Hilfiger and Lauren Tweet for Autism

April is Autism Awareness month and on the 2nd it was Autism Awareness Day. Families and friends were not the only ones who helped raise awareness and support on the 2nd. There were many fashion brands who took notice too.

Both Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren sent out tweets on the 2nd to raise awareness for autism. However, both designers chose a different way to use their Twitter post to show their support.

To show support Hilfiger sent out a twitter picture. The picture was of young children dressed in Tommy Hilfiger clothing with a puzzle piece layout. The symbol for Autism Speaks is a puzzle piece, so this was a great way for the brand to tie into the organization. Tommy

On the other hand, Lauren showed support by tweeting a link to an interview with the founder of Autism Speaks. Naturally, the interview was connected to Ralph Lauren’s website where readers could then go ahead and shop if they so chose.ralph

Hilfiger’s tweet received 58 retweets and 18 favorites. While Lauren’s received 53 retweets and 22 favorites.

I felt that both these designers did an excellent job using social media to convey a message to their consumers. While one used a picture and the other an interview, both were able to raise awareness for such a great cause such as autism awareness.  Not to mention, this type of social media post can only bring good attention from their followers.

I feel this was not only a kind way to use their social media outlets, but it was a great way for advertising. It was a sort of philanthropic advertisement to the brand. For all of the retweets they received, they are probably reaching double the amount of people.  Secondly, consumers are more likely to shop a brand that they know is positively giving back to the public.

Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren used Twitter in order to gain awareness for a cause they felt important and in turn received positive social media attention from their followers. I think this was a great use of social media platforms!autism


Vineyard Vines is NOT Horsing Around

The Carolina Cup was the weekend, and on May 4th is the Kentucky Derby. With the nice weather and races comes the chance for men and women alike to break out their best suits, dresses and obviously big hats. With the races comes involvement from what I think is such a typical “race brand”, Vineyard Vines.


Not only was VV the official clothing sponsor for the Kentucky Derby last year, but they are again this year. Also, they were The Official Bow Tie Supplier for The Carolina Cup this year. At both the Kentucky Derby and The Carolina Cup, VV sets up a booth with free goodies like coozies, sunglasses and more.

So what does this have to do with communication? They market both races and the brand through social media like crazy. A few days before The Carolina Cup they posted a picture onto their Facebook telling their followers where their booth would be set up, with the promise of goodies.

During the actual race itself VV hosted an Instagram competition entitled “Horsing Around.” Contestants would enter a picture from the race with the hashtags edsftg and vvhorsingaround. A winner was selected Friday and they won a $250 Vineyard Vines gift card!instagram

Not a moment sooner than the race had ended, they posted again onto Facebook saying how The Kentucky Derby is 1 month away, and followers should stay tuned for updates and whereabouts.

As a sponsor for both The Carolina Cup and The Kentucky Derby, VV does an excellent job of communicating to their followers what they are up to. Not only do they tell followers where they will be stationed at, they then give away free gifts. What a better way to promote your brand, than by having hundreds of people at the races using your label!

Even after that, they promote the races and their brands with contests which increases audience engagement and then in turn promotes a prize that will allow customers to buy VV (as a result wearing it and then promoting it some more.)

It is such a brilliant way for Vineyard Vines to promote their brand by becoming a sponsor of two of the biggest races. Then using social media like Facebook and Instagram to engage their followers and show them where they can follow them and find them in person.

Sperry Does Facebook

Shoes, shoes, shoes. I really do love them. You really cannot go wrong with a nice pair of shoes. With that being said, Sperry Top-Sider is one of my all time favorite shoe brands. They are my favorite not only because they have great shoes, but because they have a great social media presence.

Sperry’s Facebook page is extremely interactive with its followers. Obviously that is a great tool for any brand to have. No one likes going on Facebook sites and just seeing endless promotions that say “BUY US.” Instead Sperry has created a great way to promote their new shoes without coming off as pushy.

Sperry is constantly uploading pictures of new shoes onto the Facebook page with captions saying things like, “Which one is your favorite?” These types of pictures will generate over 100 comments and over 3,000 likes on the photos.colors

Not to mention, on top of the all the interactions, Sperry is always posting pictures of shoes with promotional codes to get a discount on them. The only way for someone to see these promotional codes is to follow Sperry on Facebook. So not only are they promoting their brand, their encouraging sales through their social networking site.codes

Basically, what Sperry is able to do, is create a larger audience base. Through the use of these promotional codes they are able to effectively gain more followers. I do not think that anyone does not like a discount, so this is a great online tactic.

