Bar­neys New York: Change Mat­ters

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY SHARON EDEL­SON

At a time when the coun­try is di­vided over pol­i­tics, the re­tailer tries a lit­tle ten­der­ness.

The con­cept of a sin­gle coin or small change can seem in­signif­i­cant in the world of lux­ury, but Bar­neys New York is hop­ing that it can make a big dif­fer­ence with the lowly penny as the star of its hol­i­day cam­paign.

Pre­sented for the first time by the

Bar­neys New York Foun­da­tion, the lux­ury re­tailer’s hol­i­day cam­paign, launch­ing on Nov. 15, in win­dow dis­plays and im­mer­sive in-store ex­pe­ri­ences will fea­ture cold, hard pen­nies wrapped in a soft cash­mere blan­ket of feel-good char­i­ta­ble giv­ing.

The Bar­neys New York Foun­da­tion in­tro­duc­ing hol­i­day ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing, “re­ally sets the tone for the over­all cam­paign,” said Tomm

Miller, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mar­ket­ing.

“We do huge prod­uct-driven in­stal­la­tions with artists for the hol­i­day sea­son. Only af­ter that part is es­tab­lished, do we de­velop the phi­lan­throp­i­cal piece,” said Matthew Maz­zucca, cre­ative di­rec­tor of Bar­neys New York. “I wanted to start with the phi­lan­throp­i­cal piece and build around that. While it’s never an af­ter­thought, we wanted to lead with the Bar­neys Foun­da­tion. We wanted to make it the hero.”

Mak­ing Change, the theme of Bar­neys’ 2018 hol­i­day cam­paign, a part­ner­ship with Save the Chil­dren, car­ries the mes­sage that even small change can have a big im­pact, and that it all starts with a coin.

The re­tailer con­verted some of its bud­get for the hol­i­day cam­paign into ac­tual coins and pen­nies that will be used in win­dow dis­plays and in­ter­ac­tive signs in stores. The coins will be­come a do­na­tion to Save the Chil­dren when the cam­paign ends.

Phrases such as “Make Change” and “Change Mat­ters” will be set against a wall of pen­nies in the Madi­son Av­enue win­dows, where dis­plays, along with in­ter­ac­tive storewide de­signs — made from coins, in­vite cus­tomers to par­tic­i­pate.

“The win­dows are die-cut vinyl and in­stal­la­tions with a se­ries of thou­sands of pen­nies be­hind the glass. Ini­tially, we were go­ing to do piles of pen­nies,” Maz­zucca said. “Ev­ery store has its own ver­sion. We looked at a lot of dif­fer­ent ways to tell the story. A lot is graphic driven [by the way artist] Bar­bara Kruger uses type to ex­press a mes­sage.”

Bar­neys New York on Nov. 15 will launch the hash­tag, #cen­ti­ments as part of its so­cial me­dia cam­paign fea­tur­ing pos­i­tive and in­spi­ra­tional hol­i­day sen­ti­ments and say­ings such as cent-sa­tional, centsi­tive and cent-ilat­ing, to which shop­pers can add their own two cents. For ev­ery post to #cen­ti­ments with @bar­neysny, the Bar­neys New York Foun­da­tion will do­nate $5 to Save the Chil­dren through Jan. 1.

The Madi­son Av­enue and Bev­erly Hills flag­ships will fea­ture an in­fin­ity room with cop­per sculp­tures. “It feels like the bot­tom of a wish­ing well with the slo­gan, ‘Wish­ing you well,’” said Maz­zucca, adding that the Self Por­trait Project fa­cil­i­tates hands­free pho­tos and dig­i­tal shar­ing. “We have sci­ence fair vor­texes where you can throw a dol­lar or coin into the fun­nel.”

Bar­neys New York stores na­tion­wide will also have ac­ti­va­tions through­out the sea­son to en­cour­age do­na­tions to Save the Chil­dren.

“We used the ver­nac­u­lar you see in cur­rency — mon­u­ments and mono­lithic ideas,” Maz­zucca said. “We have min­i­mal­ist col­umns where we added fluted col­umns in sac­cha­rine sweet pinks. We have bean bag chairs for loung­ing in mar­ble-printed fab­rics, and lots of im­ages of hands with coins in them. We wanted to be re­duc­tion­ists and keep ev­ery­thing about the project two-di­men­sional.”

“You can’t re­ally ar­gue with Save the Chil­dren,” Maz­zucca said. “It’s the foun­da­tion of devel­op­ment. It’s how we equip peo­ple to be de­ci­sion-mak­ers and lead­ers. Ed­u­ca­tion and a di­verse out­look on things are great things in which to in­vest.”

While Maz­zucca avoided cit­ing the toxic po­lit­i­cal at­mos­phere as an im­pe­tus for the hol­i­day cam­paign, he said, “A di­verse out­look is im­por­tant. It’s a dif­fi­cult time for adults to face the day-to-day obli­ga­tions in their lives, but it must be even more dif­fi­cult for chil­dren to be im­mersed in this cul­ture. That’s an ac­knowl­edge­ment of the over­sat­u­ra­tion we’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. It’s hard for a child to be in­un­dated with things that can be di­vi­sive and sep­a­rate them.

“We cre­ated a cul­ture where in­for­ma­tion comes through all forms of me­dia. There’s huge ac­cess to me­dia for chil­dren of ev­ery age and par­ents aren’t nec­es­sar­ily able to keep them away from this. What does the fu­ture look like and how do we ex­ist and co­ex­ist?” Maz­zucca said, adding that Save the Chil­dren teaches un­der­stand­ing and em­pa­thy to chil­dren on a na­tional level.

In ad­di­tion to the so­cial giv­ing cam­paign, a Save the Chil­dren pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ment will fea­ture an as-yet undis­closed celebrity am­bas­sador.

“Giv­ing back has al­ways been an im­por­tant part of the Bar­neys New York DNA, and ed­u­ca­tion one of the pil­lars of our Bar­neys New York Foun­da­tion,” Miller said. “This hol­i­day sea­son, we’re proud that Make Change will bring the spirit of change to ev­ery­thing from win­dow dis­plays to so­cial me­dia and sup­port Save the Chil­dren’s work with chil­dren across the coun­try.”

Asked for a pro­jec­tion for Save the Chil­dren, Maz­zucca said, “We’re still look­ing at what that num­ber is.”

Miller had sta­tis­tics from the or­ga­ni­za­tion at the ready, in­clud­ing 14 mil­lion chil­dren live in poverty in the U.S., 60 per­cent of chil­dren liv­ing in poverty have no books in their homes, and chil­dren who grow up in poverty are 18 months be­hind their peers by the time they en­ter Kinder­garten.

An im­age from Bar­neys New York’s phi­lan­thropy-first hol­i­day cam­paign.

Bar­neys New York’s hol­i­day cam­paignes­chews prod­ucts in fa­vor of char­ity.

The Bar­neys New York cam­paign fea­tures im­mer­sive in-store ex­pe­ri­ences.

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