In the market for digital printers, there was not much differentiation between either the products themselves or the brand manufacturers. Result: a cluttered market, where the target audience was bombarded with print samples and brochures.
Ultimately, the proof was in the printing, so the task for marketing was to get an up-close demonstration into the hands of buyers.
But that’s what everyone did, so the trick was to do it with imagination and flair.
Republik centred its efforts for Fuji Xerox’s Versant 2100 around a fictitious French fashion designer, Alfonso Versant. He wrote to buyers explaining how he had created a fashion range using only paper stocks printed on the Versant 2100.
The mail shot included a ‘look-book’ filled with musings on his inspirations and experiences, with a VIP pass to a New Zealand fashion premier, the Fashion Collection de Papier.
Republik commissioned NZ Fashion tech to create 12 looks from the ‘Haus of Versant’. At the show, models cruised the runways in clothes created on the Versant 2100.
The target was to sell 20 units within the first three months. Fuji actually sold five on the evening of the launch and 49 in total during the first three months. Sales in NZ, a small country, have outperformed every other Asian market and, according to Republik, achieved an ROI of NZ$105 for every NZ$ spent on marketing.
The ‘Haus of Versant’ garments are now on display in Fuji Xerox’s New York HQ foyer, and the marketing idea has been repeated across Asia.
There was a time when the digital folks all announced that print was dead. Chiat Day in Los Angeles created the first paperless office and it was a disaster. Paper, and indeed print, is very much alive but it needs innovation desperately. And this is such an innovative use of paper, as the material for haut-couture. In making paper suddenly sexy and interesting, the idea makes printers sexy and interesting too. If you can use a copier to make a party frock, what else can you do with it?
And, of course, the whole paper trail from mailshot to fashion show started with a big idea.
Fantastic work from New Zealand.
Agency: Republik New Zealand
Client: Fuji Xerox New Zealand
Product: Fuji Xerox – Versant 2100 Digital Printer
Title: Haus of Versant
Media: Direct mail
Country: New Zealand
Date of campaign: 2015