Sarah Jessica Parker is entering what is for her the unfamiliar territory of the World Wide Web to promote her new footwear line, SJP Collection, which launches exclusively at Nordstrom on Friday.
The multitiered marketing push will be based around a Pinterest campaign — “A Day in Her Shoes, SJP: Wear to Go” — but the content will be simultaneously promoted across other social channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Vine. Parker is also doing more traditional marketing for the line, making personal appearances in Nordstrom doors in Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Miami and a pop-up store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.
This story first appeared in the February 26, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A dedicated Pinterest board will contain product images, Place Pins for suggested stops in cities where Parker is promoting the brand and shoe recommendations for each city. Pinterest launched Place Pins in November to cater to a growing number of users interested in travel, and these include extra details to make pins more actionable.
“I hear the Internet is a wonderful way to reach other people,” Parker joked during an interview in midtown Manhattan, wearing a black lace Tracy Reese dress with a pair of her Carrie heels in nude, a pointed-toe stiletto T-strap cage pump. Parker is the guest editor of the Nordstrom Pinterest board and will also participate in other social media activities such as a Twitter chat next month (users can ask questions via the hashtag #SJPxNordstrom). She will also be in a series of videos on Instagram. “I handpicked every single thing for [the New York-based pins on Pinterest], and I asked my friends from Texas, Los Angeles and Chicago [for recommendations].”
Nordstrom, which has 4.4 million followers on Pinterest, intends for its board on the platform to tie in directly with Parker’s store tour, according to Bryan Galipeau, the store’s director of social media.
“Pinterest is a wish list, but we’re hoping that users will be inspired to act. We want our community and customers to come and meet SJP, and one of the things we’re trying to accomplish is trying to bridge the gap between the online world and physical locations,” Galipeau said. The hope is that the Pinterest board amounts to a call to action for consumers, whether that means engaging with content, coming to the store to meet Parker or placing an order online.
Nordstrom has 117 full-line doors, and Place Pins can be an effective way to leverage the retailer’s prowess, both online and in brick-and-mortar locations. Each Place Pin will contain a recommendation from the actress about places to visit in that city, along with a shoe suggestion and link to a point of purchase on nordstrom.com.
During a walkthrough of the line, created in partnership with George Malkemus, chief executive officer of Manolo Blahnik, the actress said she’s quite new to the digital space.
“I never used social media in my life until November. I was genuinely terrified,” Parker said. “I said to [Nordstrom], ‘Treat me like I’m a newborn, like I’ve literally just been birthed.’”
She noted that for the launch of her first fragrance several years ago — before social media became such an important part of marketing strategy — she just went on a “whistle stop” promoting the scent. “I will be curious to see if there is a correlation [between the campaign and] someone getting up and buying the shoes.
“I can’t pretend to know,” she said when asked if she thinks social media will affect sales and how the line is received. She did credit Twitter with helping “city.ballet” garner 12.9 million views. The actress served as executive producer for the 12-part AOL On documentary series about the New York City Ballet.
Parker has also created an Instagram account — @SJPCollection — especially for this project, and in just a few weeks has racked up nearly 24,000 followers.