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Influencer strategy? Don’t forget traditional product placement

We all know that reality TV continues to bring in the big bucks – especially for those stars who front it. 

Love them, or hate them, one only need look at the continued success of the Kardashian/Jenners to see this in action – each of them developing their own business empires with the various ventures they’ve explored. Kylie alone now has a real-time net worth of £1bn, thanks in the main to her eponymous cosmetics line.

Then there’s the return of The Hills – another example of an enormous US show that made stars of, and fortunes for, its participants over its many years. 

But there’s also a lot to be said for the brands that have associated themselves alongside – a classic case of product placement with “real-life” influencers in order to drive sales. 

One of the new episodes of The Hills for instance sees L’Oréal placed front and center in a scene. As The Fashion Law reports, there is no specific disclosure as to how the items are there, despite them almost certainly being the result of a behind-the-scenes deal between the television network and the Paris-based beauty giant. 

We know this so-called native advertising has a positive effect on consumer demand, and that product placement leads to an increase in social media activity and website traffic for the brands that engage in it. It’s a traditional model, but it works for conversions. 

Which is why it’s interesting to pivot over to the UK and look at this week’s announcement that dating show Love Island, which has been a television network and advertiser’s dream, is intending to extend to two series in 2020 rather than one annual one as it has previously done. 

This year’s ITV2 show, which aired in June, pulled in a reported five million viewers a night, making it the most popular on television in the UK for the 16-34-year-old market. It made fast influencers out of its stars, and importantly out of its sponsors too. 

The episodes were sponsored by Uber Eats, which paid £5m for the privilege – more than double previous deals – while further commercial relationships were in place ranging from product placement to podcast sponsorship, brand licensing, exclusive product lines and merchandise. Love Island water bottles through to luggage sets are currently dotted throughout the UK market. According to reports, the broadcaster made an extra £8m on 2018 due to this boost. 

This isn’t just a TV phenomenon but a social obsession in this country. As The Guardian reported: “The reality show has managed to pull off the increasingly difficult trick of getting young audiences more used to an on-demand world to tune in to a show at a set time each night. It has also become a creature of social media, with an enormous following on Instagram and more than 3 million people downloading the programme’s app for updates.” 

One of the biggest success stories from the brand side within all this was I Saw It First – a fast fashion business from Boohoo co-founder Jamal Kamani. According to the Business of Fashion, the company spent between £1-2m to secure its spot as the show’s official fashion partner, replacing Missguided who has held the post in previous years. 

Seemingly, it paid off. I Saw It First had a 67% increase in sales month-on-month and a 254% increase in Instagram followers. Those are some solid numbers. 

We might be living in a world heavily pushing micro influencer strategy – which continues to have its merits – but there’s a lot to be said for this sort of spend big strategy on traditional media. More to come, one assumes, next year when Love Island will be aired just after Christmas and again in the summer.

How are you thinking about marketing? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more. 

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Campaigns Podcast social media

Missguided on the relevance of reality TV

Missguided's Jonathan Wall
Missguided’s Jonathan Wall

UK hit reality TV show, Love Island, is all about meeting the customer where she lives, says Missguided’s chief digital officer, Jonathan Wall, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent.

“Love Island for our sector, it’s kind of like the annual peak, or the annual Christmas, of [other retailers]. It’s our nirvana. You could not find anything else that’s absolutely spot on to our bullseye customer,” he comments.

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The fast fashion multi-channel retailer saw its sales spike 40% during the show this summer, which all came down to reigniting and re-energizing lapsed customers of more than six months, he notes. Product placement, which is essentially what this was, isn’t new in strategy – but it’s effective when it’s done right, he explains. In this instance, his team designed looks and dressed all of the stars in the show.

Wall’s strategy is focused primarily on relevancy to the shopper, much of which comes from the fact his team internally are those individuals themselves.

“One of the big big advantages we’ve got as a business, is that our customers are actually our team… Our average age in our business is 25, and guess what, our average customer age is also 25. You cannot overemphasize the advantages you get when every single day you are walking amongst your customers. It’s a tremendous advantage.”

