HYPEWEAR by ABOUT YOU – the first online shop for digital fashion
ABOUT YOU is one of the fastest growing e-commerce companies and one of the leading online fashion retailers in Europe, driving innovative projects and seeing itself as an industry pioneer in digital fashion. ABOUT YOU approached DEPT® with the vision to create an online shop for digital fashion. The aim: making digital fashion items accessible to the general public. DEPT® supported end-to-end, as both consultant and implementation partner.
Virtual Fashion – unlimited possibilities
First, the HYPEWEAR brand was created and the CI designed, both in close coordination with ABOUT YOU. DEPT® then conceptualized and developed the HYPEWEAR digital fashion online shop based on the agency’s own Algomart solution. As a last step, DEPT® created a teaser video for the high-profile launch of HYPEWEAR.
In addition to the fashion e-commerce business, ABOUT YOU aims to conquer the virtual fashion space and offer customers a wide variety of outfits. Virtual fashion allows creators to design pieces that are not wearable in real life or could not exist like this such as a jacket made of virtual flowers, a dress made of dancing tulle elements, or other unusual voluminous highlight pieces. There are different collections available in the HYPEWEAR shop; some of them are rare and limited in number, others are available more often. Customers have the opportunity to express themselves in a completely new way and to present themselves digitally; this is particularly relevant for Gen Z with regard to the fluid understanding of their identity.
It’s all ABOUT YOU
With the new platform for digital fashion, there are no physical limits to the customers’ own self-expression. HYPEWEAR is a first mover to offer digital fashion and, according to its motto ‘From Tech to Human’, the items are not only affordable for digital fashion fans, but also accessible without crypto knowledge. This makes the platform one of the pioneers in the market.
Fast First Mover – fast, simple and intuitive
The aim was to bring a first MVP of the online shop live in the shortest possible time to establish HYPEWEAR as the one-stop store for digital fashion items. The user journey was to be designed as simple and intuitive as possible, even for ‘non-web3 natives’, in order not to exclude anyone and to ensure that every user can purchase digital fashion items. In addition, brands should be able to sell their 3D fashion via HYPEWEAR to provide a large selection of different fashion pieces on the platform for the target group.
The metaverse has opened up a new, exciting world for companies and the fashion industry, which we at ABOUT YOU want to shape. With HYPEWEAR, we want to become the destination for digital fashion and the mainstream wardrobe of the metaverse. For this, we can rely on DEPT® as a strong partner in Web3 & Crypto.
Tarek Müller, co-founder and co-CEO, ABOUT YOU
An online shop for digital fashion based on the Algorand Blockchain
The selection of the appropriate blockchain was a key part of the project. The main focus was on ensuring that it was ecologically sustainable, fast, and had low processing fees (i.e. fees for mining and transferring the NFTs). DEPT® and ABOUT YOU selected Algorand. This blockchain has a minimal CO2 footprint and enables fast transactions between marketplace and customers.
Through the integrated CMS in the online store, ABOUT YOU can create and upload as many digital fashion items as desired. The occurring processing fees on Algorand are minor.
Thanks to the integration of custodial wallets, the creation of the crypto wallet in which the items are stored is handled directly for the customer in the registration process. This prevents a break in the customer journey, which would be associated with the time-consuming and complicated creation of crypto wallets and the subsequent connection in the store. Even Web3-inexperienced users can receive their digital fashion pieces with ease.
In addition to the 3D model of the respective digital fashion item and the NFT, customers also receive an edited photo of themselves onto which the virtual fashion piece is mapped. This step also fits perfectly into the entire customer journey and is kept as simple as possible. Customers can easily manage their digital fashion items in their profile and use the edited photos for social media.
Within just a few months, DEPT® and ABOUT YOU have created the first online store for digital fashion. HYPEWEAR pushes the boundaries of conventional fashion with three-dimensional fashion pieces. The platform acts as a digital milestone in this field, providing the impulse for many more future-forward, virtual projects.
The metaverse will continue to gain importance in the upcoming years and we see great potential here, which we want to explore together with the experts of DEPT®: We strongly believe in a transition phase of augmented reality, where your physical self presents digital fashion on social media, breaking down the boundaries of the previous fashion world and reaching an even larger audience.
Marius Bingener, Teamlead Content Development, ABOUT YOU
Visit the HYPEWEAR online shop
Director Marketing & Business Development
A personalised Ralph Lauren gifting experience
Luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren was founded in 1967 and is a global leader in the design, marketing, and distribution of premium lifestyle products, including apparel, accessories, home furnishings, and other licensed product categories. For over five decades, their long-standing reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands, sales channels, and international markets.
