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Editor's pick film social media

#SuperBowlXLIX: Victoria’s Secret, Foot Locker, Kenneth Cole were social’s retail winners

VictoriasSecret

Victoria’s Secret was the big ‘retail’ name going in to this year’s Super Bowl. Its teaser spot featuring the Angels playing football gained nearly two million views ahead of time, while the commercial it actually aired during the fourth quarter (as below) followed closely behind with 1.2 million.

It was a smart move by the brand; a bid to build awareness a mere two weeks before Valentine’s Day – needless to say one of its most important sales periods.

It backed the spot with a strong Twitter strategy; engaging with fans throughout the game with comments and replies, as well as tweeting during play with thoughts on Katy Perry’s halftime show, as well as the launch of an exclusive flash sale.

Multiple other retailers did the same however, and without the rumoured $4.5m it costs per 30-second commercial spot. While it was a less creative year than in 2013, which saw Calvin Klein’s live Vine posts, or in 2014 with JC Penney’s spoof typos, there was a noteworthy ongoing bid for real-time marketing.

Kenneth Cole was one of the strongest, with both the brand and the designer’s own account tweeting about some of the other ads being shown during the game, Katy Perry’s show again, and things like how much everyone is likely to eat throughout.

Sears meanwhile was all about the game itself – tweeting on the play from the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, the latter of which went on to win.

Alex and Ani followed suit, adding some cute Vine videos to congratulate the teams on their touchdowns, which simultaneously showcased product. Like Kenneth Cole, further tweets posted related to the other brands featured in the ad breaks.

Foot Locker was another retailer that did have an official ad in the commercial break, but simultaneously won on social thanks to the fact Seattle Seahawks’ player Chris Matthews was a former employee.

While the company did tweet a couple of times about said fact – especially after the wide receiver helped tie the game two seconds before the end of the first half – it was the commentators on NBC, not to mention publications like AdWeek that truly due attention to it. “By the second half, “Foot Locker” was trending on Twitter, as well, making the sneaker shop perhaps the big winner among non-Super Bowl brands looking to make marketing hay during advertising’s biggest day of the year,” it wrote.

It might not be a viral win like Oreo had in 2013, but it was a marketing stroke of luck that might be one of the most memorable outside of the big ad spenders this year.

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Comment Editor's pick social media

Abercrombie’s ‘Let’s Get Social’ – a classic example of an in-store sharing #fail

ABERCROMBIE_kids - LET'S GET SOCIAL

Let’s talk about photos in stores.

This past weekend, millions of shoppers (albeit fewer than in 2013) descended on their favourite shops to pick up deals tied to Black Friday. Retailers accordingly ran varied promotions, offers and campaigns in a bid to drive that traffic their way – both in store and of course equally online.

Needless to say for many of them, a drive for social sharing anchored the initiatives. If you can get your goods shared / advocated for over Instagram, Facebook and Twitter tied to timed discounts particularly, that’s deemed a pretty hefty incentive for more people to shop.

This of course goes without saying for the seasoned social media staffer…

So how’s this for a confusing in-store strategy to accompany such a move then: Abercrombie & Fitch is running a campaign for the season with the tagline “Post it. Tag it. Like it.” appearing in its store windows. A no brainer for its digitally-savvy target consumer of course – Snapchat ahoy! Online, it’s kidswear line is also promoting the idea of sharing across the usual platforms. “Let’s Get Social,” reads its website header, as pictured above.

A colleague of mine, while researching Thanksgiving weekend retail experiences, did of course opt to shoot some of said imagery in-store. She hit up the brand’s Glendale Galleria location on Saturday at noon, height of the holiday shopping weekend therefore, but was very swiftly asked to put her phone away.

Ok so fair enough, she was shooting the messaging; perhaps there’s still an argument to be had around copyright protection etc etc etc for retailers (though I actually want to argue this pretty heavily these days too given the image-driven world in which we now live), and the associates spotted her for looking more professional than social media-y.

