Throughout its existence, Calvin Klein has relied on one tried and true principle of marketing: sex sells. It was as true 50 or 100 years ago as it is today. However, social media marketing requires that we go beyond simple portrayals and add some depth and interactivity to supplement these primal laws. Calvin Klein’s latest social media campaign represents a brilliant and highly successful strategy for activating and engaging a fan base.
#MyCalvins was a campaign started in early 2014 which focused on getting social media users and influencers to share images of themselves in Calvin Klein underwear using the aforementioned hashtag. The foundation was a collection of black-and-white photos featuring Justin Bieber and model Lara Stone sporting CK waistband-branded underwear and denim. These images hearken back to Calvin Klein’s advertising past, such as the 1992 print ads featuring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Moss shot in nearly identical style to the modern renditions. Building off the success of the past allowed this campaign to bring something familiar and effective to audiences before adding the twist of interaction.
Following the release of the photo ads from the brand itself, a number of high profile influencers (such as Fergie and Kendall Jenner) on Instagram put the social media campaign into motion by sharing pictures of their own Calvins. Millions of Instagram- and Twitter-users were inspired by these social media icons and began replicating the images themselves. Before long the Internet was awash in images of young, fit Millenials posing in their Calvin Klein underwear.
Whether judged by its global reach of 469 million or the brand’s millions of new followers across multiple social media platforms, the #MyCalvins campaign was among the most successful hashtag campaign ever seen. While the celebrity endorsements and official marketing releases were important and effective, they were only the keys to the ignition of this marketing machine. It was the 23.5 million fan interactions that made the campaign a major accomplishment, which clearly demonstrates that it is the consumer and not the marketer that makes a social media campaign successful.
From giving major labels a bigger profile, to starting the careers of some of the world’s most famous models, social media and the use of mobile applications has become the biggest and best marketing strategy for major fashion labels. This holds especially accurate for designers like Michael Kors who has always been on top of social media, being the first brand to buy an Instagram ad.
Michael Kors has been actively using Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in order to give his customers and top followers a sneak peak into his hottest and latest trends. Living in a world where the public expects instant gratification, Michael Kors shows his customers the full range of looks on his social media accounts closer to when they can actually purchase them.
With 25 million followers in total, across the platforms, Michael Kors is always looking to tell his brands story on the applications his fans are using and loving. His brand worked with Snapchat’s “Stories” feature to launch Fashion Week runway pictures, backstage shots and front-row pictures. This was so successful that Kors had a super-social Fashion Week show too, streaming the entire show live on the Internet, asking fans to join a chat during the show using the hashtag #AllAccessKors. This lead to the Michael Kors franchise dominating the social media rankings as the No. 1 fastest-growing and most engaging brand on Facebook.
Michael Kors wanted the mix of models for his spring/summer 2017 show to represent diversity. Backstage, he made his vision come to life by implementing diversity as far as the look of the female models, and their body types. This is extremely effective in a generation where millions of women struggle with appreciating and accepting their bodies. The idealized woman in fashion during this decade would need to spend enormous amount of time and energy attempting to achieve something that is not only trivial but also completely unattainable. With Michael Kors using models of different demographics on his social accounts, he is able to reach a larger target group of customers in the fashion world.
Designers in the past had little competition and people were drawn to the company because of the name. Luxury brands now have adopted and applied social media marketing actions. Designer corporations are actively seeking out promotional strategies through social media to reach the audience which has changed from baby boomers to millennials. This drastic change has influenced marketing and advertising media in these companies because it is a different outlet of communication. Luxury is a necessity for millennials and they are constantly using social media channels, making it a necessity that the two work together.
The luxury brand Dolce and Gabbana (D&G) realized the switch in media usage and now heavily use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to have conversations with their consumers. The effect of this has been positive for the company. D&G uses live streaming on Facebook to show what they are doing on a daily basis. The results that the company gets shows that large engaged audiences will remain engaged in your brand if your content is meaningful and relevant. D&G uses Instagram by having posts that contain the right content to target an audience. They use campaigns at certain times that go well with what is happening in the world. One campaign that was very successful was their “Back to School”campaign, that caught the attention of their consumers by having 4-6 posts about going back to school. D&G pin pointed: which audience they wanted to reach, which was younger (boys or girls), and targeted them in their Instagram posts. These posts were made on Instagram because that was where they had the biggest amount of followers that were millennials and the younger generation. The company also used a new campaign during the 2015 Milan Fashion Week giving an inside look at a model’s day to day life. They posted selfies of the models on the runway to Instagram, creating a bigger following of devoted fans.The selfies allowed outsiders to get an “inside” look on model life and made it feel like the followers were also in Milan at the fashion show.
