Banana Republic Makes Blogger Star of Spring Campaign

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-04/gap-s-banana-republic-makes-blogger-web-star-of-spring-campaign.html

I came across this article on Bloomberg.com about Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic partnered with Joy Cho, the author of fashion and lifestyle blog “Oh Joy“, launching a marketing campaign they name “Love” in the Spring 2013. The campaign features the “Love” story of Joy Cho and her husband, who presenting items of Banana Republic in their first date photos.

Joy Cho is very active and popular on social-media website. For example, her own website gets more than 190,000 unique visitors per month, and her Pinterest has more than 12 million followers, according to the article.

For the Spring campaign, Banana Republic has successfully collaborate traditional marketing using TV commercials and magazines and social-media marketing by partnering with dating website Match.com, hosting in-store events for their customers across the country. By engaging shopper on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the company want to “add dimension to our conversation with our customer and telling deeper stories”, said Catherine Sadler, global chief marketing officer of Banana Republic.

This kind of social-media campaign has been proved to be “very effective” and “a great medium” as numbers in financials tells the increases of sales.  The same-store sales in North America rose 5% in a consecutive 11 months after a small decline in the fiscal year ended Jan 2012.

My questions to the class are:

1) Do you think Banana Republic’s success in social-media marketing campaign shows a trend that fashion industry is now switching their focus from traditional marketing like TV commercial and magazines to social media marketing using Facebook, Twitter and etc? What’s your opinion?

2) Do you feel the stories on those social media website will influence your buying decision of specific products or specific brands? Do you feel more engaged or connected with the brands with social media website?

3) Will social media marketing finally dominate the marketing campaign in the fashion industry?

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