9 September 2005

Jean-Paul Gaultier takes a try at experience marketing

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The French “buzz marketing” agency Nouveau Jour has been collaborating with the creative team of fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier on a new online section for the designer, conceived as a virtual world to experience and share chance encounters.

In addition to the permanent part of the site, there are also online “events” that are marketed by surprise emails just 15 minutes beforehand, I presume so that most people will miss it and the lucky few will create a “buzz”. Likewise, when I contacted the agency for more information, they sent me a prompt reply with a link to the press section, which I am supposed to keep “secret between you and me”. It seems all a little silly to me (and frankly, so was the violin concert event – see below), but perhaps I don’t belong to their target customer base.

Starting from the assumption that each encounter is the starting point of a creation, the site features three different encounters, each resulting in three creations.

“Tango Painting” allows people to encounter other people differently, by designing and tracing graphic concepts like in a game using one or two mice, to enhance them with artist drawings and to share them with other people over the Internet.

“The Fragrance Alchemist” is a film about a little prince who lives in the streets of a vertical megalopolis and has decided to create the perfume of his dreams. Everyone may add their personal creative touch to this manga by creating its virtual fragrance and passing on this mutant story to their partner or soul mate.

“When Zhang meets Veng” is one of their “events”, a chance encounter between the Russian violin-player Maxim Vengerov and the Chinese cult film-director Zhang Yimou.

Update: apparently the buzz marketing agency has been spamming (correction: “sending several promotional emails to” – see comment) some “cool” sites (including Wired and Cool Hunting) for weeks with the statement that these sites were elected to promote the “event” before the others. None of them wrote anything.

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