Foursquare continues to build momentum with fashion brands; retailers are intrigued and enthralled at the possibilities that location-based marketing offers. On June 1st, 2010 my company, Fashionably Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles, led a geo-social campaign centered around Foursquare for the launch of Cynthia Rowley’s Bridesmaids Dresses. The location-based component of this campaign was part of an aggressive online marketing campaign that merged direct email, blogger outreach and short-lead digital PR efforts.
Create The First Social Fashion Collaboration; Do It In Two Weeks
Campaign Overview: We were excited to create the first ever “social fashion collaboration” utilizing Foursquare to build online buzz and awareness of the line’s launch, as well as drive launch event attendance through in-store incentives.
It was the first time a retailer, manufacturer and designer used location-based services to promote fashion.
Timeline: What made this campaign so interesting was that FDLA had just two weeks to pull it off.
Within the first three days, we laid out a strategy to leverage and cross promote all parties involved through a series of online and offline tactics.
Highlights of the strategy are as follows: We created a fictional character – the Cynthia Rowley Bridesmaid (@CRBridal) – on Twitter and laid out check in locations that fit the target demographic of the line. We asked ourselves:
“Who is this bridesmaid? What is she doing and where is she going?”
We formulated the check-in locations with Lovely Bride’s owner, Lanie List.
Coordinating & Aligning Multiple Social Accounts
Each of the parties involved had their own social media profiles on Facebook and Twitter, as well as their own company blogs, we used the @CRBridal Twitter account to be the hub of the information for the line launch, publicity and social conversations.
Each party also used their individual Twitter and Facebook accounts to carry the messages to each of their audiences. Lovely Bride and Dessy created blog posts that focused on certain elements of the campaign.
We needed immediate traction and online attention, so we launched the Cynthia Rowley Foursquare component on FashionablyMarketing.Me and launched a secondary piece on PR Couture, followed by an interview focused on Lanie List of Lovely Bride.
For the Sex And The City Premiere on May 28th, 2010, CBS Reporter Shira Lazar wore one of the bridesmaids dresses during her interviews with Sex and the City stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kirsten Davis and Kim Cantrall.
The live-stream alone had over 117,000 viewers. While it wasn’t a part of the Foursquare strategy, the red carpet’s livestream acted as a complementary component to the digital campaign. Shira tweeted, twitpic’d and also check in on Foursquare during the event.
Building Online Awareness
Working with New York publicist, Lauren Hendrickson, we secured two digital placements with Women’s Wear Daily and Direct Marketing News. This set the wheels in motion for Mashable, Racked, NBC, Glamour and — even CoCo Perez — to take interest in the geo-social component of the campaign or the bridal line launch. Social sites such as Stylelist, Stylecaster and independent fashion and weddings blogs followed.
In 14 days, our combined efforts generated over 524 online mentions. These consisted of mainstream publication online coverage, blogs and tweets. There were 124 Facebook shares as well. From all of the online buzz, over 167 images of the dresses were used the websites the covered the events.
The Results: Foursquare + Cynthia Rowley
“The key to successfully harnessing the power of both social media and location-based marketing in such a short time frame is having the right team,” explained Macala Wright Lee, principal of Fashionably Digital who was approached by Dessy to develop and implement the campaign.
“With the help of Foursquare’s VP of Business Development Tristan Walker and digital marketing expert Crosby Noricks of PR Couture, we were able to quickly mobilize a strategy that would mark the first time a manufacturer, a designer and retailer banded together in this type of social collaboration,” she continued. “With all hands on deck, we reached 50% of goal within the first eight days.”
Online To Offline Conversions
There were 28 check-ins the evening of the event. Alan Dessy, CEO of The Dessy Group, reported that there were more media attendees than bridal attendees. For all the parties involved, this was more than satisfactory; Cynthia Rowley and Lanie List considered the event an astounding success.
The following week, Bridesmaids were offered 15% off their purchases when checking in with Foursquare at Lovely Bride. The store reported that three bridal parties consisting of three to six bridesmaids each redeemed the offer the following week at the Lovely Bride boutique in Soho.
The goal of the campaign was to build online buzz in an incredibly short amount of time, drive online interest and conversations offline; we succeeded. The second goal was to generate sales of the line for the retailer; we succeeded at this as well.