Merchant Innovation

High Fashion Sees Future In Online Videos

High fashion used to be able to create demand through exclusivity — invite only a few guests to a show, release only a few shipments of the next hot designs, so on and so forth. However, in the digital age, customers expect a different kind of relationship with their favorite brands, and fashion houses are starting to listen.

Financial Times explained that several once-Luddite designers are opening themselves up to the possibility of reaching more shoppers through online video advertisements, particular on YouTube, during the holiday shopping season. Tiffany, Burberry and Coach have all launched mobile video campaigns to capture younger demographics, and Michael Kors has even launched a shoppable ad initiative to tap into more tech-savvy fashionistas.

Why the sudden focus on video advertising? Lisa Green, head of industry for fashion and luxury at Google, told FT that more and more customers are using YouTube as a way to research new products, and fashion is no different.

“People are constantly turning to YouTube for inspiration and ideas,” Green said. “In fact, there are entire memes on YouTube dedicated to shopping, like haul videos, unboxing videos and even #ootd (outfit of the day) videos. W​hat brands are beginning to recognize is the ability to target fashion enthusiasts when they are most interested in watching videos.”

Not to be outdone on the in-store side of things, FT also reported that Burberry has started offering similarly high-tech experiences in its flagship London location. Customers can enter a Google-sponsored booth to film themselves starring in a version of Burberry’s newest ad — a subtle-yet-engaging link between Burberry’s marketing and how it converts viewers into foot traffic (at least for Londoners).

The fact that fashion houses are now embracing mobile video shouldn’t be especially applauded, but if they manage to show that they are fast on the upkeep in regards to what consumers want out of the platform, expect designers to pat themselves on the back generously.

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