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Kenzo combines entertainment and ecommerce in new Zodiac feature

French fashion house Kenzo is providing astrological advice and product suggestions on a new Zodiac feature.

“Kenzodiac” is housed on its own unique domain, and will update monthly to give consumers current content. This new microsite allows the brand to both amuse and inspire purchases, while also communicating more about itself.

“Kenzo is trying to engage their consumers — primarily young women — with content that is different and unexpected,” said Marko Muellner, vice president at ShopIgniter, Seattle.

“It’s minimal and creative with subtle product placements,” he said. “It works on mobile and is sharable to Facebook and Twitter which makes the brand discoverable and sharable across devices and social networks, which is smart.

Horoscopes, even satirical, are a consistent content marketing tactic for reaching and engaging women, and why not young women as well. With the funny and somewhat crudely drawn illustrations and the funny product pairings, it’s a lightweight but fun campaign.”

Mr. Muellner is not affiliated with Kenzo but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Kenzo did not respond by press deadline.

Astrological advice
Kenzo introduced Kenzodiac on social media and on the homepage of its Web site. The feature is available in both French and English.

When the Web site loads, the center shows the symbol and zone of the month, which for June are the lucky fish and California, respectively.

Consumers can click on a plus or minus sign to zoom in or out on a circle of Zodiac signs. The symbols have been reinterpreted as Kenzo branded cartoon people, for instance Libra holds up two handbags instead of scales.

To read a horoscope, the consumer can either click on an icon in the circle or choose the name from a column on the right side of the page. Below each name is a hint at what the advice will be, with Gemini posing the question “Should you stick to your guns?”

Along with each horoscope is a product that relates to the advice included in the text.

Those under the Sagittarius sign are told they need to express their feelings, and stop worrying so much about other people’s expectations of them, so Kenzo suggests a tiger sweatshirt to “roar your heart out.”

The link included in the product suggestion takes consumers to the individual product page on Kenzo’s Web site for the item featured.

Kenzo included links that allow consumers to easily share Kenzodiac on Facebook or Twitter. However, consumers cannot share their individual horoscopes.

Star sign
Brands often use personal content to make consumers feel more connected to them.

British handbag label Anya Hindmarch let consumers create personalized, whimsical star charts to build momentum for the brand’s planetary themed spring/summer 2014 collection.

On Anya Hindmarch’s “What Planet Are You On?” microsite, users can find out their astrological signs and planetary chart at their time of birth and then share it with their social networks. Because this content is not specific to the brand, the test will be of interest to more than just brand fans, giving Anya Hindmarch the opportunity to spread awareness (see story).

For this project, a microsite makes sense since it provides consumers a unique address to return to for monthly content.

A senior director and professor at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business at the Luxury Interactive 2013 conference highlighted the storytelling capacity of microsites through six key points meant to elevate engagement.

The academic’s “Achieving Your Long-Term Marketing Strategy Through the Use of Microsites” presentation showed the potential that microsites have for engaging consumers. A dedicated microsite has the ability to engage consumers on an emotional level through brand storytelling (see story).

Kenzo’s campaign will likely be successful at creating engagement for its existing followers and consumers.

“I think Kenzo’s consumers will likely take a look and find it amusing,” Mr. Muellner said. “I’m not sure it will be a huge viral success — gaining a lot of earned band impressions, but it won’t hurt the brand either.

“The campaign does an OK job of enabling product discovery, but this is obviously a secondary priority as the products are merely suggestions hidden behind links,” he said. “While this will drive some product consideration, I doubt it will move the needle on sales.”

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York

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