What’s more mind-blowing though is the 13-year-old girls in the store at the same time who were asked to stop taking photos of themselves (#selfies!) when trying on a couple of hats.

The hipster sales guy, as my colleague so eloquently put it, walked over immediately and asked them to stop. He also told others of a similar age no photos at all were allowed to be taken in-store.

I witnessed the same only a couple of months ago in Gap. This time it was a guy in his 30s who was asked to stop. Admittedly he didn’t perhaps look like the type that was about to share his finds on social media, but rather ask his girlfriend’s opinion on whether or not to buy (“Darling, can I #dressnormal?). He certainly wasn’t about to take the shot of the blue jumper he was holding and frogmarch it straight to a factory in China for replication though I assure you.

I suspect in both instances this is a classic case of corporate strategy not reaching sales floor level. Understandably many tech-related things, especially for retailers with so many doors, get lost somewhere down the line. But this isn’t a matter of something substantially confusing or complex – a mere conversation with each manager should suffice.

At the end of the day, how do you expect to have a successful social media campaign and NOT allow social media in the one place you can truly call your own? Abercrombie team – suggest you call Glendale, stat.

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Comment Editor's pick social media

Luxury brands are missing out by snubbing the hashtag offline

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

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Browsing through the September issues on our desks this month and one thing that particularly sprang to mind – other than the models reclaiming the front covers – was the dearth of hashtags being used in any of the season’s big fashion campaigns.

Reporting on this space used to mean buying a stack of said publications twice yearly and physically scanning in the relevant pages, or calling up PRs and asking them to courier over a CD with their high res images saved on. WGSN covers in the region of 400 brands each season – the best of everything from designers through to retailers, denim brands, sportswear companies and more. It’s a mega feat, added to with a big chunk of analysis about the visual trends of the season, the new models to know about and more.

Of course the task started to simplify (at least a little) a few years ago as slowly but surely the brands used this creative work not just for advertising, but also as a method of PR, pushing out the imagery across their own social channels as a story in its own right to mark the beginning of the season when collections were hitting stores. Today, you only need to source a Facebook album, look to recent Instagram posts or search through Pinterest to quickly find the assets for numerous companies.

This huge focus on social releases has become the norm – and the sharing that ensues is equally unsurprisingly (particularly when you have the likes of social queen Cara Delevingne posting her campaigns for Burberry, Chanel, Topshop and Mulberry to name a few to help push them).

So why then, are so few taking advantage offline of the hashtag – the very thing that social now centres around to inspire and curate said sharing further? Fashion retains an enormous focus on placing its ads in print publications, yet next to no brands have employed a humble tag on any of their work featured in them.

Lots are talking about it back online. Topshop has #ilovetopshop, AG Jeans has #whatmovesme, but few have integrated that social concept into the real world in order to tie their campaigns wholeheartedly together. In fact, Calvin Klein’s #mycalvins campaign (as pictured) is one of the only ones.

Stepping away from fashion, the uptake of hashtags in TV ads is significantly on the rise. At the Super Bowl in March 2014, 57% of commercials featured them, up from 50% in 2013 and 25% in 2012. Resulting mentions across social during that time were, as expected, significantly higher.

So where’s the gap with fashion? Is it as simple as hashtags not fitting in with the aesthetic of the campaign in terms of the preferred direction of these brands? Quite likely.

But there’s also a little part of the scenario that makes me wonder whether this is a classic case of brands wanting consumers to share, but not wanting to suggest they’d like that to be the case. Admitting to digital in a print publication is too close to that whole democratisation of luxury debate that the industry still isn’t quite able to shake off.

If Delevingne sharing with her six million Instagram followers is anything to go by mind you, I’d say it’s finally time.

