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Multi-Sensory Beverage Pop-Ups

While most beverage pop-ups put a premium on spotlighting the taste of a product, the Perrier Flavor Studios pop-up in New York City aims to engage all of a visitor’s five senses.

The limited-time pop-up boasts a mocktail bar, live music, an interactive art stations and even a ball pit to dive into. In partnership with artist AKACorleone, Perrier is giving fans the chance to print pieces of custom art straight onto tote bags. At the pop-up, those in attendance are invited to sample the newest sparkling water flavors from Perrier, including Perrier Strawberry and Perrier Watermelon.

Multi-sensory pop-ups have become staples for brands across multiple industries that are interested in captivating a consumer’s senses and creating long-lasting memories via scent, sight, touch, sound and taste.




Gaming App Pop-Up Cafes

Hosted over a two-day period in London’s Soho neighborhood during June 2017, the Candy Crush Cafe is a clever interactive brand activation where guests were able to play a board game version of the popular gaming app. In addition to playing the board game version of Candy Crush, the pop-up cafe also served a variety of game-themed food and drinks and was accessible to individuals 18 years of age and older.

The Candy Crush Cafe in London served up game-themed cocktails, wines, beers and soft drinks, while sweets were available from London bakery Mary Lou’s Bakehouse in the form of rainbow cakes and cupcakes topped with giant lollipops, striped candy and popping candy. The pop-up also featured a roaming DJ and offered over five floors of adult-sized games.





Region’s first talent-booking app launched in Dubai

FLC Production & Model Management, part of FLC Group – a Dubai-based Marketing Services Agency, launched the region’s first Model and Talent booking app. Available for both IOS and android users, this free application offers clients a revolutionary way to select talent for their upcoming campaigns.
“At FLC, we are constantly looking for ways to enrich our clients’ experiences, and having identified a void in the current talent management market, our decision to launch this first-of-its-kind app in the region was the next strategic step towards strengthening our position as a solutions-driven agency,” says Adriana Usvat – Managing Partner, FLC Group.
The FLC Model booking app is a fast and easy way to scout & select models, hostesses and talent for your upcoming campaigns, fashions shows, shoots and events, simply at the touch of a button and three easy steps. Once users download the app, they can select their desired candidates from a wide range of international and regional male and female models database. Having shortlisted the models, the user is required to then complete a contact details form and submit the request for a booking agent. The app also features the Agency’s key campaigns & projects.
“With convenience at the heart of everything we do today, mobile technology continues to play an ever increasing role in the way we live, and the way businesses are conducted. Our belief that the competitive edge lies in continuously evolving and adapting to this changing landscape, spurred the decision to introduce this application. This is a clear demonstration of the Group’s commitment to offer seamless, effective and efficient services and solutions to clients across our four divisions,” commented Ganesh Iyer, FLC Group’s Managing Partner.
The FLC Production & Model Management division is a full-service agency providing quality representation of models, cast, and print & television production services for fashion and commercial clients across the GCC region.
The team has organized fashions shoots, runway shows for many haute couture brands, as well as brand videos and print campaign productions for several multinational power brands across the Gulf region.



How Fashion & Beauty brands can enhance consumer engagement

There are but a few industries that require companies to stay as agile as the fashion and beauty industry. While ‘setting trends’ remains the primary reason for fashion and beauty brands to stay ahead of the game, the rules of shopping have completely changed when compared to a few years ago. Consumer habits, needs and demands are constantly evolving. Today’s consumers not only want a unique product, but also expect a unique shopping experience.

Developing a meaningful and long-lasting relationship with consumers is more important for fashion and beauty brands than for other retail brands, because clients of such brands are always first in line when it comes to trends and living high profile experiences.

These consumers are extremely savvy and expect exciting, innovative engagement strategies as well as personalized experiences across all touch points.

So how do brands enhance the shopping experience for their consumers? Fashion brands should first focus on value creation for the customer.

They should also think and act digital, mapping a customer journey that connects mobile presence with the retail store.

While at it, build a sense of exclusivity throughout the entire experience.

As is the case across many industries, shoppers want brands to speak to them with the same level of relevance, whether they are browsing online or in store.

Seamlessly interacting with the customer, regardless of the platform or location is the key.

