Italian fashion house Fendi is the latest luxury brand to partner with a major fashion magazine in order to get into interactive video.

In collaboration with Elle International, Fendi has created three short videos to preview its pre-fall 2016 collection, as it builds its digital presence. The advertising campaign, created by Hearst Italia, will stream on all 10 online international editions of Elle as well as its various social platforms (on Instagram, the online magazines have a combined total of 3.4 million followers; and Elle USA’s Facebook page has almost 4 million likes).

The star of the campaign is Karlito, a miniature doll resembling Fendi’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld. In a choose-your-own-adventure series of videos called “Where in the World is Karlito,” viewers are taken behind the scenes into Elle offices before Karlito boards a plane bound for wherever the viewer wants to go first. Shanghai, New York and Italy are on the itinerary, and viewers can choose a separate video for each three.

Following establishing scenes of the major fashion hubs, the viewer is made to feel welcome through Karlito’s eyes: First behind-the-scenes at a fashion shoot, and when the photographer’s camera clicks, photos of the shoot appear below the video, offering a glimpse of Fendi’s pre-fall collection.


“The idea behind the campaign is about brand relevancy,” Kevin O’Malley, senior vp, publisher and chief revenue officer at Elle US said. “While you want to maintain a certain level of polish to protect the brand’s position, you don’t want to be precious because you want it to be shared. It’s all about content being shared.”

This extended reach through Elle’s social platforms will be a vital element in the Fendi’s plan to ramp up its growth. This year, the brand plans to expand into new markets of key cities, with new products, according to its parent company LVMH’s 2015 annual report. It’s also made a conscious effort to increase its digital footprint in the past few years. For instance, Fendi moved into e-commerce just last year.

But O’Malley said the idea behind these videos wasn’t specifically to drive sales. “Of course the intent is always to drive to purchase, but the answer is all about consumer experience. If we can find a way to integrate shopping into a video where it doesn’t interrupt, perhaps we’d do a gallery of images where people could shop from those, we may add a shopping element to it. That could be the  2.0 version,” he said.

In teaming with a magazine, Fendi follows the footsteps of Gucci, which recently partnered with Vogue publisher Condé Nast to create a video series recreating the Greek romance “The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice,” in a modern day New York City setting, to promote its 2016 pre-fall collection.

It is the first multi-part video series for Gucci’s branded content strategy and those videos will run on Condé Nast properties, including Vogue, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, as well as