London Fashion Week has never been so popular. Increasing numbers of brands, retailers, media, and consumers are getting involved, resulting in many more opportunities for the advertiser. But with all this additional activity, how are brands ensuring they stand out from the crowd?
This year saw more social opportunities than ever before. Burberry took the exceptional lead of launching its collection on Twitter – posting photos of each look, live, backstage – moments before the model stepped onto the catwalk. Burberry quickly hit no.2 on the global trending charts and broke their personal mentions-per-minute record. With social media platforms working to increase their advertising products, who knows what opportunities this kind of activity could generate next year. As well as their massive online presence, Burberry perfectly dovetailed this activity with the more traditional advertising channels to ensure they achieved outstanding cut-through throughout the whole week.
Traditional media, more than ever, are embracing new media platforms, offering advertisers increasing ways of being seen – and heard. Publications such as The Sunday Times Style, Grazia and Stylist were blogging, using social networking sites and broadcasting enormous amounts of content through their own sites. Grazia also provided more direct opportunities by distributing their magazines in branded tote bags to all the London Fashion Week VIPs – a great way of getting a brand directly into the hands of some of the most important people in the fashion industry. Nails Inc lead the way on this by partnering with Grazia to provide a sample in each bag. Like Grazia, the Metro were also handing out copies of their special edition issue, but they aimed their distribution at the masses – with teams giving copies away on the streets of central London.
Alongside embracing the new media platforms, newspapers and magazine continued to focus energies into their traditional London Fashion Week activity. Nearly all fashion titles and supplements increased the size of their publications and printed premium editions. This year Stylist doubled the size of their magazine and Grazia ran their largest ever issue – coming in at 300 pages – with 142 of those for advertising. Many titles used the time, both during and either side of London Fashion Week to run their fashion specials. The Sunday Times Style magazine run their special at the end of August – weeks ahead of the event – and then have over a month of fashion specials.
Burberry recently stated they are as much a media-content company as a design company. Where Burberry tread, others are sure to follow. With more content, there will be even greater opportunities for advertisers to access the fashion consumer. The trick will be to cut the wheat from the chaff and to connect and exploit these opportunities in the most creative and effective way.
(Photo above from the Burberry tweets of its Prorsum S/S 2012 collection – during London Fashion Week)