The Valley Group

Fun Factor: Does your brand have enough of it?

August 22, 2023

Earlier this year, Louis Vuitton launched a colossal collaboration with Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, (hard to miss!) with a marketing budget to rival Barbie. The brand went big with activation, both on a global and physical scale. We saw giant Yayoi sculptures towering over the Champs-Élysées, robot's painting Harrods windows, along with an army of LV clad supermodels towering over billboards across the world.

There's been various media commentary regarding the over commercialisation of the partnership, reptation in product design from the 2012 collab and a lack of originality in the creative campaign execution, from physical stores through to social media presence.

But one thing is for sure, repetition and consistency, along with simplicity and a sense of fun has led to one of the most influential designer x artist collaborations ever seen. Yayoi Kusama’s sold out exhibition at Manchester’s newest cultural space, Factory International, is a great example of how maintaining key disciplines in design, whilst understanding human behaviour and emotion can create high impact, visual experiences, with millions of visitors queuing to get a taste of Yayoi’s iconic dots and majestic pumpkins.

The bigger the better

The consideration of scale is a key factor to Yayoi’s work, by creating soaring 10-meter-high inflatable artworks, as seen at the ‘You, Me and the Balloons’ exhibition and towering figures in iconic retail destinations, visitors are immediately stopped in their tracks. Space is always considered in full 360- from floors, to walls and ceilings, the way in which objects are suspended alongside giant floor-based installations helps to build a unique and different experience from every angle.

By bringing this approach into store design from windows through to displays, helps give an advantage to brands. By considering the space both above and around products helps to elevate brand presence by creating clarity against store environments. Always making the most of sightlines in store is key being visible to shoppers.

Being in the moment

Huge cloud bean bags encourage visitors to take a moment, stop and fully immerse themselves in the experience. Encouraging a moment of reflection helps increase the amount of dwell time, whilst allowing a greater connection to build longer lasting memories. By enhancing a waiting experience in-store, or by delivering a brand experience within retail that makes shoppers stop and pause has the ability to increase meaningful interaction with brands and products.

Know how much we love to look at ourselves

Yayoi’s iconic infinity rooms have become some of the most posted artworks on Instagram. With queues of over an hour at the Manchester exhibition to take an infinity room selfie, or to peer through into a cosmos world, the appeal of being able to appear as part of a social media movement for a lot of people, is worth the wait.

Spreading Happiness

After a few minutes of being in Yayoi’s space you just feel…happy. Whether it’s the permission to stop and take some time out on the floor clouds, or seeing children playing amongst the coloured winding tentacles, the happiness is infectious. Giving people escapism away from the norm, and allowing them to have fun goes a long way. This ripple effect of personal endorsement has the ability to unite people and connect communities, and in today’s world giving people a reason to smile is worth its weight in pumpkins.


A Taste of the Future

Credit iiiF

Starbucks Pumpkin spice Pop up? Powered by AI, one of our favourite potential future brand partnerships…we can see this one brewing!

We can help you deliver the best shopper experiences, with bucket loads of fun! Drop us an email and say hi!