Since its founding in Vicenza, Italy in 1966, Bottega Veneta has established itself as the world's premier luxury fashion brand, celebrated for its extraordinary handbags, fashion, and leather goods.
In 2008, the company came to Code and Theory to highlight its luxury and craftsmanship in a distinctly digital way.
Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast was due to launch in the Fall of 2008, and Bottega Veneta had signed on to be the site’s first advertiser. As this was also the brand’s first-ever digital ad buy on a major news site, it had to make a big impact.
But how can a luxury brand use traditional online media to reach this savvy, sophisticated consumer while maintaining its unique voice and style?
Our strategy: Do not bend the will of the consumer to the business; bend the business to the will of the consumer. Serve content and advertising which is seamlessly and subtly integrated.
Working with The Daily Beast and Bottega Veneta, we broke convention and left behind the standard online advertising formats. Instead, we built for them a suite of unique custom ad products that encouraged visitors to experience the world of Bottega Veneta exactly as it exists in the brand’s premier retail establishment: Bergdorf Goodman.
From the actual window displays, to the new Home collection on the 7th floor, we allowed anyone to explore Bottega products throughout the floors of Bergdorf’s Fifth Avenue store in New York City.
The ﬁnal result was a piece of interactive, experiential advertising that successfully blended Bottega Venetaʼs style with The Daily Beastʼs editorial voice.
Bottega Veneta Creative Director Tomas Maier famously said that, “the Italian artisan was the starting point. Today, the collaboration between designer and artisan is at the heart of everything we do.”
When the brand brought us in to consult on how to translate their rich history, quality and craftsmanship to bottegaveneta.com, we knew that the Italian artisan would be our inspiration.
We first created a non-linear story that would act as a window into Bottega Veneta's history of exquisite Italian hand craftsmanship, and made sure it could be broken up in to hundreds of pieces and pushed out to individual product pages.
We called it Hand of the Artisan.
At its core, Hand of the Artisan was a highly-visual, product-focused shopping experience that gave users full control. Whether they wanted a broad brush look at that season’s purses, or to drill down to watch a video on how an artisan actually creates Bottega’s famous intrecciato weave from leather strips – anything was possible.
At every step, we made sure to give users the freedom to lean in, touch, feel, try and learn more if they wished.
Aside from showcasing the products in a beautiful way, the Hand of the Artisan experience also served to give interested buyers that extra push to remind them that they were buying more than just a logo; this was a unique product that was hand-crafted in Italy.
Imagine if the could choose your seat at a runway show without ever leaving your seat.
Or being able to timeshift from live TV to on-demand at the click of a button.
And at the same time, you could see every key influencer sitting in the audience, with their real-time reaction Tweets hovering above their seat.
That’s what we did to showcase Bottega Veneta’s ready-to-wear Men’s Fall/Winter collection on the website in 2008. It was a runway show made for digital.
The brand also tasked us to create an easier way for their most valued customers to communicate directly with sales representatives, and vice versa.
So we created a CRM tool that allowed representatives to easily curate looks for their clients, suggest new products to try, and provide valuable feedback.
Fashion and luxury brand consumers are discerning and sophisticated.
They are savvy Internet users who are the least likely to click banners or respond to interruption driven-messaging.
But in the end, Code and Theory's innovative approach to communicating Bottega's craftsmanship, history and luxury message on the web, ultimately proved that ultra luxury really can translate to digital.