PARIS — “People, especially brands, look for performance 10 minutes after an event or a show, asking what the earned media [value] was. The answer [at that point] is, like, $5,” said YouTube’s head of fashion and beauty Derek Blasberg, speaking at a digital press conference with Alison Bringé, chief marketing officer of data research and insights company Launchmetrics.
The pair was presenting a report on the 60-day, or longtail, impact of video marketing on the media impact value of brands, based on the case study of five brands: Prada, Dior, Pyer Moss, J.W. Anderson and Versace. For each, Launchmetrics analyzed data over eight- and 60-day periods from the release of a season’s digital show on YouTube, and highlighted key success factors in each case.
Asked what drove audiences toward YouTube for fashion, Blasberg named “access, access, access — to your favorite fashion people, houses, designers, models, makeup artists — and discoveries,” as well as the feeling of seeing “something special, intimate and inspiring.”
For Dior, which recently passed the 1-million-subscription mark on the video platform — a “big deal for a brand,” said Blasberg — it was the choice of Travis Scott that garnered its spring 2022 men’s show its winning results.
“YouTube has a long history with the music industry and that relationship is reflected in the engagement numbers,” analyzed Bringé, who pinpointed Scott’s loyal audience as the reason behind the 65 percent increase in media impact value, 176 percent more views and 450 percent growth in engagement.
“Too often [brands] are trying to work with a celebrity or a creative and just say ‘I heard this person is really popular, we should work with them,’ when they should be considering what platform they want to have a success on before choosing a partner that fits both the platform’s codes and the brand identity,” Bringé added.
In the case of Prada’s spring 2021 video, which showed the first collection co-created by Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada, it was the virtual Q&A session with questions curated from the brand’s social media following that had accrued over $270,000 in media impact value for the livestream, and the 174 percent increase that followed between Sept. 20 and Nov. 20, 2020.
Eighteen months of digital fashion weeks proved that “the true reach of a fashion show extends far beyond just a front row,” said Blasberg, while Bringé pointed out that overall figures proved consumers continued to return to the content “days, weeks, months and even years after [the] most iconic fashion moments.”
For Pyer Moss’ first couture show, delayed by rain and broadcast on July 3, being the first Black designer invited to the couture calendar made for one such moment, amplified by the number of media covering the event — amounting to 82.4 percent of the share of voices.
“Because of the buzz surrounding the show, there was already an insane amount of media coverage. It also rained on the [initial show day]. The show itself was the centerpiece that sparked conversation across the industry, not just about fashion but also about social justice,” Blasberg said, noting that the YouTube-first media amplification strategy had been a hit for the label.
Sending out video content, rather than still imagery, was a key factor in Pyer Moss’ stunning 16,128 percent increase in media impact value, supported by a 13,000 percent jump in views and 13,500 percent additional engagement.
The quality and frequency of posts also weighs in the balance, the report showed, using the case of Versace’s spring 2021 five-video exploration “Versacepolis” fantasy wonderland as an example, which saw the brand net over 1,000 percent more views.
As for what kind of content performed well, he answered that “the power of YouTube is long-term narrative… the golden rule for YouTube is content that is six to 10 minutes in length, with a narrative structure — a beginning, a middle, and end — and reveals a secret, teaches a lesson or peels back the curtain.”