by Lilly Birdsong
By now, we’ve probably all seen David Beckham in his underwear. Let’s be honest – nearly-naked Beckham is everywhere! But is there something we can learn from the pervasive H&M campaign?
I think so.
Gearing up for the Superbowl this year, many marketing teams were probably sitting around tables trying to figure out what their innovative hashtag could be. How can we do something memorable? Fun? Sharable?
What made H&M different was that they decided to go a step further. Rather than trying to just get people to mention their hashtag, they got people to choose which one they liked.
When they started filming commercial spots for the Superbowl, rather than simply filming a single ad, they decided to film an ad with alternate endings. Let’s be honest – how many of us read those Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid? What made those books fun? Well, the nice thing about it was that we could choose our own ending. Instead of simply reading the ending the author chose to write, we could pick the ending that most suited our own personalities.
So, H&M’s team sat around and said, hey, how can we get our audience involved? Let’s let them choose the ending! Not only that, but they did it with hashtags.
The campaign itself had its own hashtag –
But then fans could vote for how they wanted to see Beckham – #covered or #uncovered! I know which one I would choose…
But back to the issue at hand.
This is one of the first advertising campaigns to be “interactive”. In other words, the actions of the user determine the outcome. That sounds pretty cool to me!
This campaign went cross-platform on different channels. You could see it:
- On their website
- On Facebook, Twitter
- On YouTube
- And ultimately, at the Superbowl
They had two clear business goals before the campaign started: 1) to increase brand awareness, and 2) to generate increased foot-traffic in their stores.
What was interesting to me about the response to this campaign is that it appealed mainly to women and gay men, according to some of the tweets that I found on Twitter. But also, this can appeal to men who want to be like Beckham, and attract the ladies. Besides, who does most of the shopping anyway? Women, right? How often do we buy our guys underwear for Christmas, because they’re too lazy to go buy it themselves…
They even had Guy Ritchie direct a YouTube video which garnered over 10 Million views so far:
I’d call that pretty successful for brand awareness. In terms of foot traffic? Well, we can look at H&M’s financial reports to get an idea of their sales. In Q1, they increased 13% YY. Q2 sales were up 20% YY. Wow! Now of course, we can’t attribute this solely to a marketing campaign, but one thing’s for sure – they’re on the right track.
I think we can all take lessons from the #uncovered campaign – get your audience involved!