February is such a wonderfully festive time in Sydney. There’s Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras and the whole city just comes alive during summer. It also seems like people have now recovered from the madness of Christmas and the New Year and are regaining their energy again. It’s a fun time when a lot of retailers want to just celebrate the festivities of the month and offer their customers a great experience, rather than simply trying to promote the latest sale.
This year, a few of our clients had the idea of combining the romance of Valentine’s Day with the fiery excitement of Chinese New Year in February, as both the events took place within a couple of weeks from each other. While the two events may be completely different, we actually found that they could share a similar colour palette and even a vibe that could tie them together.
For example, we created installations that both reflected the vibrancy of Chinese New Year and the passion of Valentine’s Day using a flirty red and pink colour palette. Here’s a great mood board our client from Chatswood Chase put together for us.
VM Mood Board Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre - February 2015 installation
For our campaign at Chatswood Chase, we sourced lots of beautiful red lanterns from Chinatown and then we created a story behind the mannequins.
That's me, shopping in the teeny - tinest lantern store ever - Chinatown, Sydney
And when it came to dressing the six mannequins, we thought to ourselves, “Where are they going? Maybe they’ll be heading out to a brand new club in the city. Maybe they’ll be going out for a romantic dinner together or having a picnic together. What will they be doing? What will they be wearing for the occasion?
As you can tell, we got really let our imaginations run free and loved coming up with a storyline. It’s a really important part of the process for us, so we don’t end up randomly coming up with pieces and props that don’t make sense to the installation. Once we decided what our mannequins would be up to, we hit the retail stores at Chatswood Chase to put the looks together.
Sameh & Mel putting the finishing touches on our window display at Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre
It can be tricky creating different installations for different clients who all want to celebrate the same event, so we scoured the city for every single lantern supplier that we could possibly find to make sure each showcase looked special. And even if we do use the same props from time to time with each client, we make sure that they’re presented in a different way to tell a different story.
We also integrated Chinese New year with Valentine’s Day at Liverpool Westfield and used lots of hot pink and red lanterns everywhere and matched it with beautiful ribbons.
Our February VM installation at Westfield Liverpool
And at Broadway Shopping Centre, our mannequins were styled in beautiful red gowns, because we imagined they’d be going on a fancy date together. We created gorgeous, oversized love hearts out of Styrofoam and covered them in lace doilies, which we placed behind them.
Simple oversized props making a huge statement at Broadway Shopping Centre
Then the next week, we gave it a Chinese New Year twist by removing the hearts and replacing them with lanterns.
Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day are such great events to celebrate for all retailers. Even if you run a hardware store, customers could always get your loved one a hammer or a power tool for Valentine’s Day! While the events might not seem like the most obvious events for your particular business, they both can be integrated into your campaigns, if you can come up with a creative twist.