Today the world woke up to the launch of the fashion collaboration of the year: Jimmy Choo for H&M. Already, there has been world wide reports of screaming teenagers and fashionistas queuing since Friday to get their hands on affordable Choo’s. It’s also been reported that the collection sold out in about 10 minutes, leaving arm and legless mannequins in it’s wake. H&M’s website went down a few minutes past 10 am in countries where on-line stores are available.
After getting up a tad earlier than usual on a Saturday, and manically reload the H&M on-line store page to get a hold of a pair of shoes, I started reflecting on the fact that I’ve seen preciously few articles in Sweden regarding the launch of the collaboration. Despite the fact that H&M is one of Sweden’s most successful export brands. After being lucky enough to snatch a handbag, a pair of shoes and a dress for myself, I started investigating on how H&M had built their marketing & PR campaign. After a few hours of browsing, I can now conclude that they have done about everything right.
Socially Aware, Check
Social Media, as we all know, is the new trendy tool to create buzz about brands an products. And it certainly can be THE tool to use, provided that you do it right. Every now and then you might be lucky enough to just be able to kick back and relax, sometimes your brands will take on a life of its own, and Jimmy Choo for H&M has proven to do just that today. At the moment, H&M are the top trending topic on Twitter with Jimmy Choo following as 7th. There are no doubt a few twitterers waiting in line outside of stores all over the world.
H&M are of course officially present via @HM and the mandatory Facebook group tells people to post pictures of their shopping experience. The wall is flooded with pictures of hard won wares and sad customers not getting to the stores in time. Good job.
However, wouldn’t a separate twitter feed been nice, one just specifically for this campaign? @JimmyChooforHM would have been much easier to track, and lets face it, as a customer, I’m not particularly interested in general updates from H&M apart from information on these types of collaborations. I will not follow @HM just because they are on Twitter. As a Swedish resident I’ve missed a lot of the communication and pre-hype of this campaign simply because our news reporting sucks. A separate Twitter account had had me hooked. Then there’s also some discrepancy between the different accounts H&M use, at @HM, there are some news about the collaboration, and on @HM_News a few others. Not all of them are re-tweeted between them.
H&M apparently also have a YouTube channel. I’ve never heard of it before, but they are at least covering their bases. Maybe I’m just getting to old to be on their target radar. The channel is actually pretty good, featuring weekly virals on different topics, along with a few previews of the Jimmy Choo collaboration.
Also, the production company Barracuda who apparently got hired for covering the star studded Hollywood launch party, has quite a few clips of PR approved interviews with the attending celebs such as Paris Hilton (all dressed up in the Jimmy Choo collection of course, more on that below). Curiously enough, these clips are not available on H&M’s channel, nor are they marked as favorites. The @HM_News feed has a link to Barracudas channel, which is why I found it today. Either someone has just forgotten to cross check the videos or, which is possible, someone is just trying to let them be where they are, making them appear to be “independently reported”. Which is silly because its quite obvious that it’s a work for hire production. But stranger things has happened.
H&M has also made sure that the first sponsored link that turns up when you google “Jimmy Choo for H&M” points to their own site.
Traditional Media Spend, Check
It’s no surprise that H&M spent a few dollars on traditional ads, billboards and storefronts. They were also lucky enough that the ad campaign pictures got a fairly wide news coverage to tie in to the PR efforts.
There really aren’t much more to say about the traditional media spend since it’s all about money in proven channels, not like you need a PhD to pull that off. One note I’d like make though is about the late in-store exposure. In Sweden the storefront windows and the facades of the stores weren’t showing the campaign material until mid this week which is a mistake in my book. There’s actually quite a few people who do live under a rock and miss all the media/web hoopla. A weeks storefront exposure, especially over a weekend, should have been a bare minimum.
Traditional PR, Check
H&M (or the agency they are heiring) is getting pretty good at the different aspects of Public Relations when it comes to the special collaborations. True, they have had some time to practice now so they should be. The newspaper coverage seems to have been good, although I can only make that conclusion based on on-line articles (a search on Google returns 26 million hits). My own paper consumption is limited to Metro in the mornings and they featured the mandatory “pre-launch” article the other day. My Google searches did however show me that most papers of note has picked up on the collaboration, at least online. I’m sure a proper Meltwater search would narrow down the relevant results a tad more but it seems to be a success.
As with previous collaborations, H&M has sent out previews of the collection to assorted celebrities having them wear the clothes on the red carpet pre-launch. Smart move. What I didn’t know before I started looking into the campaign earlier today is that they have done the same with a group of fashion bloggers. Also clever and very web 2.0 marketing-esque.
As mentioned above, a celebrity attended launch party was also held in Hollywood hills. Paris Hilton was one of the obvious “official spoke-celebs” attending (though looking at the interviews I wouldn’t put off that they all were). Some of the red carpet snapshots have made it’s way out to the fashion bloggers and there’s some “outfit of the week” postings around.
One of the basic but sometimes overseen practices of setting up a proper press room, to help media and bloggers actually write something with good looking assets, has also been set up by H&M. Apart from H&M.com’s standard press room there’s also one available at jcforhm.com. Highres images for everyone. The only thing I can’t seem to find is the actual logo for the collaboration as featured on the backdrop of the red carpet line of the launch party. I went looking for one when I started writhing this post but still haven’t found one.
On a side note, as reported (in Swedish) H&M are opening up it’s sixth Japanese store today, this time in the fashionable Shinjuku district, Tokyo. It will be the only store in the country carrying the collaboration assortment, a clever little piece of strategy on a market where many luxury brands are pulling back.
I’m sure I’ve missed some targeted campaign efforts done around the world, but from the quick overview I got today by the power of the Internet, H&M has done a awesome job successfully covering most bases of a healthy marketing mix.
Have you seen any efforts done by H&M that caught your eye?