To generate buzz for its London Fashion Week activities, Topshop partnered with Google+ to mount a daring interactive campaign that blurred the line between real-world and online happenings. By giving fashion-forward fans unprecedented access to behind-the-scenes footage and offering exclusive peeks into the lives of designers and models, Topshop invited users to be a part of the action. This democratic approach was an instant success, garnering hundreds of press mentions and millions of views across all platforms.
Engage with a community of fans through interactive Google+ hangouts
Offer an excusive mobile app that allows users to build and share their own collections
Build online and print publicity for London Fashion Week events
Increase brand awareness
4 million views across all platforms
Google+ posts viewed over 400,000 times, a 400% increase
More than 400 press mentions
Majoring in up-to-the-minute affordable style, Topshop's brave and irreverent approach has endeared the brand to fashion-conscious shoppers and industry insiders alike. In part, its incredible popularity stems from an unusual ability to straddle the gap between high street and high fashion. In creating excitement around its London Fashion Week activities, Topshop partnered with Google+ and unleashed a series of inventive online happenings that both grabbed headlines and stimulated deep engagement with its audience. Google+ features enabled not only widespread reach and unrivalled opportunities for broadcast, but they also paved the way for unique, individual, interactive communication with and among fans — a compelling combination that no other social platform could provide.
Through its The Future of the Fashion Show programme on Google+, Topshop truly democratised its highly anticipated AW13 London Fashion Week show. This included a series of backstage and red carpet hangouts, a Google+ catwalk photo booth in the flagship store and a fashion hangout app. Google+ users enjoyed access to not only Topshop's creative director and head of design, but to top models Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Rosie Tapner and Ashleigh Good.
Setting the trend through innovative creative executions
Be The Model
This component afforded a rare opportunity for fans to get a model's-eye view of the thrill of a fashion show. Top models Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Rosie Tapner and Ashleigh Good guided their G+ followers through London Fashion Week with exclusive content on their G+ streams. At the Topshop fashion show, they wore HD micro cameras — "model cams" — so online viewers could see and feel what models experience as they stride down the runway. Meanwhile at the Oxford Street flagship, fans could also experience their own first catwalk. The store housed a special Google+ booth where customers could try on their favourite outfits. From the booth, an animated picture was instantly uploaded to the Topshop's Be the Model Google+ event page, merging the offline and online experience. Even outside the store the Google+ action created a buzz, as store windows displayed the trailer and live hangouts taking place during the week.
Be Part of the Team
Through an exclusive hangout on air, users could access what was happening behind the scenes at Topshop's headquarters. This featured a host of fashion insiders: Kate Phelan (Topshop Creative Director), Emma Farrow (Topshop Head of Design), Hannah Murray (international make-up artist), Beth Fenton (show stylist), Rosie Vogel (casting director), Tanya Burr (beauty blogger), Emma Elwick (Vogue Market Editor), Donna Wallace (Elle Accessories Editor) and Mary-Kate Steinmiller (Teen Vogue Market Fashion Editor). Two lucky Topshop fans were allowed to post questions to the stylists as they applied their finishing touches to the fashion collection, just before the start of the show.
Be the Front Row Fashionista
An exclusive red carpet hangout on air on the day of the show allowed viewers to get a unique perspective from the front row, witnessing the arrival of leading editors and celebrities such as Kate Bosworth, One Direction star Louis Tomlinson and Pixie Geldolf. Fashion editor Melanie Rickey moderated, while Chiara Ferragni — aka the Blonde Salad — managed backstage access and interviews. The hotly anticipated show was streamed on Topshop.com, in Topshop's Oxford Circus store and on all of Google's platforms through a special customised YouTube gadget.
Be The Buyer
For the first time in fashion history, a hangout app enabled users to pick and choose their favourite items and share them with friends on Google+. Topshop chose the best fashion collection from among these and awarded one stylish winner a free shopping spree. The hangout app was exhaustively promoted on Topshop's homepage showing a leaderboard that dynamically ranked the most popular of all the shared items.
Captivating content produces outstanding results
London Fashion Week is about generating press, and Topshop's The Future of the Fashion Show programme did just that. Within just a few hours of launching, the partnership was picked up by Vogue, The Telegraph and the most credible outlet in the industry, Business Of Fashion. There were well over 400 press mentions, with headlines such as "Will Topshop and Google change fashion shows for ever?" (the Guardian), "Topshop Reinvents The Fashion Show" (Elle) and "London Fashion Week Goes Digital" (CNN).
The activity garnered 4 million views across all platforms, with 2.5 million from YouTube. The red carpet hangout proved especially successful, logging 7,500 live views . The booth at Topshop's Oxford Street store generated over 600 animated photos, and the hangout app produced superb engagement: on average users spent 11 minutes interacting with it and more than 52% reshared it.
Thanks to these captivating online and offline components, Google+ posts were viewed over 400,000 times. Compared to the pre-London Fashion Week average weekly view figure of 77,000, this represented an increase of more than 400% . Comments increased by 340% per day; shares increased by 275% per day and +1s increased by over 400% per day.
Topshop CMO Justin Cooke is candid in outlining the factors that contributed to the programme's success. First of all, he points to the distinctive user base of Google+. "The users that are on Google+ are incredibly in-depth users," he observes. "If you look at the comments that people post it's not just "óHey, this is cool.' They have really strong opinions. It's the fastest growing social platform ever. You've got people on there that are ahead of the game."
The success metrics prove that this deeply engaged audience is hungry for the kind of high quality content that Topshop produced. The brand saw 300,000 new followers on Google+ in the two weeks around London Fashion Week (versus 17,000 in Facebook and 12,000 in Twitter), and models Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevingne went from zero followers to more than 50,000 Google+ fans in the same period.
Justin also found the platform's emphasis on rich media a perfect fit for conveying Topshop's subject matter. "Google+ is an amazing channel. It very beautiful and it's a very rich environment. It makes content look beautiful and the fashion content is very rich in imaging."
Finally, the convergence of multiple technologies in Google+ enabled Topshop to make a serious impact and stimulate fans in entirely new ways. "The guys at Google are incredible. The insights that they have on the way people interact with content at different times and moments and environments are phenomenal," he says. "I love the idea that Google has all these platforms around it and you can connect the dots between all of them. Google+ is the connective tissue between every aspect of Google. We tried to create something that used all the moments around a show and let them live across all of these aspects of Google."
The users that are on Google+ are incredibly in-depth users. It's the fastest growing social platform ever. You've got people on there that are ahead of the game.
— Justin Cooke, CMO, Topshop