Let us try to understand what can be done at different touch points to better engage with consumers and enhance their brand experience, so that they keep coming back for more.


At the retail store the focus should be on personalized interactions, understanding consumer needs and their unique challenges, delighting the audience and making them feel special.

It is not only about needing this product anymore as there are several other brands selling similar products, but more about ‘what is in it for me as a customer’ or how ‘special that product makes me feel’.

There is a need to transform the store’s physical space into an experience that evokes sensation, feelings and behavioral responses generated by brand stimuli.

The store must shift from a place where consumers just ‘buy’ products, to a place where they ‘feel’ the essence of that particular brand.

It is therefore becoming essential for brands to start demonstrating their products, to have an engagement at the store level.

For example, NEO – the fast fashion label of Adidas, has equipped several of its European stores with interactive mirrors. These enable customers to take a picture when trying on a new outfit and posting the images on social platforms like Facebook for instant feedback from friends prior to purchasing.

Also, for example in fashion stores, having something as simple as a stylist that would be able to guide customers on how to combine different pieces or even as simple as advising on the color that best fits a person would make a difference.

Similarly for beauty brands, having a specialist who is able to demonstrate or give simple tips becomes important.

By enhancing consumer experience at the store level, brand owners have an opportunity to increase customer satisfaction, and generate brand loyalty and advocacy.

Having said this, we also should bear in mind that there are lots of consumers who know exactly what they want when they walk into the store, and have less time and disposition to spend trying different other products.

It is therefore that brands need to engage with the customer through outdoor activities in other locations where target audience are more receptive and available for engagement.


An example is Nestlé’s metro link campaign at Mall of the Emirates, which was an innovative way to increase engagement and generate high brand recall.

Welcoming metro users with a steaming cup of coffee, early in the morning as they walked towards the mall, was a great way to bring a moment of happiness and positivity into people’s lives, and connect with them.

Needless to say people did share their experiences on social media channels, and remembered the brand.

The Dove beauty brand is another very good example of excellent customer engagement both on-ground and online.

The brand is renowned for its controversial and out of box conversations about beauty. Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches is the most viral ad of all times, and, therefore, needs no further explanation as to why it is the perfect example of ‘meaningful’ engagement that gave the brand ‘top-of-mind recall and made it worth sharing for consumers.

Few other examples of engaging with customers would be creation of clubs for likeminded people, private events for the VIP guests and private viewings of the latest collections.


Fashion and beauty consumers spend more time with those brands that provide them with engaging and valuable content.

Consumers use many digital platforms to get the latest information on trends, product/brand reviews, exchange experiences or compare prices. Within these customer journeys, social media plays a key role.

Instagram, particularly has become one of the most influential online tools for fashion and beauty brands. Carousel ads are becoming popular with brands like ASOS, Maybelline New York and Louis Vuitton using Instagram stories to create brand awareness around its products.

To be a successful brand on social media, you do not need to be a big beauty/fashion brand. In fact, some of the smaller brands might have an advantage over bigger brands as they have lesser guidelines to follow and they take decisions faster.

Here are few ideas when it comes to digital content strategy and how to better engage:

– Partnering with influencers

It is still highly effective to partner with content creators on influencer campaigns. Today viewers trust influencers more than they trust brands. It is however essential to choose the right influencer, the one that is authentic and credible when delivering the brand message.

The influencer should also match the personality and image of the brand. When the message comes from someone consumers follow and engage with on social media, they perceive it as receiving advise from a friend or an expert who has genuine interest in sharing something valuable.

– Creating engaging product tutorials

‘How to’ beauty videos earn higher audience engagement numbers and drive more page views on YouTube than 30 seconds commercials. In fact, around 45% of all YouTube videos are beauty tutorials.

If properly done, embracing the online tutorial trend means more engagement for the brand. Building the brand channel as a consistent source of beauty and lifestyle tips from beauty experts and vloggers, will always keep fans coming back.

– Involve your social media followers with your brand

Make your fans / followers feel that they have a word to say in developing new products, coming up with different names or packaging designs. The easiest way this can be done is by launching different contests where fans can participate and engage (for e.g. come up with the name of the latest limited edition lipstick, or with the tagline for a campaign).

– Repost on your social media channels

Reposting and sharing user-generated content shows customers they are valuable members of your online community who play an active role in your brand story.

