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Vanity Fair boosts awareness for Best-Dressed Challenge via mobile ad

May 6, 2013


Condé Nast’s Vanity Fair is boosting awareness for its International Best-Dressed Challenge through a banner advertisement on its mobile site.

The Best-Dressed Challenge lets readers be contenders for a new category on the publication’s 2013 best-dressed List. The flashy ad shows off the names of the partner brands along with the event name encouraging consumer to click through to the mobile-optimized site that shows off the submissions.

“Mobile is ideal for a contest that combines picture taking, sharing, a prize and vanity,” said Jeff Hasen, Seattle-based mobile marketing consultant. “It creates buzz, competition, fun and a viral element.

“Vanity Fair will surely post photos of the contenders and maybe the pretenders, giving those interested more reasons to visit and revisit the web site," he said.

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with Vanity Fair, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Vanity Fair did not respond by press deadline.

Checking out the competition

The Best-Dressed Challenge mobile site allows consumers to check out the competition, submit their own image and share the images they like through social media.

A click-through on the ad leads consumers to the main mobile site for the contest. Upon entering the site, consumers are greeted by a pop-up that explains the contest and purpose of the site.

Pop-up explanation

Then, consumers are brought to the main page that allows them to upload an image, view the gallery or editor’s picks and share the contest via Twitter and Facebook.

Challenge mobile site

To upload a photo and enter the contest from the mobile site, consumers can click on "Upload a photo," which takes them to a site that can extract photos from their phone, Facebook, Flickr or Instagram.

Also, consumers can view some of the recently uploaded images by scrolling down on the mobile site.

The site offers a quick view of each look by showing off a small cover image, the image's number of “likes”  and the user who submitted the image.


A click-through on a image lets consumers view the look and a short description. Consumers can also “like” the look and share it through social media.

User-submitted look

The site also contains ads for the brands that are involved in this contest.

Department store chain Neiman Marcus and Italian fashion house Giorgio Armani are two of the partners involved in the challenge. Both have a notable presence in the challenge promotion.

Getting the word out

Vanity Fair has been pushing this contest on other platforms as well.

The publication is letting consumers submit images of themselves to be considered for the new award category on its 73-year old International Best-Dressed List via Instagram, Twitter, Trendabl and its Web site. The brand partners have ads on the International Best-Dressed Challenge Web site and are incorporated in public events and online activities (see story).

To take the promotions a step further, Vanity Fair could have looked at other mobile sites to promote the contest to extend the reach.

“The ad on the publication’s own mobile site is wise given the interest of visitors,” Mr. Hasen said. “Hopefully, they have extended the ad's reach to other mobile sites that cater to Vanity Fair's audience.

“This way, the publication can drive awareness for the contest and, ultimately, the Vanity Fair franchise," he said.

However, the addition of social media into this contest is the true driver.

"Brands today are looking to create engaging experiences for consumers," said Jeff Gunderman, senior vice president and general manager of Eye, New York.

"What I like about this execution is the social media component encouraging consumers to share with their social network," he said. "Entry requires a share with a hashtag, so as long as people engage the social component is built in and for that reason I love the contest design.

"Consumers can view and engage with a mobile device, but the campaign is really just online and social."

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York