All in all, I find that Sperry Top-Siders truly uses Facebook to the fullest. They are being an interactive brand with their customers, and offering discounts to the ones that follow them. This keeps their followers from un-following them, and making sure they constantly are checking back to their page.

Jeans Not Skinny Enough? AE Figured It Out

It is true, everyone loves a good joke. Especially when it is something that pokes fun of current fashion trends. Well, ok maybe the companies do not appreciate the jokes, but I do give kudos to the companies who make the jokes themselves.

If you have not already seen it, American Eagle released a video the other day promoting their new Skinny Skinny Jeans. The whole premise of the video advertisement is that our jeans currently are not skinny enough. Here, AE has found a way to give us skinny jeans that look almost as if they are “painted” on.

The joke of the video is that the jeans are actually painted on to the actors. On top of that, if one were to go to AE’s website and try to buy a pair of the new Skinny Skinny  Jeans they will see a bottle of spray paint they can purchase. It is available in two different colors for $49.95. (Rumor has it that inside the can is an actual pair of jeggings.)skinny skinny

If I have ever seen a clever campaign/promotion I would have to say it is this one. Their use of social media was amazing. The video alone had over 1 million hits on YouTube. It is by far, an extremely clever way to reach their audience. I am not sure that I have ever seen the use of a video in this way within the fashion industry.

It was an extremely unusual communication tactic. Video’s are extremely engaging and exciting for an audience, so I think that this was a clever way on their part to get media attention. Not only did current consumers of AE see the video on their website, but several online news sources such as the Huffington Post, wrote about it. This allowed AE to reach a whole new audience.

On top of the video, AE went as far as to create an actual spray can bottle for the Skinny Skinny Jeans. This gave the appearance that their video might actually be promoting something that was real. It is something tangible that the consumers can get out of the video that AE made. I suppose this is how AE will make back the money that they spent on creating the video in the first place.

I can imagine as a fashion brand, a company has one set target public, and I am sure it is hard to reach out of that. I think that this video was a great way to break out. All in all, this was an excellent strategy on AE’s part and I am ridiculously impressed.

I Love Lilly & Lilly Loves Contests

With spring break right around the corner, the beach is on my mind, so I thought it was only appropriate to discuss one of my favorites today. Lilly Pulitzer is amazing with her perfect summer prints and lady-like dresses, there really is no way to dislikes the things she does.

One thing that I love most about Lilly, are the online contests that are constantly in place. Lilly really utilizes their Facebook to interact with their most loyal customers. They are constantly offering new incentives through unique and exciting contests. Honestly, who does not like free stuff and who will not try to win some? I do not think anyone would turn down a competition for some Lilly.

Last year Lilly hosted a contest for sorority women across the country. The whole premise was to vote for which sorority deserved to get their own Lilly print (so it was their own Greek letter inspired Lilly Pulitzer.) For those of you who do not know, sorority women love Lilly. I can attest to that, as a sorority woman I was extremely excited about this contest and was obsessed about getting my own print.greeks

So the sorority with the highest number of likes on a Lilly Facebook photograph would win their own print. This is smart on many levels. One, it engages current customers to get more involved. Two, it increases their audience reach. Many sorority women were posting the link to Lilly’s Facebook page asking their friends to like the pictures for them as well.

Through this one competition, Lilly was able to keep their current audience and expand to gain new Lilly lovers. This is not the only contest they have done too. Last week, Lilly paired with Estee Lauder and Macy’s for a Facebook contest which offered the winner a $500 Lilly gift card and Estee Lauder products (not to mention the products came in a Lilly makeup bag.)lilli

All of these Facebook promoted contests are a great way to use social media. Customers love free items, and it is great for the brand to gain more customers. Let’s not forget that these types of contests are not necessarily expensive for the brand either. All marketing is free, via social media, and all of the goods they are giving away they already have.

In my personal opinion, social media contests are the perfect form of communication. It sends out the message that you want your customer to have your product, and you are there to make it interesting. So Lilly, let me say, I love you even more now!

Insta-Steve Madden

Instagram. I love it. Simply put for those of you who do not know, Instagram is an app that is used to share photos with your friends and followers. People post anything from inspirational quotes, to their outfits, to pictures of themselves and their friends and much more. I really feel like Instagram is a great tool for brands to engage their audiences. It is unique way to “sell” their brand and their products without actually asking people to buy things.

Steve Madden is KING at using Instagram. They post at least one picture a day, and they have over 265,000 followers! It is amazing to me that they can reach such a large audience through using pictures alone!  Pictures are a great way to communicate with an audience, I would put it in the top communication tools for engaging your audience.

