Louis Vuitton launches audio guides...bizarre!

Although interesting, I thought it was a bit of a branding stretch when I read that Louis Vuitton has launched a series of narrated MP3 audio tours of 3 cities: Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai. Gridskipper, a travel blog (a personal favorite of mine!) relayed the news today. First of all, shouldn’t Louis Vuitton first be launching these sound tours in France, being a native and reknowned *French *luxury brand? Although Asian consumers flock to the product and the timing ties in with this summer’s Olympic games in Beijing, seems that the brand could have built this product first based on its roots and come across as slightly more genuine.

The tours are narrated by iconic figures in Chinese cinema and combine music, personal stories, and a city tour…. none of which I associate with Louis Vuitton. You can get a teaser sampler on the elegantly designed LouisVuitton Soundwalk website.

Shanghaiist covered this breaking story, and the article subheading said, “This sounds like a joke, but it’s absolutely true.” Sums up my feelings precisely. Although the concept of the audio-tour is an innovative one, sometimes fashion companies should stop trying to do everything, and just stick to what they do best — producing quality fashion apparel and accessories, preferably rooted in their own heritage.