The US fashion retailer recently unveiled “the world’s first shoppable story book adventure”, an interactive children’s story book designed to showcase the brand’s Childrenswear Spring 2011 collection in a way that encourages shared activity for parent and child.
The latest effort in the brand’s story book collection (which debuted last autumn) is ‘The RL Gang: A Magically Magnificent School Adventure’, which is comprised of a video – narrated by actress Uma Thurman - that features a number of children sporting the new Ralph Lauren collection. The physical book itself is available to purchase in addition to a digital download copy of the story.
The interactive video showcases 17 looks through the various children in the RL Gang, with click through links to buy the various items from Ralph Lauren, Bloomingdales and The Bay.
In addition, the brand is also running a Facebook competition inviting parents to upload photos and video of their children to be in with a chance of them winning a staring role in an upcoming RL Gang adventure.
Ralph Lauren has been doing a sterling job of turning its static lifestyle imagery into personalities of late, as depicted in the ‘Meet the Hilfigers’ campaign from last year, giving individual characteristics to the models in the ad campaign, which saw them updating Twitter and Facebook profile and pushing their music tastes through personal playlists.
This campaign turns the shopping experience into a sharable moment between parent and child as they read together, promoting the collection as more than just clothes and encouraging children to become part of a gang of impeccably dressed youngsters.
The only question here is whether the story itself is engaging enough for young children. There is an element of fantasy play and sharing built into the story, and the pastel backdrop has a dreamlike quality, however, there is a sense that the brand is playing it very safe compared to the Meet The Hilfiger’s campaign.
Children generally have broader imaginations than adults and to truly engage them you’ll need to think more laterally when building narratives that will truly capture their imagination.