– Listen to your customers

Listen and respond to customer complaints.

Technology plays a very important role for fashion and beauty brands. Be it at the store level or online, brands can use technology to build a sense of exclusivity and personalized experience that consumers look for.

In a perfect world, the customer should be able to describe the perfect dress and find the closest match, in a matter of seconds. Thanks to technology, this scenario will become a reality in the near future.

Artificial Intelligence-powered search engines will be able to track down the closest match for customers. This way designers, merchandisers and buyers could all work alongside AI, to predict what customers want to wear. There are a few areas that brands should consider improving:

– Mobile applications development

A digital showroom in 3D, applications that can show a customer how he would look in a certain attire, could be examples of choices that might help improve the fashion experience and engage emotionally with customers.

– Content that is context aware

This is a great opportunity that is rarely used. With the new generation of smartphones and the mobile connectivity, the Beacon solutions, geo fencing and localization can help in providing ‘right time, personalization’.

This helps in delivering content that is truly targeted and context based. Customers located 150 meters from a fashion store can receive customized messages with regards to a certain offer/new launch available in the store.

– Consumer behavior analysis

The toughest challenge when dealing with customers is identifying their behavior patterns and routines, so that brands can better understand their needs and wants. These customers want to be considered in their own singularity and refuse to accept readymade solutions.

Fashion brands, therefore, have just one way to avoid blind navigation, and that is using the power of data. There is no doubt that most fashion and beauty brands are compiling more and more customer data at all kinds of touch points – from user accounts to social networks to store level.

Connected devices produce all the information you need to know about your customers and the evolution of business, a crucial point in developing strategies.

However very few brands manage to process all volumes of data in real time, and even fewer use the data / knowledge generated effectively.

Customer behavior analysis plays a crucial role, as it is the interface through which human insight becomes actionable business intelligence.

This can act as the differentiator that adds a human element to a customer engagement strategy and make the relationship more than just a transaction.

Using the power of data, brands would be able to understand how often a certain customer is buying certain items for example, or personalize customer communication, be it auto generated happy birthday message, personal recommendations, a fitting tip and so on.

Amazon is at the forefront when it comes to recommendation engine. As consumers become digital consumers, brands need to adapt as fast as they can.

The industry has an opportunity in terms of innovating itself digitally, to create a convenient experience for the consumer.

Furthermore, building loyalty with a personalized experience by leveraging customer data should be key.





Author: Adriana Usvat, Managing Partner of FLC Group

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Donut Slot Machines

To bring attention to its newest partnership with Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme, Krispy Kreme is touring a food slot machine across Intu shopping centers in the UK this summer.

The donut slot machines celebrate the donut company’s newest collaboration, as well as its newest range of American-themed donuts. Those who come across the machines have the chance to win a variety of prizes, including: Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme donuts, Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme bars and milkshake vouchers, as well as Krispy Kreme donuts by the dozen or potentially even a Krispy Kreme Gold Card, which will supply confectionery lovers with enough donuts for a year.

Along its tour across the UK, this face-to-face activation from Krispy Kreme will give consumers the thrill of winning great prizes from a Las Vegas-style slot machine.




Fast Beauty Maker Labs

The Essence Maker Shop was a consumer engagement-focused pop-up recently hosted by the fast beauty brand in its home country of Germany. Launched in the country’s capital, Berlin, the charming experience allowed brand fans to co-create and customize a variety of products. Inspired by the DIY movement and the spirit of the youthful brand, the pop-up experience featured lab coats for the attendees to wear as they traveled between stations.

The experience allowed individuals to explore flavors, colors and textures, creating a product of their liking. Given the experimental nature of the beauty world in the age of tutorial videos, the Essence Maker Shop is the perfect campaign to connect with customers in the spirit of exploration and experimentation that drives the online beauty community forward.





Increase consumer acquisition!

Brand activations represent perfect opportunities to increase consumer acquisition, and start ongoing conversations that most brands are already creating.

Here are just a few examples of brand activations that have been happening around the world this week.


Dr. Marten’s new flagship store is being called an “experimental store,” as it features limited-edition designs that are exclusive to this new location, special artwork, a GIF photo booth and even a customization station where customers may personalize their old or new Dr. Martens shoes. The space also includes VR experiences from Oculus that let fans take a virtual tour of the brand’s factory in the UK. Read to find out more-


To celebrate the launch of its new Get the Gang Back Together campaign, Diet Coke staged a girl’s night in event at London’s Athenaeum Hotel.

