Skip to content
Related Products

Display Line projectors fill an important role in Playlife, Benetton’s new point of sale offering top brands of sports apparel and equipment.

Benetton is one of the most successful and dynamic companies in Italy, exporting all over the world and, in recent years, engaged in strengthening its global presence by setting up a close-knit network of exclusive outlets.

The reasons for success can be found in the quality of its products and an intelligently planned commercial strategy that has given Benetton a strong international corporate identity thanks to the firm’s constant participation in sports and show-business events and its distinctive communications actions with their aggressive social awareness angle.

Everything Benetton does is conceived and produced in style, starting from the points of sale, which make use of advanced merchandising techniques designed to make the public feel like visitors rather than merely customers.

A good example of this approach can be seen at Casalecchio del Reno near Bologna, were the first Italian “Playlife” centre was opened in mid September. This brand new chain of stores flanks the two existing lines, “United Colors” and “012”, and is specialized in the sale of sports apparel and equipment. Developed within the “Euromercato” complex, the new store was equipped with a series of technological innovations that exert considerable attractive power towards potential customers: five Clay Paky V.I.P. 300 Display Line projectors, five plasma screens and a BOSE sound system.

The five V.I.P 300 projectors (see product description alongside) were equipped with wide angle lens units and chrome coated dichroic gobos produced specifically for Playlife to show the various brand names the company carries. Four V.I.P.s are mounted on the ceiling to project brand name images on the walls at a height of 3-4 metres. The fifth V.I.P. installed in the entrance area is equipped with a multiple mirror accessory that animates the inscription “Playlife” to accompany visitors into the main store area.

Giancarlo Meroni, head of the Playlife project for Emilia Romagna, explained how he came to choose Clay Paky’s V.I.P. projectors: “Our company employs qualified store designers so that we can be sure we’re using the most advanced merchandising techniques available. We were looking for a lighting fixture able to enhance the store in an imaginative and effective manner. These requirements led us to contact Pietro Tondello at “Altair”, sole dealer for Clay Paky lighting equipment in the Triveneto area”.

Clay Paky’s Display Line products provided a perfect answer to Benetton’s requirements for illumination and brand name promotion. The initial contact led to a demo of the V.I.P. 300 projectors on the top floor of a building under a large glazed roof, attended by Benetton marketing manager Ron Tise, who was particularly impressed by the fact that the images projected by the V.I.P.s remained perfectly visible even though the demo room was brightly illuminated.

At this point, nine V.I.P. projectors were immediately installed in Villa Loredana at Venegazz├╣, one of the Benetton main offices, where the spaces destined to become Benetton points of sale are reproduced in full scale.

Although it was created on the basis of this model, the Casalecchio del Reno store ended up being somewhat smaller than the original mock-up so just five V.I.P.s proved sufficient to cover the internal display requirements. Clay Paky’s V.I.P.s are lightweight, compact and they don’t have unsightly coils of wiring supplying the effects so they can be installed literally anywhere and blend elegantly with their surroundings.

The Casalecchio store is also equipped with five plasma screens connected to a powerful satellite receiver system. Music video clips, sports events, and, particularly, natural history footage by world famous photographer Oliviero Toscani form the backbone of the corporate communications output in Benetton-Playlife outlets. And the visual images are supported by a high fidelity Bose loudspeaker system keeping the store constantly supplied with good music.

A clear interior design trend for stores and shopping centres is gradually emerging, based on the creation of an interactive area packed with attractions and innovations, especially new lighting, video and audio solutions. This type of set-up generates interest among potential customers, persuading them to enter the selling area and make a purchase.

Meroni adds: “We have to learn to consider a point of sale as a more complex structure than a simple “shop”. The modern store has to be an environment that generates communication. That’s why we need to find the right tools, able to give the best results for the lowest space requirements and cost. Clay Paky’s Display Line products enable us to project images or illuminate important features and objects with a level of precision and variety that ensure they attract attention and remain fixed in the mind of observers. These projectors are highly efficient communication tools, perfectly in line with the requirements of modern merchandising”.

Right from their beginnings, Benetton’s Playlife chain of stores are set to become important models that display the latest trends in interior design in commercial settings. The hundreds of people that pass by the new store every day, frequently pausing to make a purchase, seem to confirm that the formula is working. The Playlife project will see the inauguration of 50 new points of sale throughout Europe by March 1999, and a further 100-150 before 2000. Given the success of the initial launch, the new stores will all be equipped with Clay Paky Display Line projectors, destined to play a decisive role in the Benetton and Playlife worldwide communications strategy.