How Tommy Hilfiger is Changing the Runway

Last week Wednesday, the fashion industry’s attention was turned to the West coast even though it was one day before the start of New York Fashion Week. Tommy Hilfiger’s second Tommy x Gigi collection debuted in California, creating even more excitement than the prior, record-breaking and game-changing collection between the American designer and his supermodel partner, Gigi Hadid.

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The longstanding format of fashion week has been in flux since last fall. In my article for Moda magazine last spring, I discussed how designers have become burnt out with the traditional, fast-forwarded format of fashion week. Traditionally, designers would show fall collections in the spring and spring collections in the fall so as to set the trends six months down the road and allow fashion publications and retailers to plan for their future issues and make buying decisions. The pressure of working so far ahead in addition to the fact the six month lead time offers bountiful opportunities for knockoffs, the fashion industry began to rethink the runway.

It’s an exciting time for fashion as different designers experiment with new runway formats, showing clothing that can be bought immediately following the runway, playing up social media and involving not just fashion elites but everyday consumers as well. One designer who has stood out and went above and beyond is Tommy Hilfiger.

Following this fall’s first Tommy x Gigi line, “Traffic to increased 900 percent in the first 48 hours and the runway show created over 2 billion social impressions,” according to Business of Fashion.

Why has he stood out? He fully embraced change and strategically experimented with not just one but multiple elements of his show to give it its viral effect.

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The Collaboration:

The Tommy x Gigi collection is a collaboration between the well-established, American designer who had began to lose his position as a household name and the recently explosive supermodel, Gigi Hadid. The collaboration was genius, as Hadid is one of the fastest growing supermodels in the industry and is known for her social media presence. By using the concept of cumulative advantage, as explained here by the New York Times, the designer was able use Gigi’s pre-established fame and social media presence to skyrocket the collection’s audience.

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Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What before the show. Photo source: We Wore What

The promotion:

The social media promotion for the Tommy x Gigi collection began almost 24 hours before the show as fashion influencers like the show’s models and key fashion bloggers were all flown from New York to California on a branded plane dubbed “Tommy Air.” The models and bloggers shared every moment from boarding the plane to their impromptu on-board dance party on their Snapchat and Instagram accounts. The day of the show the same models and bloggers took their followers on their journey through “Tommyland” the branded, pop-up amusement park the show was set up in. While live video from the front row audience is common at all runway shows these days, Tommy x Gigi took it one step further by allowing the looks to be bought in real time, not six months down the road. With the success rate Tommy Hilfiger has seen through this “see-now-buy-now” format, other designers would be silly to not join in.


The audience:

Fashion shows used to be only for the small crowd of the fashion elite. This created a sense of exclusivity designer brands used to leverage as an integral part of their brand identity. Exclusivity is no longer as cool and through social media like Snapchat or Instagram, more and more common consumers catch glimpses of fashion shows. Tommy x Gigi welcomed not only the usual group of fashion influencers but a much larger audience of consumers to view the show in person, according to Business of Fashion. By doing so the designer is tapping into The Long Tail, as mentioned here in Wired, of others interested in fashion but not necessarily in the very small “influencer” crowd. Many of these spectators may have their own smaller fashion blogs or circles of friends interested in fashion that they can now share their experience with and increase Tommy Hilfiger’s brand equity and possibly spark future purchases from these Long Tail groups.


The Most Shareable Super Bowl Ads

What makes a good Super Bowl ad? Humor, drama and of course memorability. These were some of the main staples of a Super Bowl for the longest time. Now, I believe another quality has been added to that checklist: shareability.


Being sharable is so important for not just Super Bowl ads but any television ad nowadays. While TV ads are fleeting when (and if actually) watched on TV, being sharable extends the life of the ad. Shareability allows the ad to gain and create greater depth in the scheme of an ad campaign. Just as measuring reach in social media isn’t as important as measuring engagement, as stressed here by Forbes, simply presenting a funny or touching ad during the Super Bowl won’t do near as much good as presenting a sharable ad your audience can in turn engage with.

If sharable, not only will the ad be viewed for its 30-60 seconds of fame during the Super Bowl, it will then be shared on social media where (hopefully) people can interact with the ad and its brand. This interaction could take place in the form of a hashtag associated with the ad, encouraging the audience to create consumer generated content (CGC) or maybe the ad was about a topic that already has a large portion of people engaging with it on social media.

Instead of making a list of my favorite Super Bowl ads based only on their entertainment factor, I chose my two favorite ads that I were not only the funniest or most touching or most memorable, but also have that sharable factor to them.

  1. Audi – Daughter

This ad features the hashtag #DriveProgress and is a monologue of a father with hopes he someday can tell his daughter women are valued as equal to men by society. It’s a very touching ad with powerful graphics and a serious, yet uplifting tone. The hashtag allows people to interact with the brand after the ad and ties into many important topics happening in our country right now. Taking a social stance as Audi has done will hopefully increase brand attitude among the public and in turn increase Audi’s brand equity.

  1. T-Mobile – #NSFWireless

T-Mobile featured three different ads during the Super Bowl. One with Justin Bieber, which ended up on AdWeek’s Worst 5 SuperBowl Ads list. One with Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart which was pleasantly punny and deserves a thumbs up. And then there was this one: #NSFWireless with Kirsten Schaal. It was hilarious and (pop)culturally relevant, poking fun at the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise which has its second installment set to release next week. Its humor was spot on and perfectly packaged to share with the #NSFWireless hashtag.