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Comment Editor's pick social media

Brands be warned: #selfie fatigue

Oscars_selfie

Did you know, there were already 884 brands running #selfie competitions on Twitter by October 2013 (the year of the selfie), according to social media benchmarking company, Unmetric. Safe to say, that number has only risen since, as everyone from French Connection to Calvin Klein, not to mention Marc Jacobs and DKNY (and that’s in the fashion industry alone) have likewise jumped on the bandwagon.

In theory it’s a quick win: stick a contest up on social that taps into this hashtag phenomenon, sit back and wait to see your consumer engagement sky rocket.

Or so you hope.

In practice, if everyone else is calling for that content too, it doesn’t take long before standing out from the noise is as hard as it’s ever been. Selfie fatigue, or indeed hashtag fatigue is undoubtedly on its way (as so eloquently demonstrated by the lovely Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake). To really find success in this space, what that means is brands need to dedicate as much of a focus to creativity as they would with any other marketing activity.

Enter Yourselfieideaisnotoriginal.tumblr.com, a brilliantly-captioned warning to all on the pits of branded selfie contests. A couple of favourites selected below. Enjoy…

selfie selfie selfie

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Editor's pick social media

Calvin Klein expands #mycalvins campaign to incorporate denim

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The #mycalvins social media campaign from Calvin Klein Underwear, which encouraged followers to upload photos of themselves wearing their branded smalls on Instagram, Twitter or Vine, has been going strong since February 2014.

According to the company, “thousands” of posts (we heard circa 7,000 to be precise) have engaged over six million fans and reached over 200 million of them from more than 23 countries.

Now, that same initiative has been expanded to denim. For autumn/winter 2014/15, the Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Jeans campaigns have been brought together, featuring the familiar faces of Lara Stone and Matt Terry. Shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, the duo are portrayed in black and white, with the #mycalvins hashtag also featured, highlighting how intrinsic it has become to the campaign.

Indeed the hashtag will be pushed prominently across print, digital, and outdoor advertising executions as well as in-store, on hang tags and at point of sale. Furthermore at retail, the campaign is set to expand with the call-to-action: “Put it on. take it off. show yours. #mycalvins”

As with the original launch for underwear, a series of celebrities and digital influencers are continuing to be engaged, posting their own shots with the hashtag too.

Also worth checking out: the recent #CKmeforme campaign via Snapchat and Tumblr.

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Editor's pick social media

Marc by Marc Jacobs reveals faces of Instagram-based #CastMeMarc campaign

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A glimpse of the new marc by Marc Jacobs autumn/winter 2014/15 campaign was released via social media this week.

Shot by David Sims and set to debut in Teen Vogue in August, the brand (now under the direction of Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley) veered away from the usual model agencies or celebrities to find its faces, and instead used Instagram as the primary tool to enlist its stars.

The MarcJacobsIntl Instagram account started casting for the campaign back in April, calling its followers to action by asking them to post their ‘best modelling look’ using the hashtag #CastMeMarc. According to WWD, 70,000 entries rolled in; 30 finalists were then selected, flown to New York and cut down to nine lucky individuals who were chosen to be part of the campaign.


Instagram competitions are no longer a novelty in the fashion world, but this was nevertheless a smart branding step to take. #CastMeMarc created excitement and generated social media buzz months before the campaign even began. The fact that it motivated so many followers to post submissions indicates Instagram was an ideal channel to use.
The initiative also makes the brand more relatable. By choosing to feature their own audience for autumn/winter 2014, marc by Marc Jacobs becomes more approachable and signals it trusts its fans to be ‘cool-enough’ to qualify as model material.

The initiative also gives the brand control over how the public perceive a typical marc by Marc Jacobs customer, and should thereby serve to strengthen the brand image. The short campaign preview has already painted a clear image: individuals of various ethnic backgrounds sporting quirky hair colours are shown, driving home the point that the brand is international, young, unconventional and not afraid to stand out. Teen Vogue should be a great vessel both for the campaign launch and to bring more young customers on board.

