Introducing Louis Vuitton x League of Legends
In December last year, Louis Vuittion launched their League of Legends Capsule Collection in partnership with Riot Games. It featured both virtual clothing collections that players could purchase within the game, as well as physical apparel designed by creative director @nicolasghesquiere. We’ve talked quite a bit about Capsule Collections featuring established brands and celebrity influencers like Morphe x James Charles, as well as up-and-coming brands and smaller influencers like Briogeo x Kathleen Lights. Both ways, Capsule Collections have proved to be an immensely successful Influencer Marketing strategy for brand awareness and sales.
In this article, we are going to take a deeper look into a unique partnership between a designer label and a widely-known online game to focus on 3 things we can learn from this collaboration.
1 – Cross-Genre Collaboration = Greater Sales
Think about it: Louis Vuitton and Riot Games speak to entirely different audiences. For one, LV is a designer label while Riot Games is a video game developer.
A cursory look at the gender distributions of their audiences on Instagram give us an idea of the demographic that they speak and sell to, which are quite different. But this is precisely the point. By collaborating with one another, they are melding disparate audiences to form one collective body that is watching this partnership unfold.
Louis Vuitton did not just design physical garments for people to wear; they also designed in-game costumes that could be purchased by players. Therefore, instead of limiting themselves to just one kind of product, they managed to branch their creative direction into two distinct sales channels, giving them twice the opportunity to earn. Creating virtual clothing inside games drives brand awareness as well as virtual sales.
@chrissycostanza’s post featuring her donning the apparel was her second Most Liked post of 2019, and got a 10.4% Engagement Rate — more than 3 times higher than the industry average for celebrity influencers.
2 – An Unexpected Collaboration Pushes Awareness
People are more likely to talk about something novel and unexpected, than they are about a run-of-the-mill campaign. While leveraging a two-pronged approach for the product was intended to drive sales, brand awareness is rooted in how many people talk about the collaboration.
The table below details the adoption of the campaign hashtag #lvxlol. Considering it was a short campaign that only ran at the very end of last year, the hashtag aggregated about 1K posts. What is important and more impressive, however, is the reach.
3 months on, the hashtag continues to bring in views in the millions. A sizeable audience of 81M people viewed posts that contained the hashtag #lvxlol during the campaign period. That is 81 times larger than the usual audience Louis Vuitton speaks to in an average post on their Instagram feed.
The diagram above shows us the number of followers that LV and Riot Games have in common across their respective Instagram feeds. The smaller the overlap, the greater the potential awareness, because an individual who follows one account and not the other is unlikely to be familiar with both brands. A collaboration effectively fills this gap.
Part of this awareness is also owing to the influencers who posted pictures with their merchandise from the collaboration, thus creating conversation about Louis Vuitton x League of Legends.
This Limited Edition mini backpack was popular amongst beauty influencers, while gamers were far more interested in the online apparel.
It is therefore no surprise that with dual conversations taking place in parallel across two big communities — beauty and gaming — the audience size surpassed the million-mark.
3 – CGI Influencers
This collection does not feature a classic case of CGI influencers (at least not the established ones), but it does follow a similar model.
Here Nicolas Ghesquiere poses with Senna, a character from LoL, in her custom LV skin. While Senna is not a CGI influencer per se, she is ‘photographed’ in the same frame as the creative designer of her outfit, which in a way mimics regular publicity shots.
This brings her character out of the LoL sphere and into the world of high fashion (check the steps as well — reminiscent of MET Gala official photos), which further cements the collaboration/crossover.
This post is Ghesquiere’s Top Liked photo of 2019, and performed 3 times better than his average post.
If there’s anything this collection proved, it is that no collaboration is too wild to try. At the same time, it is important to have key strategies in place to ensure that the campaign goals are reached. In this case, widening the desired target audience helped to boost both sales and awareness. The CGI element was also in line with the concept (online gaming and such), but also managed to tap on a massive current trend.
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