Tommy Hilfiger is getting social. Last season, the designer debuted a one-of-a-kind "social concierge" program that allowed show attendees to request photos, quotes and other assets from a team positioned around the runway and backstage - say, a photo of the first look on the runway, or a snap of Hilfiger doings a thumbs up with a particular model - which they could use for publication or to share in near real-time on social media. The program was, in the view of Avery Baker, Tommy Hilfiger's chief marketing officer, a success: The team produced 2,500 images that generated 7.1 million impressions through Twitter and Instagram, and Hilfiger enjoyed a fair bit of pickup from tech press, which it had never received before.
Hilfiger is taking it up another notch for his runway show on Monday, opening the program beyond just attendees but to all online followers of the show. Anyone can submit requests for images via Facebook, which Hilfiger's expanded social concierge team will aim to turn around in "now time," Baker says. (Last season, I was able to get specifically requested backstage shots in as little as 10 minutes.) The goal, Baker says, is to generate as many impressions as possible. "We always like to beat our own records, and impressions is the primary KPI for us," says Baker.
The designer is also inviting 20 popular Instagram users to help capture the show in hopes of generating even more impressions.
Baker, who has been with the company for 16 years, says that the show - once solely a trade event - is now more about consumer marketing. "In prior seasons, like many brands we tried to create more exposure through social media and digital activities, but last season a lightbulb kind of went off," says Baker. " We recognize that have this opportunity to become so much more democratic, to reach more consumers through [show attendees] and directly." She adds that creating the best experience possible for editors and other show attendees is still, of course, a priority.
Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, live-streaming video and online news sites, online followers of New York Fashion Week have more than enough opportunities to tune in. What they've never had before is the chance to control what exactly it is they're seeing - and we imagine that's something fans of the brand will get very excited about.
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