Describing advertising today as “highly fragmented,” Rachel Tipograph, global director of digital and social media at Gap brand, said marketers have to understand each medium in order to use it effectively. In other words, there’s no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
In the old days, Gap would hire a renowned photographer, feature well-known celebrities and produce six images a year. They would put them all over the world and they would last anywhere from one to three years. Today, those six photographs are two days’ worth of content, she said. The shelf life for a Tweet is two hours; a Facebook post, seven hours; Instagram, 12 hours; Foursquare, 36 hours; Vine, two days; YouTube, five days; Pinterest, one week, and Tumblr, forever, she said.
“The world has changed. The mediums have changed. We as retailers have to change. We can’t apply old formats of advertising to new environments. The great thing is, and what I like to tell my boss, the [chief marketing officer] of Gap, is, ‘it’s really cheap and it works,” said Tipograph. “Initially, social media was all about broadcasting what you’re doing and what you’re thinking. Over the last two years, the social Web has shifted. First, it became the visual social Web, and now it’s the mobile visual social Web,” she said.
Gap’s digital strategy takes four approaches, using agencies; an in-house team of community managers (content creators who have great Instagram portfolios); bloggers, and consumers producing content on Gap’s behalf all over the world. Tipograph has a theory that brand marketing has shifted from the ad campaign to daily lo-fi content. “We no longer rely on the tag line, the 30-second spot and the billboard to drive the business. The world is real time, it’s lo-fi, and it requires a whole different outlet on investment, your staff and your partners,” she said.
But in order to understand lo-fi, one must first understand hi-fi, said Tipograph. “Hi-fi brand marketing is traditional advertising assets that feel polished, mass produced and created to fit all channels,” she said. “Lo-fi is content for individual networks. More often than not, they are created by an iPhone. They are not created in a photo shoot in Long Island City, Queens. It’s created by our consumers.”
Product lay-downs are a place to tell aspirational stories, and to show gifts for Father’s Day, for example. She said GIFs perform better than anything else. She also does well with Vine, which are six-second videos on Vine and Twitter, as well as Pinterest and Tumblr. Gap has data to back up how well lo-fi performs. Gap’s lo-fi content receives 70 percent higher engagement than hi-fi content. Lo-fi content is created for free. “Hi-fi content, more often than not, costs you a million bucks.” She also said that lo-fi content has a much higher click-through rate.
In an effort to get back on the millennial consumers’ radar, Gap launched Styld.by, whereby each month they’ll send their best product to bloggers and Web sites such as Refinery29 to have them style and photograph it however they want, using any model they like. The only requirement is they need to put a jobscript code on their site, a content date and tag it a certain way. “What happened? Gap’s association with fashion and style on the public social Web increased 40 percent. We saw very strong conversion from that content. We do Styld.by events in store where we see up to 20 percent lift in traffic and 15 percent lift in conversion,” said Tipograph.
Tipograph also noted that many retailers have mammoth e-commerce Web sites that they built, and it’s very expensive and difficult to add new features. She said start-ups such as Second Funnel recognize that retailers aren’t in the position to innovate as fast as start-ups. They help you create a ghost-layer experience on your e-commerce site so you can add social editorial, and you can make all that shoppable. She called “native ads” the buzzwords last year. Native advertising takes your best social content and puts it in traditional real estate space like banner ads. She said there’s a 25 percent lift in consumer recognition of native advertising versus banner advertising. She cited firms such as TripleLift and One Spot that can help with native advertising.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion