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Michael Kors ignites St. Valentine’s Day conversation through digital campaign

February 1, 2012


Lifestyle brand Michael Kors is using the mobile applications Twitter and Instagram as integral vehicles in its latest St. Valentine’s Day campaign that spans mobile, ecommerce, digital and social media.

The brand is attempting to spark a dialogue with consumers about what they are falling in love with this Valentine’s Day – whether it is with people, places or apparel – on its social media networks and through email and mobile marketing. Michael Kors’ #FallingInLoveWith hashtag effort taps into passion and emotive marketing while simultaneously advertising products.

“Mr. Kors is engaging his apostles on their terms rather than his,” said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami. “He approaches Valentine’s Day from a vulnerable position, which also usually endears people to you. 

“The idea of this promotion and his point of view are quite brilliant,” he said. “Love is a powerful emotion.

“Flitting between the different media is seamless – it’s what consumers do. Social media is part of our lifestyle and it will be an integral part of every holiday and every day.”

Mr. Ramey is not affiliated with Michael Kors, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Michael Kors was not able to respond before press deadline.

M loving it
Mobile plays a huge role in Michael Kors’ Valentine’s Day strategy.

First is the hashtag #FallingInLoveWith, which was introduced on Twitter. The brand will be leading a week-long live chat series starting Feb. 6.

#FallingInLoveWith Twitter feed

Various hosts for the chat include Nina Garcia from Marie Claire, Carl Barnette of The Fashionisto, Joanna Gillespie from Fashion Gone Rogue and Kelly Cox and Tina Craig from The BagSnob.

Other participants include department store chain Neiman Marcus and @FashionWeekNYC.

Another main component of the campaign are the 10 Things Worth Falling in Love With emails. These will come out over the course of two weeks.

The products and ideas featured in the emails are also posted on the brand’s Instagram account along with the hashtag.

Instagram feed with hashtag

Keeping up with the latest social media trends, Michael Kors has included a dedicated Pinterest board to the FallingInLoveWith campaign.

The brand is continuing to connect with consumers on their level through daily posts on its DestinationKors blog as well as Facebook posts.

Michael Kors is also attempting to bridge the gaps between the channels with an in-store component: 20 branded stores will have a special window display for the Valentine’s Day campaign.

Friending mobile
Mobile is going to continue to be the fastest-growing medium to reach consumers.

Even more, using apps or services that are available on smartphones -- such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for iPhone -- serve as a more effective way in which to reach affluent shoppers since they are the ones who are the most likely to have expensive mobile devices.

Connecting the brand’s mobile strategy to other channels is likely another smart move, since affluent consumers are on many different mediums.

“I think you’re going to see a great amount of traffic pushed between the Michael Kors communities thanks to this campaign,” said Ron Schott, senior strategist for Spring Creek Group, Seattle. “The post on Facebook is already seeing a great amount of conversation within the past 24 hours.

“Campaigns that involve multiple social touch-points are a great way to increase follower growth and interaction on properties without buying ad space,” he said.

#FallingInLoveWith activity on Facebook

Michael Kors could be taking cues from other brands such as Stella McCartney, which introduced L.IL.Y, its first fragrance in almost a decade through a mobile application, Web effort and partnership with London-based department store Selfridges including augmented reality, video and user interaction (see story).

In addition, the CEO from Oscar de la Renta mentioned that part of the label's success in social media was its ability to innovate and experiment without being afraid to fail (see story).

“Consumers definitely respond well to campaigns that have a holiday tie – they’re already seen in a positive light simply because they’re associated with a good feeling,” Mr. Schott said. “For a fashion brand like [Michael] Kors to use social and mobile in a campaign like this definitely brings it to another level.

“This isn’t a heart-themed look book on a cash register counter," he said. "It’s a full-blown campaign that ties personal experiences with the brand in a fun way."

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York