For Holiday season 2021 and beyond, Ralph Lauren challenged BYTE/DEPT® to find a way to elevate their existing gifting experience within the digital space.
The challenge: developing a strong bond
The aim was to provide users with a more immersive and personalised method of picking the perfect gift, matching their interests with compatible products available on the Ralph Lauren website. They wanted to develop a strong bond between the brand identity of Ralph Lauren, the digital assistant, and the customer, breaking any barriers of communication and supercharging the journey to finding the perfect gift.
This was coupled with a desire to be pioneers in cutting-edge communications with customers, tapping into emerging, innovative mechanics to bring the gift experience to life.
The solution: a gifting chatbot
Combining data-driven insights from previous gifting chatbots with innovative Instagram platform features, we built one of the first branded Instagram chatbots available in the industry and worldwide.
We optimised the conversation structure based on data collected from the Messenger and WhatsApp gifting bots we’ve previously run, to ensure the best experience for users throughout the Holiday season and beyond. We know how the customers behave and what they like when shopping for gifts, and have taken that to the next level on Instagram.
A personalised journey
The conversation takes you through a personalised journey towards discovering the perfect gift – just like you would in Ralph Lauren’s flagship store on London’s Bond Street.
- Tell us who you’re shopping for and their style
- Match their style with the perfect gift using bespoke Taste Profiles
- Refine your search with dynamic filters (such as price or outerwear) that remember your search history and tailor recommendations accordingly
- NLP functionality that would take you to specific product pages when certain trigger words were typed e.g. ‘jeans’
- Get bespoke product recommendations from a dynamic product feed
We made use of powerful discovery features including automated replies to story @mentions, and DMs to drive new conversations cost effectively. We also built a series of creative assets that were channelled into Ralph Lauren’s paid campaigns to drive traffic to the bot.
One of the first branded Instagram chatbots in the world
Our gifting chatbot saw excellent results in its first few months.
Average of 12k monthly users over Dec 21 – Mar 22
We’ve seen very healthy traffic into the bot, with 3.5x more users on Instagram compared to Messenger and WhatsApp combined.
82% organic traffic
Over 80% of users are introduced to the bot organically, making it very efficient compared to paid media campaigns. Essentially high quality traffic at zero media spend.
6 minutes average time spent on the bot
This is 3x higher than the average time spent on our other gifting bots, showing that users are engaging well with the bot experience.
2.7% click through rate to website
Almost 3% of users that land on the chatbot visit the website and show purchase intent.
0.4% users handed over to Customer Services
Only 0.4% of users required a handover to a live Customer Service agent. This is one of the lowest rates we’ve seen in the industry.
With the chatbot now successfully rolled out in 4 markets (UK, IT, DE and FR) across 4 languages, we’re looking into further expansion across more global Ralph Lauren markets for 2022 and beyond.
Lead Technology Planner at BYTE/DEPT®
Design-it-yourself with FREITAG F-Cut
The sustainable Swiss brand FREITAG, known for their bags and accessories made from used truck tarpaulins, has always stood for individualism. With the new digital tool F-Cut, FREITAG now offers its customers the opportunity to design their very own super unique items. The idea behind it was born 20 years ago – and comes from a DEPT® employee.
Desire for more uniqueness
Each of the approximately 300,000 FREITAG bags and accessories produced each year is unique. A large proportion is manufactured in Zurich, where the truck tarpaulins are dismantled and washed by FREITAG employees before the bag designers cut out the best motifs with their cutter knives and templates and these are then processed into bags.
So far, so good. But more and more often, customers inquire in the FREITAG stores whether a specific bag is also available in another color, with this or that motif. The bag makers have taken these requests for (even) more uniqueness to heart – and fell back on the diploma thesis in which DEPT® employee Severin Klaus invented, designed and programmed the first F-Cut for FREITAG 20 years ago.
Democratisation of bag design
The DEPT® team in Switzerland has been working with FREITAG since 2020 and has, among other things, implemented a bag swapping campaign on Tinder for the brand. Now FREITAG approached us to awaken the online cutting table F-Cut from its slumber together with bag and UX designers, logisticians and many other experts.
The following positioning and visions were defined in a preliminary project:
Democratisation of bag design
Every interested customer should have the opportunity to design their own unique bag according to their own taste, beyond all design guidelines.
Bringing FREITAG’s values to life
Sustainability and individualism come first. The FREITAG Sweat-Yourself-Shops are to be transported from the physical to the digital world by means of F-Cut.
