21 March 2023 627 words, 3 min. read

Yayoi Kusama and Louis Vuitton: the best of street marketing

By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
In terms of street marketing, there are many initiatives. But some of them are above the lot and are of genius. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am a big fan of Louis Vuitton’s […]

In terms of street marketing, there are many initiatives. But some of them are above the lot and are of genius. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am a big fan of Louis Vuitton’s marketing, especially the layout of its windowsWhat the brand has done for its partnership with Yayoi Kusama is unprecedented. This is the first time I’ve seen so many people taking pictures of what the brand has set up in Paris.

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The partnership between Yayoi Kusama and Louis Vuitton

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese conceptual artist famous for her dots and avant-garde installations. She partnered with Louis Vuitton (see our marketing mix analysis here) from specific limited-edition products and incredible installations scattered around Paris. Vuitton’s products usually leave me cold, but I must admit that it’s quite appealing aesthetically. What is clear is that you will be noticed with a handbag from this collection.

street marketing Giant effigy

Louis Vuitton has a history of working with contemporary artists and creating limited-edition merchandise:

  • You may remember the collaboration with Virgil Abloh, whose sneakers brought in over $25 million at Sotheby’s;
  • the one with Jeff Koons that I immortalized during visits to London and Rome.

This marketing strategy based on ephemeral collaborations creates excitement among customers, especially those who are the most loyal and already have everything. It is, therefore, an excellent tactic to increase the Customer Lifetime Value.


Giant effigy of Yayoi Kusama on the Champs Elysées

The Louis Vuitton flagship store on the Champs-Elysées is decorated with a giant inflatable effigy of Yayoi Kusama. The facades of the building are covered with polka dot patterns, the “trademark of the artist.” If you take the time to look at the installation, you’ll see that Yayoi Kusama is holding a brush and painting her famous polka dots.

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It’s impressive from a distance, but a powerful zoom on the inflatable effigy reveals its photographic realism. It is very impressive.

street marketing robot Yayoi Kusama

A Yayoi Kusama robot in the window of Vuitton, Place Vendôme

The other flagship store, the one in Place Vendôme, is not to be outdone. The windows are also decorated with products from the collaboration with the Japanese artist (including jewelry). The facade is dressed with silver disks reflecting the Vendôme column.

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These discs also serve as improvised mirrors for all the tourists who take pictures of themselves … and broadcast them on social networks. I watched, early in the morning, the constant ballet of fashionistas in front of the store, and I was impressed. I have never seen a street marketing operation that attracted so much attention and generated many reactions.

street marketing

The show’s highlight is the window display at the corner of Rue Saint-Honoré and Place Vendôme. There, a humanoid robot “lives,” adopting the features of Yayoi Kusama. The robot paints, its eyelids move like a human’s, and its eyes look at you. Everything is larger than life.

street marketing

It is fascinating and disturbing at the same time. Look, for example, at the pictures below, the details of the hand that holds the purse. I focused on the details; the skin is disturbingly similar to a human’s. You can even see the outline of the veins.

street marketing


What to remember about this street marketing operation?

The pictures speak for themselves. It is a marvelous marketing operation. We can debate the fact of knowing if it is street marketing or not, but in the end, only the result counts. Visually it’s amazing, but from a brand image point of view, it’s even better. The return on investment is incredible because many people spread the photos on social networks and take selfies. So, it’s free advertising … a little like this article!



Posted in Marketing.

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