jeudi 14 mai 2015

Snapchat enters the Fashion industry media mix

We could say this is official since the last season: if you can remember, last March, a new story appeared in your Snapchat list : Fashion Week in New York, then London, Milan and Paris.
More lately, you could enjoy the Palm Spring Louis Vuitton's Cruise show,  a few days after Dior's in Cannes, or the MET Gala in NYC.

You and I, and your neighbor - who just does not care about the fashion month marathon - could got an insight of the not-so-mysterious-anymore exclusive Fashion's backstage. Models in robe getting their make-up done, the backstage rush before a show, and even a teaser of the outfits from the new collection, just right under your thumb.

Snapchat is the anti-definition of the glamorizing Instagram. While people use their Instagram feed as a magnification of their daily life, most of the time we use Snapchat to laugh at ourselves with friends, taking blurred and bad quality pictures that will last from 1 second to one day. Snapchat has this self-mockery dimension that take our minds off of all the other apps's social rules and expectations. It certainly is the social media that looks the closest to what we are offline, with our flaws (Not more than 3 filters here. Meaning you won't hide this big zit on your forehead thanks to Snapchat as you could do with another app.)

And that is what has seduced the fashion brands established or aspiring fans. Snapchat is the latest companies' move in terms of social media communication. Snapchat instigates a "live" and real-time relationship with the fashion world. It is the next step of this democratization phenomenon.
While Fashion Weeks' events make invited people feel exclusive and non-invited ones feel excluded, the boundary is more and more blurred. I mean, I woke up looking at my Stories 3 days ago and Raf Simons was speaking about the show himself as I was sat in front of him drinking a cup of tea. No need for a backstage pass, I can have the supermodels' fun selfies in real-time or their walk practice on the runway.

That is actually funny that the most image-obsessed industry jumped into Snapchat as a new media to integrate in their strategy. While the campaigns are photoshopped to death and the models' faces so sleek, Valentino, Michael Kors play the authentic and playful approach through their online stories, offering their admirers a glimpse of their mystery. Of course, we love it because we all feel being kind of granted the brand's intimacy.

And the reach is a a lot broader than the press or even other social media: while I will need to already be a Vogue buyer or to have already "liked" a brand's page to see their ad or updates, the little live stream stories just got into your feed. Nobody forces you to look at it.
But this is where Snapchat is efficient: we open and scroll Snapchat most of the times because we are bored. And when we are bored, we are curious. While I'll(personally) directly swap when I see "Dior Cruise Show", some will just give a look because they already looked all their friends' stories of the day. *And 1 more viewer*. Unlike Youtube videos or ads, Snapchat condensates the brand's image in less than 10 seconds. The simple curious will look at the story because anyway it is not time-consuming and he will make up his mind and opinion in less than 20 seconds. In a world where we are all developing the "FOMO" ( Fear Of Missing Out) syndrome, we are always hurrying to try to cover the maximum of an overwhelming source of information, and Snapchat appears as a perfect solution for media coverage. WWD also highlighted the superior ability of Snapchat compared to the other platforms to capture consumers' attention and memorization since the user has to stop and completely focus on the image before it "dies out". You cannot scroll down information without real concentration like on Facebook.

The early adopters were Michael Kors, Valentino, Stella McCartney, then followed Dior and LV among others... Predicting, in my opinion, a breaker of new entrants.

But after understanding the several arguments in favor of the app, we also know its pitfalls. Of course, Snapchat's quality is lame, and childish drawings thanks to the paint tool on a $2000 outfit can result in a weird combination. But more importantly, while we are happy to be cordially "invited" to the backstage of the show, some others could not feel very pleased to lose their privileges. Buyers, journalists, and influencers lose value and interest, if the magic of novelty has already been delivered online to the global audience before they see it on the runway with their own eyes. This again is about the challenge of balancing the mystery, dream and exclusiveness of the fashion world and reaching a global audience/demand.
Moreover, Snapchat seems accurate only for "one-shot" big events, and not for a daily tool of social media management to keep fans interested all year through such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Now, I make predictions and gamble which brand will be the next to take on my Snapchat feed.

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