Revival of a classic
The new F-Cut is to be as good as the multiple award-winning 20-year-old original, but even more user-friendly and contemporary.
Linking the offline world with the online world
F-Cut offers a unique combination of rough & real materials with digital perfection and a smooth product configuration – no matter on which device, including 3D preview in real time. In this way, the offline world of FREITAG is linked to the online world thanks to a unique experience.
For F-Cut, DEPT® not only implemented the UX, UI and the 3D preview, but also the back- and frontend. The visual identity and the texts were created by FREITAG.
From a technical perspective, F-Cut is a web application that combines various systems. On the one hand, there is of course the F-Cut app – the GUI – in which FREITAG customers configure their bags. Then there is the F-Cut backend with a headless CMS, which primarily provides a database and communicates via API with the checkout (FREITAG online store) and of course the F-Cut app. In addition, there are further admin interfaces with everyday tarpaulin management functions (configuration, orders, etc.) and tarpaulin upload, editor and export (DXF) for production.
Bag dreams come true
For the first release, the focus was on the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid): we limited ourselves to one bag type, the Messenger Bag F712 DRAGNET, which can be designed using four virtual templates from a selection of 20-50 different truck tarps. The designable bag types could be expanded in the future or the bag type could change at fixed intervals.
In order to ensure fairness and equality, new tarpaulins are silently added to the system to exclude disputes about the “good” tarpaulin pieces. Another important aspect for FREITAG was the balance between maximum design freedom and sustainability: leftover tarpaulins are used for accessory products.
Already before the go-live, F-Cut triggered enthusiasm both among the DEPT® and FREITAG teams. Several further development projects are already planned: more products and features are to follow. 20 years after the birth of the idea, F-Cut has finally awoken from its slumber and will continue to grow steadily.
Over 20 years ago, I got to implement F-Cut as a student one-man show – to rethink this project now, with the support of a fantastic team, both on the DEPT® side and on the customer side, while exploiting the possibilities of today’s technology, is a great privilege.
Severin Klaus, Tech Director, DEPT®
Building a modern shopping experience for C&A
C&A is one of the leading fashion companies in Europe, with over 1,300 stores and 25,000 employees across 18 countries. Every day, over 2 million customers flock to its physical stores, or visit its online site looking for high-quality fashion at low prices. C&A turned to DEPT® to review and refresh its technical architecture in line with its extensive rebrand.
Flexibility and scalability – key factors in a digital world
The collaboration between C&A and DEPT® began in mid-2020. Initially, we were tasked with maintaining and further developing the front-end of the previous online store. However, the monolithic e-commerce platform it was built upon was unfortunately restricting the retailer’s digital growth. In today’s digital world where user expectations, trends, technology, and broader market factors change so quickly, a flexible and scalable system is key for companies who want to act instead of react.
From a monolithic platform to a headless microservice architecture
C&A needed a customer experience platform to act as its central digital touchpoint and support omnichannel consumer journeys to ensure a seamless shopping experience. The retailer had already developed an innovative architecture concept, and planned to replace its legacy platform with an edge-based, headless microservice architecture with SPA front end. Together with C&A’s in house teams, DEPT®:
- developed an agile product strategy and roadmap;
- set up a cross-product design system;
- developed new front- and backend components;
- implemented a new, modern technical architecture.
Product strategy and roadmap
To effectively pursue the goals of C&A’s digital strategy, as well as the overarching business and brand strategy, DEPT® worked with C&A’s Product and UX team to develop a medium-term, agile product strategy for the new online store.
We first developed data-based customer value propositions for the target groups of the online store. We mapped out an ambitious Webshop Vision Statement 2024 as a landmark for the product team. Together with C&A, we set strategic milestones and defined associated key results, to ensure the online store’s success is continuously measured and can be made visible to key stakeholders at any time.
To bring the online store strategy to life, we set up an agile workflow that leads directly to a dynamic, strategic product discovery and roadmap. Since expectations and impulses around digital products change at lightning speed, the online store will be strategically reviewed in regular alignments in the future.
Collaboration and process
From the very beginning, DEPT® established a broad collaboration with various stakeholders at C&A – from brand and marketing teams to IT and research units. This was an important basis for the success of the project, as it enabled a common understanding of how brand purpose and brand value propositions could be translated into the digital realm. Possible solutions based on consumer insights were developed with the help of collaborative ideation and co-creation sessions, and the results were tested using interactive prototypes. In order to routinely generate ideas for new functions and services in the future, the collaboration between the C&A user research team and the product managers was integrated and intensified – a new power force that will not only further develop the online store in a user-centric manner but also make it more innovative.
