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Catherine Colbert

Fashion houses tap social advertising

by Catherine Colbert | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

August 16, 2013 | No Comments »

120720678BIZMOLOGY — The first glimpse of Oscar de la Renta’s fall ad campaign won’t be seen in the September issues of Vogue, Elle, Town & Country, Departures, British Vogue, Tatler, and WSJ Magazine. Rather, the campaign debuted on Instagram weeks ago.

Oscar de la Renta released its fall ad campaign through its OscarPRGirl’s Instagram account, which counts more than 207,000 followers. The company followed up the post with full-size images from its ad campaign on the brand’s Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr pages, which collectively comprise more than 2 million followers. Simultaneously and strategically, Oscar de la Renta launched presale opportunities for anxious consumers at its oscardelarenta.com flagship e-commerce site.

The fashion house, known famously as one of the couturiers to dress former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, jockeys for followers on Instagram alongside other fashion brands. The top 10 fashion brands on Instagram include Lauren Conrad, NIKE, Forever 21, Christian Louboutin, Topshop, Brandy Melville, Michael Kors, Burberry, H&M, and Nasty Gal, according to the June Instragram Fashion Index produced by marketing firm Stylophane. These brands attract millions of followers, from Lauren Conrad‘s 2.1 million to Nasty Gal‘s nearly 820,000, and each month they post anywhere from a dozen photos to nearly 130.

Leveraging social media outlets, particularly those that focus on images such as Instagram, is a cost-effective advertising add-on to the thousands of dollars these fashion brands dole out for ads via traditional means. Tapping into social advertising is another way for these luxury and mainstream brands to attract younger audiences.

Makers of apparel and accessories also gain real-time feedback and the ability to measure return on investment immediately through social media — a benefit not offered through buying print ads. For instance, Oscar de la Renta can log the number of clicks to its website, to its preorder sales, and impressions across platforms.

PR brass at fashion houses admit that they don’t anticipate social media replacing their traditional and ubiquitous print advertising. But, they say, if Facebook-owned Instagram and other social media generate positive data that translate into sales, the trend can help fashion brands build a more effective advertising platform.

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