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Bergdorf hosts interactive social media scavenger hunt for SXSW

March 10, 2014


New York department store Bergdorf Goodman is asking South by Southwest attendees to spot its social media manager wearing clothing from its new contemporary collections at the conference and share a photo of her on Instagram to enter.

Part of the prize package is a Monsur Gavriel bucket bag, which is so coveted by consumers that it has a wait list, guaranteeing interest from its target audience. Because the winner of this contest will be judged on quality of photo rather than at random, Bergdorf will be able to amass user-generated content that has value, since consumers will be trying to impress.

"Bergdorf Goodman attends SXSW every year and we like to use this setting to test out what's new," said Cannon Hodge, social media manager at Bergdorf Goodman, New York. "The first year tested Valentino Rockstuds while last year tested Manolo Blahnik BBs.

"Last year was the first that it opened to a contest where Instagrammers were entered to win a pair of custom BBs," she said. "This year's prize includes a Mansur Gavriel bag, Dannijo earrings and Oliver peoples sunglasses."

Search party

Bergdorf Goodman teased the contest in a Facebook post about bucket bags, telling consumers to stay tuned for an announcement later in the week.

Facebook post from Bergdorf Goodman

On Twitter, Bergdorf posted a bunch of other clues with the hashtag #SX5F, which refers to the retailer’s contemporary collection of clothing and the festival. Bergdorf’s Ms. Hodge tweeted photos of what she was bringing to South by Southwest, including a pair of Black Frame denim overalls.

Tweet from Bergdorf Goodman

The official contest announcement was posted to Bergdorf Goodman’s blog 5th/58th, and linked to from Twitter and Instagram. In her post, Ms. Hodge explained that she was bringing 5F with her to SXSW.

Bergdorf has changed up its 5F section for women to let consumers shop Kenzo, Acne, Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone in the same place. To promote the offerings, Ms. Hodge will wear outfits consisting entirely of merchandise from 5F during her time at SXSW.

Each day, Ms. Hodge will post her outfit to Instagram so consumers can see what she is wearing. If they are attending SXSW, this will help them know how to find her to enter the contest.

Instagram post from Bergdorf

Bergdorf will also tweet location clues to further help consumers enter.

To enter, consumers have to snap a photo of Ms. Hodge and post it to Instagram including the hashtag #SX5F. The contest will end on March 11, at which point a winner will be chosen by the Bergdorf social media team, who will be looking for the photo that shows the best “SxSW action.”

In addition to the handbag, Bergdorf is giving away Dannijo earrings, Oliver Peoples sunglasses and beauty products from Clinique, Kevyn Aucoin and Napoleon Perdis.

Bringing the social media conversation to real life, Ms. Hodge tells consumers in her blog post that if they spot her at the conference they should introduce themselves. This will allow Bergdorf to interact with its customers outside the store environment.

For those following along from home, Bergdorf has teamed up with 52grams to make its Sx5F Instagram posts shoppable. Consumers can click on a photo to see what designers are featured and then go to 52grams’ Sx5F page to purchase.

Bergdorf will also post the Instagram photos on Facebook, so that consumers who like the brand can shop from their newsfeed.

After the contest was announced, consumers voiced their excitement on Twitter, with one saying she thought that she would consider buying a plane ticket to the conference just for this.

This contest is timed with the release of Bergdorf Goodman’s campaign video for 5F, which shows models turning around between wires in a small light blue box.

"Everything taken to SXSW is currently available on 5F," Ms. Hodge said. "This is a great way to show new designers in a relatable setting.

"In addition, we've partnered with 52Grams so that users can shop the Instagrams when visiting," she said. "If users like one of those images, their Facebook friends will be able to shop the look via their newsfeed."

Photo heavy

Bergdorf has previously asked for followers to submit user-generated content pertaining to the store for a contest.

During the holiday season, the retailer hosted an Instagram contest where users submitted photos with the hashtag #BGWindows to enter to win a prize.

The contest ran through Nov. 26, with the prize drawing the following day. Bergdorf did not let its fans know what they were competing for, just that they would be able to attend an “exciting New York event taking place the first week of December" (see story).

Instagram has become an important platform for luxury fashion brands.

L2 Think Tank’s latest social media report makes the case that Instagram is beginning to outstrip veteran platforms because of its proliferating and attractive user base, high engagement levels and ecommerce conducive format.

Visual commerce company Olapic collaborated on the report with insights, such as user-generated images presented on brand Web sites increase conversion by 5 to 7 percent and boost average order value by 2 percent. Luxury fashion brands such as Michael Kors, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs have emerged as dominant Instagram players, suggesting that Instagram is ideal for an “evolved form of window-shopping" (see story).

Bergdorf has already seen consumer excitement for this contest.

"The response has been incredible," Ms. Hodge said. "The first submission was made as I was in the airport's taxi line.

"For us, this is a fun opportunity to connect with socially active people while giving our followers a change of pace."

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York