Special Report: Brand Livestream
Jordan Kelley, Content Director, BrandStorytelling.tv
Highlighting Impactful Live Streaming
Celebrity/Influencer: Various creators, designers, and performers, including Gus Van Sant, Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Jeremy Harris, Florence Welch, and more
Platform: GucciFest.com, YouTube, Weibo
Potential Reach: 2M+
Time: November 16 - 22
Today, fashion and film fans everywhere can tune into GucciFest for a viewing experience that combines elements of a traditional film festival with a fashion launch. GucciFest is the first of its kind – a fashion brand elevating a typical line release by capturing the clothing in the framework of a story told on film, viewable to millions in their homes via steaming of a week-long festival. Films and episodes of “Ouverture of Something That Never Ended” will be available to view daily at GucciFest.com, while also streaming on the Gucci YouTube Channel, YouTube’s Fashion & Beauty Hub, and Weibo. The project is helmed by Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele, with the Ouverture miniseries directed by Michele and acclaimed director Gus Van Sant.
The GucciFest.com website was created expressly for the festival, allowing visitors to navigate to each of the daily selections that will be screened. Gucci linked to the site in their announcement of the online fashion festival, using a QR code in social posts to allow users to navigate to the fest site. The QR code was also plastered in physical locations in New York, London, and Milan announcing the festival. In addition to the bespoke site, streaming on both Gucci’s channel and the YouTube Fashion & Beauty channel are sure to garner views. Gucci’s solo channel boasts over 600K subscribers; combine that with the additional 1.31M subscribers tuned in to YouTube’s Fashion & Beauty vertical and it’s clear to see GucciFest is poised to have a massive audience. Lastly there’s Chinese microblogging site Weibo, which rounds out the fest’s reach, sure to bring the festival a truly international audience.
While a fashion film festival is new for not only Gucci but anyone, the luxury brand has been at the forefront of maximizing its digital presence, making GucciFest feel a natural part of the brand’s continued expansion in the online space. Gucci’s cultivated its brand voice and made it accessible to all in the "Inside The House" section of the brand's website, which treats viewers to behind the scenes content, photography, and films. The leap being made here is the one to streaming and video, using tools like Instagram Reels to announce the festival and making it available to view live on multiple platforms. The structure of the festival gives viewers the opportunity to tune in every day for the next piece of the series, creating an opportunity for conversation around the festival. Before and after episodes of Michele and Van Sant’s “Ouverture” are additional pieces of content. Each additional creator’s work features designs by up and coming designers carefully selected by Alessandro Michele himself.
GucciFest represents a creative and artful approach to a unique problem – the inability to host a live, traditional runway experience to announce an upcoming collection. Like many of the solutions that have had to be enacted in the face of the global pandemic, GucciFest likely would have never been considered under traditional circumstances, but in the face of hardship comes forced innovation. This forced innovation, one that merges a traditional fashion launch with an artful and elevated approach to livestreaming, is an elegant solution that gives designers, creatives, and filmmakers alike a chance to work and a chance to shine.
Check out GucciFest today and experience the first-ever fashion film festival. Visit GucciFest.com, Gucci’s YouTube Channel, or YouTube Fashion & Beauty today to view.
Recent Live Streams from Top Brands
Event: PS5: Unboxing Reimagined
Celebrity/Influencer: Travis Scott
Date: November 12
Thursday the evening of the 12th, Sony held a PlayStation 5 unboxing event livestream featuring Travis Scott. Scott, who was announced as a strategic creative partner for PlayStation the month prior, helmed the unboxing of the long-awaited new PlayStation console. Scott has participated in a number of high-profile partnerships in the past year, including successes with Nike and McDonalds. The rap artist has been at the center of conversations about taking new and creative approaches to streaming ever since his landmark virtual concert within the video game Fortnite. The unboxing lasted 10 minutes and featured PlayStation gameplay in unlikely settings and a musical performance from artist James Blake.
Event: New Honda Civic Reveal
Date: November 17
Honda has chosen to reveal the design of their 2022 Civic on Twitch. This marks a first for Twitch, which has yet to be the home of a branded live global debut of this kind. Viewers of the brand’s Head2Head channel will get a glimpse at the never-before seen Civic, which will be available for purchase in the spring of 2021. Honda’s presence on twitch with their Head2Head channel is focused on showcasing passionate esports athletes playing against one another in popular games like Rocket League, Valorant, and Fortnite. The brand is focused on reaching Gen-Z and other first-time car buyers who frequent the platform and tune in to Honda’s automotive branded gaming channel. Viewers can tune in to the Head2Head channel at 6:45pm PST to witness the car reveal and a performance from Grammy nominated artist Cordae.
Event: Warrior Week
Platform: Twitch, WoundedWarriorProject.org
Date: November 9-15
More than 150 livestreamers teamed up to support injured veterans and their families during the inaugural Wounded Warrior Project Warrior Week livestreaming relay. The campaign, which ran the week of Veterans Day, began Monday, Nov. 9 and concluded Sunday, Nov. 15 with all money raised supporting warriors through Wounded Warrior Project. In addition to individual supporters streaming on their own channels for WWP, the veterans nonprofit livestreamed throughout the week on its Twitch channel. WWP continues to grow its outreach to injured veterans through livestreaming and gaming. In a WWP survey of the wounded warriors it serves, on average, male warriors reported spending about 3.5 hours per day and female warriors reported about 3.1 hours per day playing electronic games outside of school or work. All money raised on livestreams registered through Warrior Week supports the programs and services WWP provides.
ON THE RADAR
Opportunities for Brands
Platform: sofarsounds.com, YouTube
Date: Monthly, Ongoing
This special report has previously covered brand-funded live stream concerts, but it’s worth noting that many concerts are being streamed without any brand affiliation, creating opportunity for brands to enter these virtual spaces to provide their financial and marketing support.
According to The Wrap, YouTube TV has seen a 250% increase in live viewers, and Twitch has experienced a 300% boom in music related content since last year.
Music giants like Billboard have made the leap for lack of other options to focusing on and promoting streaming shows. They even have a running list that is regularly updated informing readers who has upcoming live stream concerts and where they can be viewed.
And while focusing on streaming concerts has become a necessity for larger music companies, publications, and venues that are highly visible and well supported, the turn to online viewing has helped elevate middle and lower-tier music experiences, many of which operate without brand affiliation while on the rise in popularity.
One such platform is Sofar Sounds, which previously operated as a regional intimate live viewing experience for appreciators of up-and-coming music. Today, the platform supporting artists through live shows is gaining popularity in having gone digital with their “online listening room”.
Sofar Sounds has a direct, regional link to the communities they serve, making their presence global and, in turn, affording regional and global partnership opportunities. According to their site, brands have the opportunity to become multichannel integrated marketing partners that reach a global audience, create space for brand stories, and garner amplification and engagement online. Previous partnerships include Spotify, 20th Century Fox, Amnesty International, and more.
Although live concerts will undoubtedly return with fervor when in-person attendance is once again safe, ultimately there are a wealth of artists looking to channel that energy into a space where they can create and share with audiences today. The kind of concerts featured on Billboard will draw the mainstream crowds, but there is opportunity in the up-and-coming space to partner and engender community and connection. Partnerships with platforms like Sofar Sounds afford that opportunity to stoke brand affinity and loyalty.
Check out our Brand Live Stream Archive for previous issues of this Special Report Series
About Jordan Kelley
Jordan Kelley is the Content Director at BrandStorytelling.tv. He's an essayist, editor, and observer intent on mapping new media trends and disseminating the most relevant information in the world of branded content. Jordan is a lover of stories and an avid consumer of new media.