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Prada sparks creativity in digital audience via Rossetto fragrance push

Italian fashion house Prada is engaging savvy affluent consumers with a digital collage-making tool to push the Feb. 14 release of its new series fragrance N°14 Rossetto.

The brand collaborated with graphic designer Michael Rock and New York-based Studio 2×4 to create a Web application that is optimized for use on desktop and tablet devices. Prada is likely relying on the shareability of the campaign to raise awareness for the brand among both affluent and aspirational Internet users.

“This interactive Web app is designed to increase a user’s engagement with the Prada brand,” said Rachel Lewis, senior strategist at iProspect, Fort Worth, TX. “By allowing fans of the brand to express their creativity and individuality on a mood board, one might feel more connected to the product.

“In the digital space, fragrances must work harder to differentiate themselves from others and establish an identity,” she said. “Consumers can’t determine if they like a fragrance online, but by tying scents to a mood, Prada allows people to connect through their brand in another way.”

Ms. Lewis is not affiliated with Prada, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Prada could not comment directly on this matter.

Drawing inspiration
The Web app dedicated to Prada’a new N°14 Rossetto fragrance is an art tool that lets consumers create digital collages using select graphics.

The app is located at

Rossetto app

Consumers who wish to make their own collage must use the lips graphic – the logo of the lipstick-inspired fragrance – but can take creative liberty in the rest of the content.

The collage graphics include wild animals, statue and human busts, geometric designs, Prada logos, eyeballs and flowers. They are split into categories that include animal, human, extra, object and background.

Consumers can choose graphics from all four categories to appear in their collage as well as one background. When they click on an object, it appears in its full size in the blank collage space.

Each graphic can be rotated and resized. The menu on the left side of the screen allows consumers to delete an object if they change their mind.

Sample collage

When the collage is done, consumers can share it via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and email or save the image to their device.

Prada automatically accompanies each social post with the name of the fragrance. On Facebook, users can invite their friends to create their own collage.

“The primary benefit of an initiative of this nature is increased consumer engagement with the brand,” Ms. Lewis said. “Users spend time creating the collages or mood-boards, thereby increasing their involvement with the brand.

Prada is also posting the best user-made collages on its social channels.

“It is also very savvy on Prada’s part to make the collages sharable through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter,” she said. “Giving users the ability to share their creations increases brand awareness and may encourage others to visit the site and engage with the brand.

“I think they could have taken it a step further by adding an optional image of the product, making it easier to identify in-store amongst other brands.”

Artful tactics
Prada has enacted other visually-pleasing campaigns recently to align with the arts and, therefore, an affluent lifestyle.

In November, the label showcased new collections and its art collaboration with illustrator Richard Haines in a virtual palace via its first mobile app for the iPad.

Portraits by Mr. Haines and digital replicas of new Prada accessories are featured in the Il Palazzo app created by James Lima, who worked with the brand on its first animated videos (see story).

Earlier last year, the label created another campaign to align with graphic artists called Prada Parallel Universes.

The campaign featured products from the spring/summer 2012 collections in digital drawings and animations that were shared on a microsite and social media. The digital animations were created by graphic designer and artist Vahram Muratyan (see story).

These efforts have an element of mystery in terms of their marketing purpose.

But in the eyes of consumers, they could be a softer sell and increase social engagement.

Prada seems to be raising awareness of the brand on the digital channel with efforts that add to its mystique, rather than triggering immediate sales.

“For luxury consumers, aesthetics and individuality are important purchase factors,” Ms. Lewis said. “Fashion and beauty are forms of self-expression, and speaking to a consumer’s sense of personal style and taste is an excellent way to reinforce these values.

“This establishes the brand’s identity to potential new customers while bringing these values to the forefront for loyalists,” she said.

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York