It is hard to measure the effectiveness of a social media campaign. This can lead to less attention being put on on how well a campaign is doing if there is no measurement factor added in. Digital marketing is super important now because everything is online and the majority of companies promote branding through social media. D&G uses social media to build consumer loyalty by content. D&G is actively participating in their social media channels by creating conversations that they want to have with their consumers. They are constantly reaching out to different audiences that allow them to create loyalty and also get a bigger following. They have learned and adapted to the new ways of media and are getting more successful with each campaign.
Customer engagement with brands has become an increasingly important element in marketing strategies. Engagement contributes to a customer’s trust and loyalty towards the brand, as customers feel they are allowed to freely express their opinions and are being listened to. Brands are then able to receive candid feedback from the customers, and therefore they can use this feedback to improve their products and services. Many huge companies use social media platforms as a way to directly engage with their customers in order to increase brand awareness and to make customers feel that they are a part of something: a community. Nike is a brand that is currently dominating the market in terms of social media engagement.
In early August of this year, Nike’s Jordan Brand had a first: they outfitted the Michigan Wolverine’s football team. The day the uniform was unveiled coincided with the release of Instagram’s latest feature: Instagram Stories. Nike then saw this as an opportunity to increase their brand awareness through social media, as well as engage with customers by giving them an intimate, inside-look on the brand’s new launch. Nike’s Jordan Brand posted a one-minute Instagram story that contained photos and videos of the players wearing and trying on the new uniforms. The story reached 800,000 views within 24 hours.
Nike was able to utilize Instagram’s new feature in the best way possible by using it on the day it was released. At this time, Instagram users were hyped up and curious about the new feature and therefore were extremely active on the app. By Nike posting those images on their Jordan Brand Instagram story, the brand was able to create an intimate feeling between themselves and customers, therefore making customers feel more engaged with the brand.
There are plenty of other examples to show how Nike is engaging with their customers. Nike Women also utilized Instagram by creating a feature that allowed customers to click on a photo that Nike posted, and then be taken directly to a specific product page. Nike+ Run Club and Nike+ Training club are apps that the company has created to further enhance relationships with consumers. The apps unite runners and athletes all over the world through an online community. Users are given access to a wide range of Nike Expert running and training guidance and are also able to interact with fellow users in the community. This allows users to share the experiences and opinions with each other, and therefore enhancing the feeling of belonging to something, which can help with brand loyalty. Through this Nike is also able to tap into the conversations that are going on throughout the community, and further better their products and services from these comments.
Consumers develop their feelings about specific brands based off of how the brand is marketed and how it’s widely perceived. First impressions are extremely important. With luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, some consumers are willing to pay for more than they can afford because of the way the product has been marketed, and if it’s been marketed correctly, a personal attachment can be made between consumer and brand. However, for consumers to view a luxury brand as luxury, studies found that it needs to be marketed as rare, exclusive and “trendy.”
Fashion companies and designers are well aware of the power of social media. In the fall of 2014, Louis Vuitton, an international fashion house who sells mostly handbags, shoes, perfumes, jewelry, accessories, etc. introduced a new collection of handbags on Instagram and tagged the noted photographer who took it (meaning it linked to the photographer’s Instagram page). The photographer, Pelayo Diaz, who had well over 500,000 followers, then reposted the photo to his account. This was savvy of Louis Vuitton because by connecting with an influencer they reached a much wider audience with even more versatile backgrounds and in turn got an overwhelming 60,000 more likes on that picture than on their other ones. This is one example of how Instagram can be a beneficial medium through which designers can promote their products.
Louis Vuitton has used many other mobile applications to advertise like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Whenever they come up with a new collection, they create videos featuring celebrities and models promoting it and spread those videos on social media for people to share. This helps enhance their brand presence worldwide and become visible through lots of different social media vehicles (as opposed to just one) helps them reach a much larger audience. Since Louis Vuitton is more of a high-end luxury brand, and anybody with a phone or computer can use social media, this helps expose them to not only “the elite,” but to all types of potential consumers.