Architecture and technology
The technical solution conceived by C&A was further elaborated and implemented together with DEPT® to create a microservice approach. This scalable and flexible infrastructure enables optimal time-to-market performance, and enables personalised offers, content, and services to be delivered to the users. At the same time, the solution can grow seamlessly with future requirements.
Due to the complexity of the project and the associated complete renewal of the architecture, the development of the new online store was divided into several stages. Stage 1 included the redevelopment of the store frontend for the customer journey up to the shopping cart, as well as the introduction of a new backend. Both components are hosted “on the edge” on a high-performance and scalable serverless infrastructure from Cloudflare. The generation and delivery of content to users is done via a worldwide CDN (Content Delivery Network), with thousands of nodes.
A new, modern headless CMS became the central tool for content maintenance across multiple channels such as the online store and the C&A app. Because the backend and commerce engine remained unchanged in Stage 1, interfaces to the legacy system based on GraphQL were developed in collaboration with software company novomind. This enables the parallel operation of old and new technology, and conducts ongoing A/B tests for 10% of the users. The connection of these APIs and all other third party systems like Reco-Engine, PIM, etc, takes place via a newly developed gateway, which provides the data in a consolidated form to the frontend; a modern and server-side rendered single page application based on React.
Product design, user experience and content
The entire user journey through to checkout was redesigned. A comprehensive set of content modules provides space for engaging, inspiring content that embodies freshness and modernity. Large-scale images and strong portraits combined with close-ups create an emotional connection, while striking typography succinctly brings user-relevant content to the point.
The header is now cleaner and clearer; there is a new navigation concept for the mobile and the desktop versions. New and more balanced product listings provide a better overview and support the user to make an informed buying decision.
Easy-to-understand labels and a focus on sustainability communicate the brand promise and good value for money. A user-friendly filter gives customers the most important options directly at their fingertips. The products on the details page now have a new arrangement, with a clearer buy box and integrated size advice, helping to underline the modern look and feel of the new platform.
The design system as the single source of truth
Built from scratch, the new C&A design system is a living digital ecosystem that grows and changes in symbiosis with the e-com products. It enables teams to develop a consistent experience for users as the new single source of truth for a common digital language. This increases efficiency and strengthens cross-functional collaboration, even for external partners. In a collaborative approach, our product design team worked closely with the client to develop and define the overarching guidelines such as digital branding basics and content principles. Shop-specific foundations, components and UX patterns are provided with guidelines and numerous best practices to offer the best possible orientation and guidance for a consistent experience.
Together with DEPT®, the strong partner at our side, we have built a state-of-the-art webshop. The new platform fulfils the wishes of our customers, reflects the modernity of our brand and forms the basis for our ambitious growth targets.
Ulrike Otto, Head of Digital Experience, C&A
A unique Web3 experience for H&Mbeyond
H&Mbeyond is the innovation hub of the well-known Swedish fashion company H&M Group. Together with startups and innovators, its team drives forward future-oriented projects. After speaking at DEPT®’s 2021 Meta Festival, Head of H&Mbeyond, Oliver Lange, approached us to create the first-of-its-kind, Metaverse project for the H&M brand: the Virtual Showroom.
A central point for meaningful exchanges
In keeping with the current zeitgeist, H&Mbeyond approached us with the idea of expanding H&M’s physical showrooms with a digital showroom. Based on the former, it should reflect the brand’s identity and values, just virtually instead of physically. A space without opening hours, where a wide variety of target audiences such as influencers and stylists, customers, employees, and the press can meet and learn more about H&M and its collections. The Virtual Showroom was to serve as a central point for meaningful exchanges in an immersive environment. Targeted tours by the H&M showroom team were intended to inform the audience about current trends and topics such as sustainability and new, innovative materials.
The number of visitors, countries of origin and the average time spent in the individual areas (which can be helpful for future brand activations), were defined as KPIs for this new showroom. KPIs including click rates of downloadable materials and qualitative feedback from showroom guests and media stakeholders are to follow soon.
Bringing collections to life
How can we experience clothing when we can’t touch it or wear it? What added value does a digital experience offer visitors and customers? Together with our partner Journee – The Metaverse Company™, we explored solutions to these questions to develop a virtual, custom-fit world for H&M. In the H&M Virtual Showroom, content on H&M’s innovation topics and sustainability efforts are presented, alongside ‘information zones’, designed especially for the press or users interested in a conversation.
The look of the showroom is based on the DNA of the H&M brand, with appropriately designed areas for the most important topics such as the ‘Sustainability Garden’ (where information on the innovative material ‘AirCarbon’ is shared), or the H&M Home influencers meeting area.
