Its been a very long time since the last post on our blog. What is going on? Are the RocketClowns still alive?
The answer is a resounding “yes!”, and as a matter of fact, we’ve been working on a big something that we had to keep a little quiet about.
In October last year, creative director Maurice Dahan, whom we had been working with at Mexx, approached us for a project he was working on with Waalwearkids, a kid’s clothing company with brands such as Barbara Farber, Cakewalk, Dobber, Jottum and Pointer.
The idea of the project was this: normally, when a clothing company goes out to try and sell a new collection to a shop or a franchise, agents of the clothing company take samples of the new collection to the shop owners. With a company like Waalwear, we’re talking about more than 50 agents all over Europe, and even some in the States. The manufacturing of these samples is incredibly expensive, because they cannot be mass-produced.
The idea was born to create a single set of samples, take pictures and videos of the samples on-model, and then presenting that in a ‘virtual showroom’ that can simply be accessed from the web. Agents would no longer take the samples themselves, but an Apple MacBook to the shops to show the collection.
From the beginning, it was clear that this ‘virtual showroom’ had to be quite flashy to convince both agents and their clients of this new way of doing business. So it would involve a lot of Flash. We were asked if we wanted to take on the Flash-part. And if we could have it finished in two months.[facebook]
RocketClowns love a challenge like this, so by the end of October, we were onboard.
In about two weeks time, 600 short videos, and over 2400 pictures were shot of all the items in the collection, both on- and off-model.
Meanwhile, RocketClowns started designing the different ‘moods’, or ‘look and feel’, for each brand. Barbara Farber targets a completely different audience than Dobber for example, so the virtual showrooms had to reflect that.
Originally, the idea had been to use the virtual showroom just to show the collection, and do the actual ordering on paper, just like in the past. As the project started to take shape, it became clear that the actual ordering had to be incorporated into the virtual showroom.
RocketClowns created a ‘wishlist’ module, where items from the collection could be added, sizes and amounts could be set, and an overview of the current order could be shown. After clicking a ‘done shopping’-button, the order-data would be sent to the Waalwear-server, resulting in a final order.
Data structures were now getting quite complex, and we were glad we got some assistance from Marcus Graf with some super-abstract ActionScripting.