Next Stop: Innovation, Part II

TopShop's multisensory in-store experience features scents, sights and sounds
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Posted August 1, 2018

International Visual Competition: First Place
In-Store Storewide Promotions
“TopShop Splash!”
Submitted by: YourStudio, London

Don’t you love the feeling of going down a waterslide … in an apparel store? YourStudio (London) helped create an interactive experience for TopShop’s (London) summer swimwear campaign which married virtual reality (VR), sounds and smells.

While it wasn’t possible to use real water, or a real waterslide, for that matter, the same feeling and excitement was created through the windows and in-store displays.

The physical installment began with a swimming pool scene in the display windows at the front of the store, and 65 meters, or roughly 213 feet, of waterslide tubes were snaked throughout its interior, subtly leading customers to the retailer’s new swimwear collection.

“Water is not something that mixes very well with retail environments,” says Tom Edington, Associate Director, Experiential, YourStudio. “We started to explore the mixed-reality direction, by blending the physical with the digital and the virtual to create the feeling and the excitement around the waterslide; we wanted to take people on a magical journey down a waterslide without the magic of actually having to get on one.”

After queuing up inside, visitors were led to the interior of a window where they sat atop a faux waterslide drop to start the VR experience. The VR goggles transported shoppers down a waterslide that shot between buses, shoppers on Oxford Street and iconic London buildings, and ended with a playful “Life’s a Beach” message from TopShop.

To complete the experience, scents of coconut and sunscreen were dispersed throughout the store, as well as the sounds of squawking seagulls and splashing water, indicative of a water park. 

The tipping point for the VMSD judges? The fact that it was truly a multisensory experience. “When you think of sight, sound and smell, that doesn’t exist in many other entries,” says judge Michael-Marie DeGenova, AVP Visual Merchandising, Justice (New Albany, Ohio).

To learn more about this year's International Visual Competition winners and honorable mentions, be sure to check vmsd.com throughout the month of August.

For "Next Stop: Innovation" Part I, click here.