The ‘Campaign Room’, accessible through a portal, is where the new H&M Innovation Stories campaign ‘Cherish Waste’ is interpreted in a fascinating new way. Here, Creative Director Ann-Sofie Johansson and Concept Designer Ella Soccorsi give insights into the design process of the collection and the campaign, as well as the materials used in the clothing. The highlight of this room are the six main pieces of the collection which dominate the room as detailed, oversized 3D graphics. The flowing movement and vivid colours of the graphics really bring the pieces to life. Special Collections, in particular, lend themselves to the creation of such individual spaces, with a wide variety of brand activation options and providing unique, added-value for the visitors and the H&M showroom team.
From vision to (virtual) realisation
We developed all of the components mentioned above together with Journee and in close cooperation with H&M. The vision of the showroom grew piece by piece; our strategists developed the concept, and the designers brainstormed, scribbled and designed creative mood boards based on the creative direction of the campaign and the H&M brand DNA.
With the help of H&M’s user insights, we designed the user flows for the influencers, stylists and journalists at an early stage, which provided the necessary guidance during the creative process. With the design ideas sharpened, we continued to optimise the concept and content until everything could be implemented (virtually) by Journee, using Unreal.
The first test tours in the Virtual Showroom, plus the positive feedback and ideas received from H&M stakeholders, helped us to round off the H&M Web3 experience. Paths were rerouted, trees moved, images swapped, and descriptions added.
An immersive user experience
The three avatar designs represent an important message: the need for more diversity and inclusion in fashion. With the avatars, users can move freely in the Virtual Showroom, so we paid special attention to user guidance, orientation and the order in the rooms. Even inexperienced users can navigate through the showroom with the help of various aids and explanations, helping them to discover everything in a playful way. Thanks to the separate rooms and different areas in the H&M Virtual Showroom, users can explore and experience the brand and the respective collections, or they can quickly find what they are looking for by simply teleporting to their desired destination.
By working in true collaboration throughout an iterative process, the requirements of H&Mbeyond’s innovation approach were optimally understood and implemented. In the future, the Virtual Showroom is expected to host events such as launches, meetings, and concerts for larger audiences, all in addition to the presentation of new collections.
“H&M’s Virtual Showroom is designed as a space for brand activations such as fashion campaigns. These are brought to life in a whole new and exciting way, combining innovation, digitalisation and sustainability. It makes me very proud to see how much energy, heart and soul our colleagues across countries and departments have put into this project. We are looking forward to exploring the potential in the countries of the Central Europe region and beyond.” Thorsten Mindermann, Regional Manager, H&M Central Europe.
Director Marketing & Business Development
Supporting NFT commerce at scale
SPIN’s iconic covers have been a collector’s item since the magazine’s first issue in 1985. In today’s digital world, fans are looking to collect these pieces of culture in a new way–via NFTs.
SPIN partnered with DEPT® to create a carbon-neutral NFT marketplace to sell, auction, and re-sell their covers and other art assets. In doing so, SPIN became the first major music media brand to make its full content archive available with NFTs.
New opportunities for engaging with music fans
SPIN owns 36 years of iconic photography, covers, videos, and other rare media.
These assets have been appreciated and valued by magazine subscribers for decades. But like many publishers experimenting with NFTs, SPIN realised that they could extend the value of their storied intellectual property to even more fans through digital collectibles.
Working with DEPT®, SPIN set out to make its limited-edition covers and other memorabilia available for digital ownership, giving fans the opportunity to own a piece of art symbolising their favourite musicians.
The company hoped to continually release fresh NFTs on a regular basis to fuel regular engagement with images, collector packs and unreleased content.
Removing the barrier to entry for newcomers
SPIN’s NFT marketplace is to make its full content archive available with NFTs.
SPIN’s NFT marketplace was built with Algomart, an open-source platform on the Algorand blockchain created by DEPT®. Because blockchain technologies are still very new, the complexities and required expertise make starting from scratch with NFTs extremely difficult and costly.
Algomart gives SPIN an out-of-the-box solution that makes it easier for them to enter the market, and have the control to make a bespoke offering with a tech stack that can scale as their marketplace grows.
And, using Algomart, end-users can purchase or bid on SPIN NFTs without converting USD to crypto. In this way, it feels a bit like a typical eCommerce store. The marketplace automatically creates a wallet on behalf of its users and a custodial wallet. This makes it easier for users since they don’t have to manage additional accounts or download a new application. Instead, they have a pin number that grants them access to their NFT.