What I like most about Steve Madden’s Instagram use is that it is not only pictures of their products. A good amount of the time pictures are posted of their employees having a good time at work. Which looks awesome by the way (hire me!) In all seriousness though, if they only posted pictures of shoes, purses and clothes I think it would get a little boring and old; even with as much as I love shoes. I think the showing of fun work pictures makes the brand look “real” and you know that Steve Madden is full of “real people” and not just a website to order shoes from.steve

Now, in regards to the pictures they do post with shoes, I am just slightly obsessed. Then again, I may be biased being a shoe loving girl. In communication terms, I think it is a great way to communicate new and upcoming shoe releases with the audience. It is a great way to have the audience aware of what is going on with the brand. As well, I think it is almost subliminal selling. When we see pictures of things we like, we are more likely to follow through to the site to buy them.

Steve Madden also promotes their hash tag #MADDABOUTIT, which promotes followers to upload pictures of themselves wearing Steve Madden items then hash tag the picture. I think this is a really smart way to get followers to not only wear the brand (WOOH! more marketing), but it is also a great way engage the followers. It is always more fun to be involved then to just sit and look at pictures. Also, it gives a chance for a shout out when Steve Madden sees your photo and hash tag. Now they are connected with Twitter too.

I guess the only downfall of Instagram I can find, is that they are not reaching people who do not own smart phones (which I am sure is not that many people). All in all, I think that Steve Madden utilizes Instagram in the perfect way. The mixture of products and people make it more enjoyable for the audience, and make them seem real.

Cole is Raising aWEARness

When it comes to social media there are always those fine lines about what is going over board or not. It is no surprise that many brands (that are not news sources anyway) tend to steer clear of anything political or news related in their social media sites. However, Kenneth Cole is quite the opposite. He is one for raising awareness, support and including the news in his advertisement campaigns and his social media sites.

In the past this has been a bit of a problem for Cole and his brand. In 2011, he used the political up rise in Cairo to promote his new spring collection through Twitter. It created an automatic backlash from his followers, and led to a public apology from Cole. His crisis management team was in full swing after this mistake!2011-02-03-kennethcole2

Besides that one instance, I must admit I do usually like Cole’s play on words in his advertisements to raise awareness for certain issues. Cole even has his own website to raise awareness (awearness.com) which “promotes, encourages and inspires meaningful change, and supports like-minded individuals and organizations to make a difference.”

Still to this day Cole is using social media to support his cause. On February 6th, @KennethColePrd sent out a tweet that said, for every person to re-tweet or use the hash tag, #KCRUNWAY, they will donate $1 to amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research).


I really like how Cole has stuck true to his cause and is still finding innovative ways to raise awareness. It was a great use of Twitter on his part in efforts to engage his audience. I also personally think it is great to see that the Kenneth Cole brand is being socially responsible and taking part in philanthropy.

So for me anyway, Kenneth Cole is the perfect example of a brand that used social media the wrong way (as seen through the Cairo tweet), but has then been able to turn it around to bring good attention to their brand. Besides that one tweet, Cole does a great job of linking his brand to charity. In the end, even after the mistake in 2011, I really like what Cole has done here with his advertisements and his tweets. He has won me over!

Marc Jacobs is Keepin’ it LIVE

With New York Fashion Week in full swing my social media sites have been going crazy. There are multiple posts every hour on Twitter, new pictures of runway shows on Instagram and continuous Facebook status updates. Obviously, not everyone can make it to Fashion Week, so it is a little disappointing for us fashion lovers having to wait until after the show to see all the season’s new looks. I know I would love to have seats at one of the shows and be able to watch it firsthand!

Marc Jacobs really hit the nail on the head this Fashion Week. He had a live stream tonight of his runway show. He marketed his live show through e-mail lists. Everyone who was subscribed to Marc Jacobs e-mail list received an e-mail earlier this evening with a direct link to watch the show live. Included in the e-mail was a Twitter handle and hashtag, that allowed for viewers to talk about the show while it was happening.

This was such a smart move on Marc Jacobs’ part to keep his audience engaged. It is such a great way to get Marc Jacob’s audience involved in Fashion Week, especially when most people would love to actually be in New York to see the show. On top of it, other fashion heads in the world, like Vogue, are tweeting about Marc Jacobs live show with the hashtag that was given in the e-mail.

This really set Marc Jacobs apart from other designers showing their collections during Fashion Week. Most designers’ collections are shown after their show is presented during the week. So instead of having their audience anxiously await the reveal, Marc Jacobs was able to present their creative runway show and new clothes as it happened.

Now I feel like most people would not consider e-mail as a way to market an event or product. However, in today’s age, technology plays a huge role, and I feel like everyone I know is constantly glued to their phone. If you are like me, you get e-mail updates sent straight to your phone too. So I was able to hear about the live show and then stream it straight to my smart phone. On top of that it was made more interactive with the specific hashtag.

