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Luxury brands are missing out by snubbing the hashtag offline

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

CKJeansUnderwear1

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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digital snippets e-commerce film technology

Digital snippets: Barbour, Tory Burch, Birchbox, Levi’s, Kate Bosworth, Agent Provocateur

Barboursummer

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech:

  • Barbour creates real-time illustrations of consumers’ stories for summer campaign (as pictured) [Marketing Magazine]
  • Tory Burch releases three pieces of wearable tech: a hands-on review [Fashionista]
  • Birchbox aims to bring ‘artificial intelligence’ to offline retail [AdWeek]
  • Levi’s CMO Jen Sey on her gymnastics career, parenting and the brand’s ecommerce evolution [The Drum]
  • It’s a Snap: Kate Bosworth to Launch Style Thief [WWD]
  • Teaser: Penelope Cruz’s mirage-filled film for Agent Provocateur [Telegraph Fashion]
  • Film: seductive stalker goes full frontal for designer Jonathan Saunders [Creativity]
  • Couture houses include consumers in fashion shows through SoundCloud [Luxury Daily]
  • Facebook tests new ‘buy’ button for online purchases in US [Reuters]
  • Op-Ed | Fashion magazines are missing the mark with shoppable content [BoF]
  • 7 must-have digital tools to promote luxury in China [Jing Daily]
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mobile Uncategorized

British GQ launches watch-dedicated iPad app

Condé Nast Britain has launched its first standalone iPad app with the annual GQ Watch supplement this month.

The “essential guide to the world of watches” comes in an interactive digital format complete with special animated cover, enhanced editorial content and media rich ads. It was designed in-house at GQ and is also the first high definition app for the company.

Meanwhile, the main November issue of GQ is a dedicated James Bond special. It marks the 50th anniversary of the franchise and this month’s release of Skyfall.

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Uncategorized

CR Fashion Book teased with animated editorial shot

Carine Roitfeld has unveiled an animated GIF to promote her new magazine, CR Fashion Book, which is due to launch during New York Fashion Week on September 13.

The image is the first revealed from the actual publication. It features model Juliet Ingleby (photographed by Sebastian Faena and styled by Roitfeld) walking through a graveyard covered only by a floating sheer purple scarf. It is this that blows in the wind in the animated version of the shot.

There was previously a behind-the-scenes video that accompanied a preview issue released.

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Uncategorized

International Vogue editors pose for Japan

Not in any shape or form a digital story, but I thought I’d post this picture of the Vogue editors from all around the world posing together for the very first time.

Led by American Vogue’s Anna Wintour, the editors represent the 18 countries where Vogue is published. The group joined forces for Tokyo’s Fashion’s Night Out in in a bid to boost spirits and sales following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year.

The industry’s most powerful women, despite their printed form…

Photo by Frederic Aranda

Editors positions (left to right): Yolanda Sacristan – Spain (seated), Kirstie Clements- Australia (middle), Anaita Adajania – India (back), Christiane Arp – Germany (seated), Angelica Cheung -China (standing), Franca Sozzani- Italy (seated), Mitsuko Watanabe – Japan (standing), Anna Wintour- America (seated), Emmanuelle Alt – France (reclining), Alexandra Shulman – Britain (seated), Victoria Davydova – Russia (standing), Anna Harvey-representing Brazil and Greece (seated), Seda Domanic – Turkey (seated), Myung Hee Lee – Korea (seated), Rosalie Huang -Taiwan (standing), Eva Hughes – Mexico and Latin America (standing), Paula Mateus – Portugal (seated)

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digital snippets technology Uncategorized

Digital snippets 15/04: Bottega Veneta, Bergdorf Goodman, Burberry, Franceline Prat

Bottega Veneta's Viaggio Notturno

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital this week:

  • Bottega Veneta unveils first fashion film, “Viaggio Notturno”. Based on the subject of travel, it was made in collaboration with photographer and director Christian Weber [Bottega Veneta, NOWNESS]
  • Bergdorf Goodman places location-based banner ad in mobile application game Words With Friends to drive consumers in store [Luxury Daily]
  • Burberry is kickstarting its digital retail commitment by outfitting its China stores with touchscreens the size of full-length mirrors and iPads to facilitate ordering; other markets will follow [WSJ]
  • And watch highlights from Burberry’s Beijing hologram show [YouTube]
  • Why we still love magazines, including a short film of infamous French Vogue editor Franceline Prat telling the story of her first shoot with Helmut Newton [The Business of Fashion]
  • Online advertising revenue grew 15% in 2010 to $26bn [IAB]