Perhaps most importantly, it was very important to the team at SPIN to be able to accelerate the sustainable advancement of the NFT space. Working with Algorand gives SPIN an ESG friendly and energy-efficient technology to launch their NFT marketplace.
This will both unlock the enormous value of these assets and do so in a more environmentally sustainable way.
Being able to launch an NFT storefront quickly and easily allowed SPIN to experiment with NFTs without devoting too many resources to its creation. Having tested the market, they can now continue to release NFTs to their devoted fanbase.
It’s an easy entry point for fans to begin to collect scarce digital photography and memorabilia while providing artists a way into the space.
Jimmy Hutcheson, CEO of SPIN
Launched at SXSW 2022
SPIN unveiled its NFT marketplace at SXSW 2022, with an inaugural auction featuring a Machine Gun Kelly cover. Additional covers, as well as art pieces, will be placed up for auction over the course of 2022.
Down the line, SPIN hopes to provide unique value-added experiences for NFT owners like physical art galleries, events, and experiential installations. Over time, the NFT marketplace will expand to feature a selection of artists and personalities curated by SPIN.
“We’re excited to introduce these famous pieces as NFTs. It’s an easy entry point for fans to begin to collect scarce and coveted digital photography and memorabilia while providing artists a way into the space,” said Jimmy Hutcheson, CEO of SPIN.
Global SVP, Engineering & Technology
Refreshing a century-old brand for today’s world
Alongside DEPT®, Wilson repositioned themselves and authored a proactive, authentic mission for the brand and business: “empower every human to live life like an athlete.”
On this foundation, we set out to refresh the brand identity and execute a digital launch strategy for Wilson Sportswear from concept through production.
The need to stand for something
Wilson, the iconic American sporting goods brand, came to us at an inflection point.
The company had been at the centre of sport for over a century, making world-class hard goods like balls, bats, rackets, clubs, and gloves to give athletes an edge. While their products were well-known by athletes around the world, they were preparing to launch their first-ever apparel line and recognised that the brand needed to stand for something bigger.
We started by shaking down the brand through a visual audit and interviews with employees and athletes to understand brand perception and the role that sport plays in their lives.
We learned unequivocally that sports matter. They add meaning to our lives. They teach us things.
How to persist. How to work together. How to fail. And most importantly, that what lies within is bigger than anything that lies ahead.
You don’t reinvent a 100-year-old brand. You find its soul and give it room to grow.
No primetime athletes.
No cut-throat competition. No winning or losing.
Our creative showed only everyday athletes who play for the love of the sport.
“Athlete” is considered a title reserved for a chosen few. It conjures up ideas of physical ability and big-name fame. When people think “athlete,” they think of the ones they see on TV. Blood, sweat, and tears. Walking out of tunnels, arms raised in victory.
Our go-to-market strategy for the first year of Wilson Sportswear was to challenge these stereotypes by representing the athletic spirit that lives inside us all and plays on without expecting anything in return.
Spirited collaboration despite the odds
Design and product development, in sync
The timing of our brand identity work allowed BASIC/DEPT® designers to explore and refine a new visual language for the Wilson brand at the same time their internal teams developed the inaugural Sportswear collection. As a result, we were able to influence everything from packaging to hang tags, even branding on the collection itself.
Empowering a global team to create with long-term consistency. We crafted an all-new brand book consisting of a design system, photography guidelines, and company culture material.
A familiar format to carry on the conversation. For year one, we proposed orienting the brand around biweekly “drops.” This construct was proven in the category and gave Wilson a way to establish a heartbeat of product stories based on cultural moments, capsules, and collaborations.
Remote content production
The restraints of the pandemic didn’t hold us back. We were able to safely plan and produce multi-day shoots in LA to sustain the launch phase and months of drops to follow.
VP of Growth
Capturing creativity with a TikTok campaign
Time? It flies by. It’s why we like to capture our lives through photographs. It allows us to relive special and everyday moments. Polaroid’s cameras make these moments tangible with just one click. The iconic brand is well known among people over 30, but not as well known among the younger generation who is digitally native: Generation Z. A generation that captures experiences with their smartphones. So how do you bring Polaroid to the attention of this group? We set to work on this issue together with Polaroid which resulted in a successful TikTok campaign reaching over 9.4 million users.
How to reach
Polaroid believes we are what we create. Polaroid’s unique instant cameras make this possible. For the first time in over 20 years, Polaroid created an entire new camera system and film. The new model is more compact, the smallest instant analog camera ever designed, and better suited to the lifestyle of Generation Z: the Polaroid Go. Together we set out to find the answer to the question: How do we reach Generation Z with this camera?