All I have to say is, good job to Marc Jacobs in reaching their audience and letting us actually watch the show as it happened (such a luxury)!



Pinterest has been an interesting tool in social media. As a relatively new online site, I feel that it has grown a large amount over the past year or two. What I find most interesting about Pinterest is that is relies on pictures, while Facebook and Twitter are more reliant on “word updates”.

Bloomingdale’s has by far utilized every aspect of Pinterest that they can in order to make it an interactive site with the brand. They have 70 boards with over 22,000 pins all showing items that they have in stores and online. I guess the real question would be then, why would they need followers on Pinterest if people can just shop the looks online or in stores? My response to that would be to create more customer engagement.

What I like most about Bloomingdales’ boards is that they are all easily identified. For example, they have a board specifically labeled “dresses”, “nails” and “sneakers”. As well, they have some exciting boards which help followers apply the looks to real life. Check out their “Street Style” board to see how to wear their looks every day. To keep it interesting Bloomingdale’s also has boards dedicated to designers, food, art and good advice.boards

Not only do they use it just to post pictures, but they use it to engage their customers by creating contests. In 2012 Bloomingdale’s held a Theory Pinterest Sweepstakes where applicants had the chance to win their favorite item from Theory. All they had to do was go to Bloomindales’ Theory Board, repin their favorite picture with a unique caption and include #bloomingdalestheory.

I personally think this is a really smart way for a brand to use Pinterest. Bloomingdale’s used it as away to connect to their customers, not just another way to showcase what they already have. With only 37 stores, this is a great way to keep current customers happy and a way to generate new customers.

Bloomingdale’s currently has over 40,000 followers on Pinterest. They found a way to truly master the use of Pinterest by keeping their boards interesting and exciting and not just solely based around clothes. On top of it, they found creative ways, like contests, to make Pinterest interactive for them and their customers. Good job Bloomindale’s…Keep it up!

Comm 3334 Comments

1. 2/5/2013 “I really enjoy the comparison between food and fashion! What an interesting take on fashion, food and art!”

2. 2/7/2013 “I really like the floral print ones. They’re really unique and I think they would be a great statement piece to any outfit!”

3. 2/11/2013 “I am really surprised that so many designers were using Pantone’s 2012 color of the year instead of this year’s color.”

4. 2/13/2013 “It was a good call on their part to respond in the way that they did. It could have easily turned into a problem like the Applebee’s server. I think that Subway used social media in the right way to respond to this problem, and by ensuring their customers that they will make new standards for their food.”


5. 2/26/2013 “Awesome tips. I am always traveling back and forth from school in Ohio to home in NY, so I have tried to master light packing as well. I have found that making sure you pick a smaller suitcase really keeps you from overpacking! Also, I like how you kept true to the weather, that makes it alot easier to make sure you don’t pack things you won’t use or need.”


6. 3/8/2013 “I love rugelach more than anything! It’s funny being from NY, I feel that this is a normal dessert but I don’t know if anyone here in Ohio knows what it is. Also, I think its interesting how far this “salted caramel fad” is going. I have literally seen salted caramel everything and I love it, just as much as I love rugelach. I cannot wait to try this recipe and see if my friends like it too.”


7. 3/27/2013 “To me what it seems like is that there is no internal communication within the brand. The fact that two different people released to completely contradictory statements proves that. There is no reason for a mistake like that to be occuring, if their objectives are discussed before any public statements.Great article, it was really interesting to see how they try to target their audiences.”


8. 4/5/2013 “I think at first glance the punishment may seem a little harsh. But then again, if he had is iPad or some form of electronics to take the photo then who knows if he was cheating. That is the problem with social media too, everyone knows your business and you can easily incriminate yourself. It just goes to show you that nothing online is private.”


9. 4/8/2013 “I really enjoyed this post. It hits very close to home for me since that I am graduating from college in a month. Right now it feels like I have to give my life away to student loans or a future job, but I guess you can’t control that. So the whole point is to live and be happy and enjoy what you have, right? In that case, I have a beautiful black cat named Jeter that I love and an amazing supportive family. So push through and take what you want and need to make you happy!”


10. 4/10/13 “I really enjoyed this post. To think that boredom is good for you. In fact that is a really good come back to parents when they tell you that you should not be bored. Then again, how creative will boredom actually make you? In my moments of boredom I succumb to taking a nap. Maybe it is because I am in school and I work and I am involved in organizations so I appreciate a moment of nothing to do. Maybe boredom is better for children who have time to be creative. When I’m bored, I just want to relax!”