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Comment digital snippets

2013: a designer meets digital year in review

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What a busy year it’s been…

From 3D printing taking its first trip down the New York Fashion Week catwalk, to the launch of Vine and Instagram videos, not to mention the continuing debate about the role of bloggers as influencers, the increased focus on the potential market size of wearables, and Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year as ‘selfie’one thing after another has rapidly impacted the role of innovation in this niche fashion x digital space.

Below then, are 10 of the posts you loved the most on F&M this year. It’s an interesting collection, nodding to familiar ideas like storytelling and crowdsourcing, as well as higher quality content, and a general reassessment of what it is that actually works in this space. Video content does of course also have its place, as does the continuing power of celebrity.

Thank you for reading and see you in 2014!

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social media

Vero Moda supports Movember with moustache selfies campaign in-store

VeroModa_mo

Vero Moda is pushing a fun hashtag campaign in its stores to help raise awareness for Movember this year.

The Denmark-based label has placed a series of moustaches in all its dressing rooms allowing shoppers to snap ‘selfies’ of themselves and then share the results over Instagram using #veromodamo.

Reads a sign in its windows: “Come into the Vero Moda dressing room and support the men in your life.”

Every photo shared will see €0.10, up to €35,000 donated to the Movember Foundation to help raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer. The results are also being hosted on mo.veromoda.com.

VeramodamoVerodmoda_Instagram

 

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social media

Topman pulls in consumer content with #topmansprayonjeans campaign

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User-generated content might be somewhat of an old phrase in the digital space these days, but there’s a phenomenal amount happening around it of late.

From #thenetset at Net-a-Porter to #framesofyou from Armani, as well as multiple other examples via Warehouse, Estée Lauder, Kate Spade and more, everyone is getting in on the act.

The latest is Topman. The men’s arm of the Brit retailer has been pushing its new spray on jeans for the last few weeks using the hashtag #topmansprayonjeans.

Taking full advantage of the #selfie phenomenon, it’s been calling for consumers to send images of themselves wearing the super tight skinny jeans over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with the best looks winning Premium Spotify accounts daily.

A series of short videos were released as inspiration for fans on how to get the look. Meanwhile, another fun video was posted today (as below) demonstrating the speed with which it’s possible to put the jeans on.

Reads the write up: “We’ve listened to your feedback and some of you have struggled to get our Spray On Jeans on quickly. We got ours on in 7 secs, how quick can you get yours on?”

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digital snippets film social media technology

Digital snippets: Peter Som, Bergdorfs, Prada, Jean Paul Gaultier, American Eagle

There’s been a lot happening in the fashion and technology space over the past couple of weeks, ranging from Proenza Schouler’s new site to Net-a-Porter moving into the beauty space. News of Pinterest’s new analytics platform and Facebook’s planned integration of the hashtag have also hit. Here are the rest of the highlights sourced from around the web…

Don’t forget to check out this wrap-up report from SXSW Interactive as it applies to the fashion industry too.

 

  • Behind Peter Som’s 3.3 million Pinterest followers [BoF]
  • Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola made a Prada film (as per above trailer) [Fashionista]
  • Jean Paul Gaultier launches responsive web design [Web&Luxe]
  • American Eagle spoof video pokes fun at skinny jeans trend [NY Daily News]
  • Neiman Marcus launches fashion contest on Pinterest [WWD]
  • Justin Bieber plays drums in adidas NEO interactive lookbook [MTV Style]
  • Puma seeks to celebrate individuality with Worn My Way lifestyle campaign [Marketing magazine]
  • 3D printing clothes at home could be reality by 2050 [PSFK]
  • Google Glass app identifies you by your fashion sense [NewScientist]
  • Zalando concept car spots fashions, transforms into changing room [Gizmag]
  • China entering e-commerce and mobile “golden age”. So why are fashion brands lagging? [Jing Daily]
  • What real-time branding means for luxury brands [Luxury Daily]