The Diet Coke Penthouse welcomed some of the biggest fashion and media influencers in the UK and treated them to a Diet Coke bar, a fashion illustration station, the Diet Coke Glam Room for manicures and makeovers and giant balloon decorations that spelled out “FRIENDS.”

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Personal care brand, Burt’s Bees, Inc. set up an interactive ‘Wall of Kisses’ in the UK.

The Wall of Kisses boasts three different components: a touchscreen “magic mirror” that features lip-tracking software to digitally add color to one’s lips, a photo montage and individual consultation areas where consumers may try real versions of the product and get expert advice from on-site makeup artists.


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We’ve got more activations coming up next week. Stay tuned!

Interview with Adriana Usvat, – Managing Partner, FLC Group

What drew you to the event & marketing industries?

Simply put, my desire to create and implement innovative campaigns & events while keeping in mind the ROI. There was also an even bigger desire to make a difference. As a person who strongly believes that knowledge is power, working within this industry has given me the opportunity to learn and experience something new every day.

 As a Master’s graduate in International Business Transactions, how did this experience contribute to your success in your line of work?

Education in general, and the International Business and Economics University in particular, gave me the exposure I needed and a better understanding of the business universe. It also taught me to negotiate, rationalize, strategize and work against deadlines.

The Master’s class focused on forward-looking transactions, negotiations between business principals, as well as negotiations over legal issues. We are talking cross boarder sales of goods, contracts for services, gradually working through representation relationships to licensing and joint ventures.

My Degree has been an important milestone in forging a strong foundation; enabling me to combine innovation with attention to costs, while focusing on the ROI. I have the business acumen to do things different, analytics being the base.

 How were you able to shift across different disciplines and verticals throughout your career?

I believe, flexibility and willingness to learn are keys. I have always been a curious person and enjoyed taking on different challenges throughout my career.

Each experience prepared me for the moment when I was finally ready to launch my own company, in 2008.

I started working at the age of 18, when I was still a student. First as a tourist guide, then as a stock broker. I then, graduated and moved on to work as an expert contracts negotiator for one of the biggest oil companies in the world. I gradually expanded into Data Intelligence and Strategic Planning based on customer data and analytics, Direct Marketing, Telemarketing, Online, Interactive and Coalition Loyalty Programs.

Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a managing partner at one of the best marketing and event management agencies in Dubai?

We started the business in 2008 with nothing but 4 hands and a desire to make it. We had no financial support at the time and therefore have handled every aspect of the business – from being a promoter booking agent, to a model scouting agent, to a supervisor, a strategist, an operations head, a finance in charge and so on.

Today, everyone sees a 200+ team handling the best activations in town, but only few remember the 10,000 stairs taken to reach where we are today and no hand to hold us.

Prior to setting up our own agency, we first identified a need-gap. We understood that there is a need in the market for solid strategy-driven companies that can guide brand owners and corporates to the best way of promoting their wares.

In 2009, we were at the beginning of the economic recession, and many brands wanted on-ground activations to directly reach out to their consumers, as mass media advertising was expensive, scattered and not targeted. There were advertising agencies focusing on communication & strategy but didn’t have strengths on execution. And there were the smaller promotion agencies providing staffing for promotions, but did not provide the strategic thinking to go with the activity. We bridged the gap and provided strategic solutions along with execution support.

Since then, we have grown the company to include synergistic divisions for Marketing, Events, Models and Digital, Production.

  • The Marketing   division   specializes   in   Activations,   Road-shows, Promotions, Direct to consumer programs with a large focus on Consumer Engagement
  • The Events division specializes in providing talents and entertainers as well as handling new product & brand launches, and store launches for our clients
  • The Models division specializes in talent and model management and also handles full campaign production for different brands
  • The Digital division is, catering to our clients’ ever growing demand for strategic online campaigns across Social Media and the Web as well as interactive applications, VR & AR for our on ground activations
  • The Production division is the latest division and specializes in stand build up

Have you faced any gender-based challenges throughout this journey? Can you name other significant challenges you faced?

