Are influencer weddings the new ad campaign?
The Blonde Salad’s Chiara Ferragni and rapper Federico Leonardo Lucia wed last weekend in peak influencer fashion. Taking place over three days in Sicily, the wedding made headlines for Ferragni’s looks — Prada for the rehearsal dinner and Dior for the big day — but no one anticipated just how well the content would perform.
For the uninitiated, the wedding hashtag is a staple of Millennial weddings — like a digital photobook for the celebrated couple and their guests to look through on Instagram — and Ferragni’s was no exception. She — and her husband and guests — documented the weekend with pictures and videos shared to her 14.7 million Instagram followers along with the hashtag #TheFerragnez.
#TheFerragnez is now tagged in 23,000 posts — not your average wedding — which is only a fraction of what the event did across online and social overall. According to Launchmetrics, Ferragni and Lucia’s wedding generated a media impact value of $36 million and more than 67 million interactions, which Alison Bringé, chief marketing officer of Launchmetrics, said was comparable to the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
“Chiara’s wedding was a fashion experience,” said Bringé. “What made the MIV [media impact value] so high was that she has the ability to engage a conversation. She was able to get all of these people, all of this qualified traffic, excited and talking about her wedding. It wasn’t just her, it was her influential friends and her influential audience that helped drive the MIV.”
“We wanted the wedding to be very social, so we didn’t have any press between the guests and we wanted our friends and family to share every moment and emotion freely on Instagram,” said Ferragni via email on her way to New York Fashion Week. “I’m very proud of the work that my team has done. Every detail was well curated, even the cards that we held to read our speeches were personalized with #TheFerragnez. When I read those numbers, I couldn’t believe how big the impact was and that we generated more buzz that Meghan and Harry’s Royal wedding.”
Launchmetrics further broke down the digital impact Ferragni’s wedding had for each brand she wore. By wearing — and posting — not one, but two Dior gowns, Ferragni generated more than $5.2 million in audience-driven MIV and an engagement of 5.6 million globally for Dior. Her Prada rehearsal dinner dress racked up $1.8 million in MIV and 1.5 million interactions globally for Prada, and Lancôme, which she wore on her wedding day, benefited from a total of $700,000 in MIV and 1.3 million in engagement. The bridesmaids wore Alberta Ferretti, which received $354,000 in MIV and 390,000 interactions on social.
For comparison, Tribe Dynamics reported in July that Dior had earned just over $36 million in earned media value — a similar metric to MIV. The Dior Saddle Bag campaign, which featured posts from nearly 100 influencers along with the tag #DiorSaddle, generated $2.5 million in EMV. And in their Fendi campaign, Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner generated $1.1 million and $386,500, respectively, in EMV with their posts about #MeandMyPeekaboo.
That means #TheFerragnez wedding outperformed the Dior and Fendi ad campaigns in just three days.
“There was a combination of elements that people were curious to discover: how my dress was going to be, what the location would look like, what special surprises we had for our guests,” said Ferragni. “Most of our followers were looking forward to this wedding as they’ve been following our love story since the beginning so they kind of felt like they were entitled to know how we were going to celebrate it. Fedez and I are very open to share our personal lives on Instagram and so many people get an emotional attachment to us even if we don’t know them in person, so it was natural that the social media and Internet engagement was going to be big.”
“The influencer phenomenon is crazy right now,” said Bringé. “Chiara had the right audience, the right topic. If you look at the coverage she got about this, everything was about the experience. It was this continuous romantic fashion story that lasted from even before the wedding to the day after the wedding.”
Millennials now represent more than 40 percent of the aspiring luxury customer, and Ferragni herself is a Millennial with a large Millennial following. MIV doesn’t necessarily translate to sales, but it does raise brand awareness, which could, in turn, lead to sales.
“The opportunity to be associated with a brand means that [the brand] can help position themselves quite well with the audience that Chiara speaks to,” said Bringé. “It’s a great investment for brands because they’re trying to reach that customer and sometimes there’s no better way today to reach that customer than influencer marketing.”
Ferragni is one of the most coveted influencers to work with right now and with the stats surrounding her wedding, it’s likely she’ll be even more so.
“She’s an influencer for hire, so just the fact that we were able to compare her media impact value to the Royal Wedding,” said Bringé. “This report we put out is going to be a really great bargaining chip that she’ll have to take to meetings to show these brands what the true value is that she can bring.”
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