Performance through the roof
The spot-on and platform-specific content combined with our well-defined targeting resulted in a strong performance of this campaign. Besides the huge reach, we also noticed that the target group was very interested in the content of the campaign. With the valuable insights we gained from this campaign, the next campaigns are already in the starting blocks.
- More than 20 million impressions
- A total reach of 9.4 million unique users
- A view-through-rate of 53%
Social Advertising Consultant
A magical branded experience
De Bijenkorf is the most well known department store in the Netherlands. It is a place to be Admired and Amazed. That one-of-a-kind sensation embodies everything de Bijenkorf stands for and serves as the ideal theme for a holiday campaign in 2021. DEPT®, Dogstudio, and de Bijenkorf have collaborated to create a magical, branded experience that digitally brings de Bijenkorf’s wonderful shopping experience to life in this Admire & Amaze campaign.
Outline of the campaign
Digitally bringing an exclusive experience to life
Together with de Bijenkorf, we embarked on a quest for an experience defined by inspiration and awe. This is how we came up with the concept of a meticulously constructed 3D world in which visitors are guided through a magical forest and past exquisite, handcrafted products.
Design: from idea to reality
We transformed a visual and interactive concept into a magical commerce experience that combines 2D and 3D elements through art direction, a storyboard, and inspiration from fairy tales and surrealism.
Technology: from concept to immersive three-dimensional
To translate all of the creativity into a fluid experience, 2D illustrations of the forest are layered within a 3D world. This world is completely rendered in WebGL, and the bee flies through it in three dimensions, passing all products.
Alluring features scattered throughout the campaign
The experience’s magical quality begins earlier with a video teaser on social media and surprising forest-related elements on de Bijenkorf’s website. For instance, the bee flies to debijenkorf.nl unexpectedly, and the visitor is redirected to the campaign website when they click on the bee.
Collaboration: the new frontier
We created the ultimate branded experience with de Bijenkorf through an excellent collaboration.
A one-of-a-kind experience brought to life digitally
De Bijenkorf is the Netherlands’ most surprising, inspiring, and creative department store, where everyone is treated as an individual. Additionally, the department store sells online in a number of countries throughout Western Europe. De Bijenkorf seduces with its style, inspires with its beauty, and inspires a desire for lovely things to spoil yourself or someone else. DEPT® has been tasked with bringing this unique and personal shopping experience to life digitally in collaboration with de Bijenkorf’s digital marketing and e-commerce teams.
Together, we embarked on a quest for an experience that transcends conventional shopping routes; a quest for an experience defined by inspiration and wonder. Because that is when magic occurs. How did we accomplish that? By transporting the visitor into a meticulously constructed three-dimensional world, accompanied by a bee that awakens in the winter and embarks on a journey of discovery through an enchanted forest. The bee leads us through rustling leaves, whispering trees, and brilliant light, marveling at the luxuriously presented products and inspiring us to feel the same way.
From concept to manifestation
We created a magical forest, exclusive products, and a flying bee for de Bijenkorf’s digital experience. We explored how we could shape this into a user-friendly and enchanting story where commerce, brand, and magic all come together.
What is the initial step toward magic? During flight, the bee leaves a trail of sparkles behind. We collaborated with Myriam Wares – an illustrator known for her experiences with surreal environments – on the forest illustrations. Additionally, we made deliberate colour choices to avoid exact replication of the forest, but to add a surreal and magical touch. As with a real forest, we see how the forest lives in the digital experience. For example, leaves sway up and down in response to the visitor’s cursor movement. The audio has been considered as well; throughout the experience, we are surrounded by familiar forest sounds. Additionally, when we fly past an owl, for example, we hear it.
The ten products featured in the campaign were chosen with care for their vibrant and reflective prints that stand out even in the woods due to their high-end feel. Additionally, they are not haphazardly placed in the forest, but flow into it and become a part of it, from a dress worn by a bush to boots held up by butterflies. Subtle hints to Christmas tree ornaments — which are available at de Bijenkorf — are also illustrated and incorporated into the forest, such as a ladybug on a tree. Finally, we tie the products together with a narrative. We create a fairytale-like story with ten short sentences that always appear in the context of a new product, immersing the visitor even more in the flight through the enchanted forest.
From design to immersive 3D
We came a long way thanks to the designers’ taste and direction and a well-thought-out storyboard. However, much work must be done behind the scenes to translate all of this creativity into a successful experience.
The campaign is available on desktop and mobile via a subdomain and is available in all languages in which De Bijenkorf operates, including Dutch, German, and French.
