COTTON INC. SHOPS THE RUNWAY: The final phase has begun for Cotton Incorporated’s “24 Hour Runway Show,” which showcased 1,440 cotton looks — one per minute — between 8 p.m. on March 1 and 8 p.m. on March 2, on, to more than 425,000 unique viewers. In the latest phase, one runway look from each of the 74 brands will be displayed on the Web site. Consumers who comment on why they like a particular look can enter to receive a $350 gift card valid for that brand’s apparel. “Shop the Runway,” which went live on Wednesday, will award a $350 gift card each week for the four-week duration of the promotion.

The event actually began in November, when “The Road to the Runway” invited consumers across the country to submit images showing off their own “unique” cotton looks. The 4,000 entrants were encouraged to leverage their own social media to navigate a series of voting phases that ultimately decided six winners from around the country. With incremental prizes offered as incentives along the way, each of the six grand prize winners received an all-expenses-paid trip to the live event in Miami’s South Beach and $2,500.

This story first appeared in the March 12, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Finding an effective use for social media is challenging for any company, but especially so for Cotton Incorporated because we do not sell a product,” said Ric Hendee, senior vice president for consumer marketing at Cotton Inc. “Through ‘The Road to the Runway,’ we engaged consumers to promote our event, an event that echoed the fashionability-versatility message of our television campaign, which in turn supports brands that sell cotton-rich apparel.”

Promoted tweets supporting the event generated a 1.77 percent engagement rate, exceeding the industry average of 1.17 percent.