Blog: Leonie BarriePolo Ralph Lauren takes a leap into 4D

Leonie Barrie | 11 November 2010

Polo Ralph Lauren last night wowed crowds in London and New York with an incredible 4D sound and light show designed to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its US e-commerce site and the launch of the UK version.

Describing the event as "The ultimate collision of fashion, art and technology," advanced architectural video mapping technology was projected onto the façade of the firm's flagship locations on Madison Avenue and Bond Street to give a visual seven-minute journey through the world of Ralph Lauren.

Larger-than-life models, Polo players four stories tall, and iconic accessories such as the Ricky Bag, ties and belts all appeared to wrap the length of the building. The installation also gave the illusion that images were extending beyond the building and floating out into space toward the audience, complete with music and wafts of perfume.

While it might all sound very grandiose - not to mention extravagant - the company is taking giant strides into the digital space. Led by the founder's son David Lauren as senior vice president of advertising, marketing and corporate communications, it really is pioneering what he calls "merchan-tainment," the fusion of commerce with entertainment.

Other innovative platforms already in place include an iPhone application to view the catwalk shows, an interactive virtual store, a 'Make Your Own' Rugby shirt, and mobile commerce using quick response bar codes in its advertisements, store windows and mailers. And in 2006 the company introduced its Interactive Windows shopping experience which let customers order items from its window displays by using touch-screen buttons to select colour, size and style.

For anyone who's sceptical that the digital space has yet to prove itself, take a look at the company's figures. Polo Ralph Lauren has just raised its full-year sales and earnings outlooks after booking a 16% jump in second quarter profit to $205m, with revenues climbing 11% to $1.5bn. Even more impressive, online sales surged 21%.

And as for the 4D extravaganza, click here to see for yourself.


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