 

Marketing objectives aren’t always as straight forward as sell 200,000 of this and 1 million of that. As marketers, we understand not every action, marketing piece, etc., can directly result in a sale or other desired goal. Several touches/nudges are often required. This is why we mail follow up pieces and reminders, as well as show/play commercials more than once. Despite the sale of three or 3 million t-shirts, we can be sure this display left a positive brand impression. United Arrow created a new or another link in the minds of Shibuya shoppers and all the folks they ran home to tell about the display. Depending on how creative and applicable your unique marketing tool is, the louder the resulting “buzz” allowing more people will hear it!

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