“God is in the detail. Versant is on the label.”
Thus read a mysterious invitation received by hundreds in the print industry last month.
As part of an elaborate new campaign to launch Fuji Xerox’s new Versant 2100 digital printing press, the company paired up with Auckland indie agency Republik to create Alfonso Versant, an eccentric, egotistical and fictional French fashion designer based on Jacobim Mugatu from Zoolander (presumably without the evil streak).
The invitation to the show was printed on the Versant press and, not stopping there, the fashion show featured 12 items of couture, all designed and produced by student of NZ Fashion Tech and created solely from images and materials printed on the new digital printer.
The result? More than 200 hundred people at the launch and one happy client, says Republik's Paul McNamara.
“[Fuji Xerox] have just come back last week from Japan and New Zealand was the top performing country at launch. They’ve sold more than Australia, even more than China, Japan - in actual sales. So at some point they’ll get overtaken but from a launch perspective it's a very successful campaign.”
Fuji Xerox has already sold 34 of the printers in New Zealand (they go for up to $200,000) with ten on order, and other Fuji Xerox territories have expressed an interest in replicating the launch, McNamara says.
The success of the launch shows creativity within the category paying dividends.
“Marketing within that category tends to be a bit on the vanilla side. In order to get some cut-through and get some clear air and ownership we needed to pull out all the stops and get really creative with our approach,” McNamara says.
The agency was pleased to have a client who embraced that creativity, and also to have paired with such talented students on the project.
McNamara stressed the quality of the garments produced by the students on the printer, some of which will be flown to New York and displayed at Fuji Xerox’s offices.
“The garments were so creative and just beautifully put together. You can print not just paper stocks but synthetic stocks – clear acetates, plastic polymer based papers and standard papers. They really showed a depth and a range all tied back into fashion, our creative theme,” he says.
This creative union of Republik and Fuji Xerox is not their first. In late 2013 Republik created an impressive aviation-themed campaign to launch Fuji Xerox’s wide format range of digital printing presses.
That time, recipients could customise their very own fighter plane to be saved and then printed by Fuji Xerox on to specially imported balsa wood. The personalised planes were laser cut, assembled and handed out to attendees at the launch event where they could fly their war bird and win prizes.
Prior to that, Republik got together with Fuji Xerox to produce the multi award-winning Fujikistan campaign, which won a host of awards and sold millions of dollars worth of digital printers in the New Zealand market.