I have seen and experienced lots of challenges, just like anyone else. The taste of victory is therefore much sweeter after all this. As they say there is no escalator to success and there are lots of No’s, I heard before reaching where I am today.

I however chose not to focus on those. I tend to ignore whenever faced with such situations. I would rather concentrate on how to get the things done. One cannot choose how others behave, however, the effort we are willing to put in, is solely in our hands.

My firm belief has always been that time, experience, teamwork, dedication, are keys to moving forward as individuals and as a society.

We started our business during the recession, with nothing but 4 hardworking hands and a desire to make it. I moved from my house and lived with a friend as I couldn’t afford to live by myself. I learnt to adjust and live day by day. I never doubted for a moment that it will work.

It was a time when brands simply did not have the budget required to invest in their marketing activities. So from the start we had the challenge of managing small budgets with measureable ROI; this is possible with strategic and out-of- the box thinking that comes with experience and confidence. We have maintained the same approach post-recession; it’s easy to get swept away in bigger budgets but we remind ourselves of the ultimate value proposition that our clients want to achieve each and every time.

What are your plans for FLC over the next 3 years? Are you looking forward to EXPO 2020?

We want FLC GROUP to be the best, attract the best talent and resources and be the first choice of all our clients.

Our plans are to expand regionally as well as division wise. We have recently launched an in house Production & MICE division.

Ultimately we are working towards each division becoming number one in GCC in their respective fields. The advantage of being under the cohesive banner of FLC is that they can draw on the strengths of each other to be even more cost effective and offer better services to our client portfolio.

2020? We are sure that lots of opportunities are coming up and there will always be a demand for outstanding service while keeping the bottom line in mind.

What message would you like to share with the Executive-Women community?

I would advise them to look ahead instead of left and right. We all have our journey and there is no need of comparison unless it is a comparison between who you were yesterday and who you are today. Understand their strengths, develop a solid strategy, be confident in their own skills, surround themselves with competent people, stay calm, network, identify friends with similar interests and be ready to work hard.

Last but not least, support your fellow women in business. A team can deliver more.






Decoding consumer behavior during Ramadan

The Holy Month of Ramadan is the time for increased consumerism and attention to shopping. It also brings significant changes in the landscapes of marketing activities among brands.

With the rise in digital media consumption and the growing popularity of shopping online, marketers have their tasks cut out for them, trying to keep up with changing consumer behavior.

In order to effectively market their products during this season, it is vital for marketers to study spending patterns during Ramadan. Many research and surveys reveal that consumers increase their spending during the Holy month across various activities including food & beverages, travel, gifting and personal shopping, with top purchases being food and groceries.

So, how do marketers reach out to consumers effectively during Ramadan?

It is imperative for marketers to have a holistic approach when planning a marketing campaign. Researching consumers, and using these insights to chalk out a strategy and ideas that work effectively online as well as offline, are vital for a campaign to be successful.

Shopping habits

According to the consumer behavior research conducted by YouGov, 53 percent in the UAE, Saudi and Egypt spend more during the fasting month, of which 93 percent increased their outgoings on regular household items such as food and groceries. The findings also showed that the majority of consumers were less likely to be brand loyal when it came to food and drink products, despite the attractive promotions and offers; while 40 percent of the respondents claimed they would always by from brands with the best offers.

Online habits

Marketers must also take into account consumers’ online habits. As cited by Hootsuite, as of January 2017 the UAE alone has an Internet penetration rate of 99 percent with 9.2 million social media users, and 88 percent with 8.2 million mobile social users. These figures indicate an impressive 47 percent growth in the use of social media, up by 44 percent in mobile social media over a 12-month period.

Growth of video

Marketing campaigns that use videos tend to attract more consumers and drive brand awareness and increase brand/user engagement in this region. Video marketing statistics for 2016 show a staggering 310 million views per day, making the MENA region No. 2 in the world, in terms of video views. There are more than 70 percent of smartphone users in Saudi Arabia and the UAE who watch videos on social networking websites at least once a week, compared to the global average of 65 percent.

While the ultimate goal of all marketers is to create advocacy for their brands and products, especially during Ramadan, it is of utmost importance to have the right marketing mix, teamed with the right use of media channels, in order to reach their target audience. These research findings clearly present both marketers and brands with the ammo they need to achieve the desired results and improve brand performance.



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