Attractive features revolving around the campaign
Not only did De Bijenkorf commission us to create the digital experience, but the department store also wanted to hint at the campaign website via a striking and surprising element: the bee. As a result, we created a script for the 3D variant of the bee, which was later added to debijenkorf.nl by developers from de Bijenkorf. The script includes methods and settings that enable developers to make custom adjustments, such as determining where the bee should and should not fly on the website. When a visitor clicks on the bee, an animation begins that redirects the visitor to the campaign’s website. Additionally, a teaser video for social media is part of the campaign’s allure. Throughout the campaign, the magic reappears to entice visitors without giving too much away.
Collaboration: the new frontier
We took on the challenge of creating something new, which we accomplished through an extremely strong and productive collaboration. Not only were DEPT® and de Bijenkorf involved in this, but also the undisputed leader in 3D, web, and immersive campaigns: Dogstudio. DEPT® and de Bijenkorf are responsible for the Admire & Amaze campaign’s concept and style direction. All three parties collaborated closely on the creation of a storyboard and subsequent elaboration. With the proper dedication, space has been created for all parties to impart their own creative stamp on the final product while adhering to the briefing’s guidelines. Regular check-ins, continuing to challenge one another, open communication, and flexibility on all sides has resulted in the purest form of co-creation, transcending the traditional division of roles between clients and contractors.
The pinnacle of brand experience
What began as an open question, “Can you create something magical for the holidays?” evolved into a magical, innovative, and one-of-a-kind experience. This digital spectacle instills a sense of wonder in each online store visitor and contributes to de Bijenkorf’s mission to inspire. Together with de Bijenkorf, we created the Admire & Amaze campaign, a phenomenal branded experience that elevates the brand to new heights.
Experience the campaign
Executive Creative Director
Learning to surf from anywhere in the world
La Surfería is a travel and lifestyle company based in Argentina that invites travelers to experience the true surf lifestyle. The company specializes in surf trips that offer lessons from well-known professionals and accommodations in prime surf locales across Brazil and Argentina. DEPT® worked with Argentina-based startup La Surfería to design and build a mobile app that that makes learning to surf and traveling to exotic surfing destinations more accessible to all surfers regardless of location or experience level.
La Surfería wants everyone to fall in love with surfing, even if they don’t live anywhere close to the ocean. Traditionally the company has focused on creating travel experiences for surfers, but they wanted to find more ways to reach people. How could they still give the experience of learning to surf to those who can’t access it easily? Through a mobile app, of course. In 2020 travel also slowed down considerably due to the pandemic. This was even more reason to create an immersive digital experience that could bring surfing back into people’s lives even if they were stuck at home.
La Surfería came to DEPT® for help in designing and building an app that would help more people experience the amazing beaches of Argentina and Brazil, and the magic of learning to surf from some of the country’s best professionals. Like many small businesses, the company had a big vision but a fixed budget. So we needed to work together to find the best solution.
DEPT® found a way to understand our vision and make it real while also giving us a new revenue source. They helped us transform into the first company that has a real surf app.
– Francisco Morea, Founder
Delivering a great user experience with React Native
The DEPT® team in Argentina quickly got to work with the La Surfería team to bring this vision to life. Initially, we discussed building a website instead of an app, but based on the user experience the company was looking to provide (similar to the immersive experience of a fitness app), we decided to build a React Native app. This way we could easily deploy across Android and iOS more easily. And we could deliver a great user experience but without building a much more expensive native app experience.
We worked with the team to define a vision of a Netflix-like experience for users. where they could browse through surfing instruction videos, watch professional surfers in action, and even watch videos about what it’s like to travel to the company’s hostels and the type of food you would expect to experience while you are there. In addition to videos, the app also needed to have modules for sharing content and news about surfing, tips for training/fitness/nutrition for aspiring surfers, and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to book a future surf trip through the app.
As we began to design and build the app, we had to address how to store and deliver the videos. So we partnered with Mux to use the Mux Video API, which instantly creates the right renditions for every device and bandwidth, resulting in lower costs and better viewers experiences. We also created some features within the app that are exclusive to paid users, giving La Surfería the ability to monetize the app in the future. We integrated in-app purchasing capabilities through iOS and Android, as well as built a separate web-based flow for Argentinians to be able to pay through Mercado Pago, which is a local payment market. This allows people from all over the world to pay through their local currency.
The app was launched into the iOS and Google App Stores in early 2021 and has been well received so far. Users are enjoying the content and tutorials and signing up for subscriptions to get access to even more. Early feedback from users will lead to the next wave of new features to be added to the app in the coming months.
Head of Marketing US
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