October 1, 2012
Italian label Gucci is aiming at the surge of young, trendsetting females on the digital space through a campaign with social commerce site Polyvore to raise awareness for its fall/winter Gucci Icon handbags.
Polyvore users can create a style collage on the site for the chance to win one of the label’s Jackie handbags. Gucci is likely tapping the site’s aspirational feel so that more young consumers in the United States will strive to purchase its classic handbags.
“Gucci will gain further digital brand awareness and extend its audience for future social media marketing campaigns,” said John Casey, founder of Freshfluff, New York. “It will most likely be able to tap further into the increasing number of shoppers who are using social platforms to extend their shopping experience.
“Successful social media campaigns are about extending your reach online and through social networks, and the Polyvore partnership clearly is attempting to do just that,” he said.
“Gucci is aiming for a younger, female demographic that aspires to be a trendsetter, and to a demographic that uses social networking platforms to learn about, engage with and purchase their favorite brands and products.”
Mr. Casey is not affiliated with Gucci, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Gucci did not respond before press deadline.
Polyvore lets users create commerce-enabled style collages to share their favorite products on the social network.
Gucci curated its fall/winter collection handbags, apparel, jewelry, eyewear, scarves and shoes as well as classic brand images for use in collages.
Users must include at least one Gucci handbag to be eligible to win a Jackie original GG Canvas shoulder bag.
Gucci is showing off the current entries and telling users how to enter the contest from the “Icons of Heritage with Gucci” page on Polyvore. Users can reach the page from a link under the contest section of Polyvore’s homepage or from Gucci’s social media channels.
From the contest page, users can choose an item from Gucci’s selection to start a collage. The site lets them reshape and resize the product as well as include items and images from elsewhere on Polyvore.
While users create a collage, Gucci’s fall/winter items stay on right of the screen to add at any time.
“I think any venue that allows a brand to extend its viral reach, which Polyvore clearly does, is a smart way to engineer a social media marketing campaign, particularly one that allows the participant to purchase the brand's products during their social experience and perhaps win a prize along the way,” Mr. Casey said.
Gucci is also running a do-it-yourself contest that requires consumers to download, construct and design their own paper handbag.
The “Cut & Craft” campaign showcases the Bamboo, Jackie and Stirrup handbags by giving consumers a paper pattern to create their own version, which could be a tactic to get brand loyalists engaged for a longer amount of time.
The label is hosting a contest on a Facebook application to give users the chance to have their bag shown to creative director Frida Giannini and featured as the cover image on Gucci’s Timeline (see story).
Letting consumers interact with the brand on their own terms on a familiar social network could help Gucci ease its way into aspirational consumers’ digital lives.
Through these efforts, Gucci seems to be encouraging time spent with the brand on various social channels.
Gucci is probably engaging young consumers to eventually turn these aspirational fans into brand loyalists.
While heavy involvement on social media could have hurt a luxury marketer in the past, the landscape today lets brands host campaigns while maintaining their status.
“Perhaps a few years ago diluting its image by partnering with a social site would have been perceived as a risk for a luxury brand,” Mr. Casey said. “However, ecommerce social media platforms are becoming wildly popular among a younger demographic, from bargain hunters to luxury shoppers.
“Polyvore has nearly 300,000 Facebook fans, and almost as many Twitter followers,” he said. “Brands can extend online brand awareness and the viral reach of their social media marketing efforts by partnering with these social commerce platforms for their social media campaigns.”
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York