Yves Saint Laurent’s yearly bash in Hong Kong last week did not disappoint with all its glamour and glitz, but its ‘beauty hotel’ theme this year was quite the gamechanger in the both the realms of pop-up stores and brand events. Hong Kong was the fourth market for the L’Oréal-owned French beauty house to throw the party and set up the YSL Beauty Hotel following Paris, Madrid and Seoul.
“For the past two years in a row, the YSL party [has enjoyed] very good reputation as the party of the year. People were bidding online for the ticket, paying HK$1,000 ($127) to come to the event,” Niki Lo, general manager of YSL, told CEI. “As a brand, we do see [the] party as a very important part of our brand element, for us, it is one of the most important moments for the brand every year.”
The overwhelming response led YSL to the scheme of a giant pop-up store erected in the form of a 'beauty hotel' which retained some elements of exclusivity and yet was more accessible, said Lo. About 6,000 passes, or “check-in cards” were given out to customers who sent their photos with YSL products to the brand’s Facebook chatbot. The main party remained an invitation-only event for celebrities and YSL’s loyal customers.
Meanwhile, the ‘hotel’ guests were treated to a spectacle of black and pink replete with plush furniture for photo ops and games to collect points for YSL products. The brand had again collaborated with digital production startup Sekgamdong to set up this event that took almost six months of planning and execution. The party was broadcasted live by about 10 publications and on YSL's Facebook page with Mindshare as its media agency.
Lo declined to reveal sales targets for the three-day event but said the experiential nature of the ‘hotel’ setting and the party was mainly aimed at elevating brand affinity. “YSL is very young, very edgy, we do want to convey the whole message through this event,” said Lo.