Holiday Windows as Pop-up Inspiration
The retail holiday window is a time-honored and highly anticipated tradition. In major cities, it also serves as a tourist attraction, a national newsmaker and pop-up inspiration.
One retailer – Bergdorf Goodman – is particularly well known for its extravagant, dynamic holiday windows. Immortalized in the film Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, the holiday displays are described as fine art installations – complex and lavish. “I want the windows to almost be perceived as hallucinations,” says David Hoey, Bergdorf Goodman’s Senior Director of Visual Presentation, in the film.
For 2017, the theme of Bergdorf’s windows is “To New York, With Love.” The spectacle is an homage to seven of New York City’s greatest cultural institutions: the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the New York Botanical Garden, the Museum of the Moving Image, the New York Philharmonic, the New York Historical Society and Urban Glass. Hoey and his team have interpreted a specific vision for each institution in a manner that reflects them in ways that are anything but obvious.
Populating the windows are dancing mannequins, a large-screen montage of black-and-white film clips, soft-sculpture plant life, neon musical instruments, papier-mâché portraits and sculptures, signature glass objects and bling-encrusted dinosaurs (each Velociraptor skeleton took about 325 hours to bejewel with more than a million and a half Swarovski crystals).
“We do tend to overload the windows on purpose, with too much information, too many things to take in,” says Hoey. “And since we love putting on a show, we have made the windows kaleidoscopic and entertaining.”
Thought-provoking words for anyone seeking to create an impactful Shopper Moment™, particularly for the person in charge of a brand’s retail pop-up.
Think about it. A holiday window is basically a pop-up. Both are branded, limited-time-only, objective-based and surprising shopper-engaging events. The enchanting Bergdorf windows are pop-up inspiration for retail designers and marketers.
Pop-up Inspiration; Lessons from Bergdorf’s Windows
Go beyond “surprising.” Aim for “shocking.” Settle for “jaw-dropping.”
Sweat the micro-details. Fill your experience with lean-in-quality details. Visual minutia can be beautiful. […] induce a kind of aesthetic delirium,” says Hoey.[bctt tweet=”Fill your retail pop-up experience with lean-in-quality details.” username=”MeetMrPopUp”]
Showcase your signature style. Demonstrate the brand esthetic and personality. While wildly different from one another (along with offerings of years past), the Bergdorf windows are identifiable as products of the brand. They are ownable.
Build community. Those who gather to marvel at holiday windows form their own little communities. They bond over mutual admiration of what they are seeing (and experiencing). Bergdorf’s has also created the opportunity for inclusion by offering partner-created, custom products and experiences.
Give them something to talk about. Create something that is buzz-worthy, photogenic and share-able.
Stir some emotions. The memory of past visits to store windows (perhaps with family) is one most people share. Make shoppers feel something – together.