Missguided x Love Island
Missguided x Love Island

It’s that laser-sharp focus on who they’re targeting that also let’s Missguided play with partnerships, he adds. The brand launched a collaboration with Playboy this summer that was met with a heavy dose of debate, but ultimately succeeded because of how relevant it was to the shopper it was intended. “It again hit the nail on the head for our customer,” Wall explains.

In conversation with Rosanna Falconer at a FashMash event in Missguided’s hometown of Manchester in the north of England, Wall also shares his views on what’s coming next in influencer marketing, which of the big social channels he’s focused on, and just why he likes to court a little controversy along the way.

Catch up with all of our episodes of TheCurrent Innovators here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Tommy Hilfiger’s #Instapit, Amazon’s growing fashion offer, Burberry’s Brooklyn Beckham nepotism controversy

Your round-up of the latest stories related to fashion and technology…

tommy

  • Tommy Hilfiger to host first ‘Instapit’ for Instagram content creators at women’s show [WWD]
  • Amazon’s clothing selection is now bigger than 250 Walmart supercenters combined [Re/code]
  • Brooklyn Beckham, Burberry and the new celebrity aristocracy [The Guardian]
  • House of Fraser baffles Twitter with off-the-wall Valentine’s Day #emojinal campaign [Marketing]
  • Dolce & Gabbana’s male models were glued to their ipads on the runway [Yahoo! Style]
  • John Lewis introduces ‘Shazam for clothes’ [Independent]
  • Zalando: the fashion platform looking to China for great customer experience [Econsultancy]
  • How The North Face uses AI to create natural conversations with online shoppers [Medium]
  • Inside three retail innovation labs: Sephora, Kohl’s, and Sears [RetailDive]
  • Social media influencers star in Boohoo #WeAreUs campaign [WWD]
  • 4 influencers break away from a dystopian future in adidas’ edgy new campaign [AdWeek]
  • Fashion and beauty brands are investing more in influencer marketing than ever [Fashionista]
  • Here’s how much celebrities make in the Instagram product placement machine [Jezebel]
  • Uber will now deliver your fancy Nordstrom clothes and flowers too [Mashable]
  • At retail’s ‘Big Show,’ a look at the tech merchants hope will keep them relevant [The Washington Post]
  • Shoppers love click and collect more than any other retail tech [Marketing]
  • Fixing the fitting room [Bloomberg]
  • The latest in so-called ‘beauty tech’ [Racked]
  • A growing internet ecosystem is breeding a radically new generation of fashion-forward men [Quartz]
  • Global luxury: how to win when you’re everywhere [BoF]
  • What worries retailers about their digital transformation [Digiday]
  • Here’s the problem with trendy e-commerce businesses [Fortune]
  • The future of e-commerce: bricks and mortar [The Guardian]
  • This ex-Googler’s fashion aggregation site is pioneering age of digital personalisation [Forbes]
  • New platform Launchmetrics can help fashion publicists track the ‘influence’ of front row guests [Fashionista]
  • Meet the 25-year-old Swedish woman using 3d scanning to make shoes fit perfectly [Forbes]
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data digital snippets e-commerce social media

Digital snippets: social media rankings, Topshop, Hermès, Free People, Asos

Here’s a highlight of stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

BOF_Top10

  • Do the digital and social media rankings that have flooded the fashion industry really mean anything? [BoF]
  • Topshop, iTunes team up, web users able to sample and download music as they shop [WWD]
  • Hermès promotes silver jewellery collection with ‘symphony of silver’ video [PSFK]
  • Free People gets 10% of its online sales from app in first week [Mashable]
  • Attention, shoppers: store is tracking your cell [NY Times]
  • Analysing online department store SEO: ASOS gets the basics right [Econsultancy]
  • Meet the other woman behind Net-a-Porter, president Alison Loehnis [Fashionista]
  • Announcing Divvy: the app that won the Co.Labs and Target Retail Accelerator [Co.Labs]
  • With Cinematique’s ‘touch-enabled’, shoppable videos, product placement might not be so bad [TechCrunch]