The Balmain x H&M collection reached 93,000 Twitter mentions and 312 million total impressions weeks before its IRL debut. To fully leverage (and justify) the fanfare, MI&C reinvented the social conversation around the runway show, arranging for complete, multi-platform live coverage and utmost cultural impact through social media channels. For each piece of native social content that we created, our goal was to organically grow word-of-mouth and digital PR, while driving digital interactions with the brand.
Just as H&M democratized high-fashion, MI&C had to democratize the viewing of its biggest annual fashion show. We developed a multi-platform social strategy and created native assets, tailored to the best practices and creative strengths of each platform.
We used the Periscope mobile livestreaming app to broadcast the Balmain x H&M entertainment experience, which included live dancers, the fashion show, and a surprise performance by the Backstreet Boys. We also enabled live commenting and dynamic hosting through the commenting feature, allowing thousands of fans to broadcast their comments on-screen and responding in real-time from H&M Periscope host handles.
As a storytelling platform, Periscope fully aligns with H&M’s of-the-moment fashion culture, though it also came with technical limitations: streams disappear after 24 hours; the live format doesn’t allow for real-time editing; comments from viewers are broadcast live without moderation. Embracing these strengths and challenges, we created the first multi-cam Periscope experience, inviting users to toggle between 2 different cameras and Periscope accounts, so they could choose the content they found most interesting—from red carpet, backstage, dance performances, to various views of the main runway show and Backstreet Boys performance.
Our audience was first introduced to Olivier Rousteing, Balmain’s Creative Director, and was then lead to the red carpet, backstage area, and finally to the runway. Throughout this main thread, they could choose between different first-person VIP views on the action, and whenever one camera was transitioning or moving, the other would be featuring a show highlight. This told the story of the Balmain x H&M debut in a chronology that framed the runway show as its final crescendo. We hosted this experience through the commenting feature, letting everyone know when we were about to go backstage, move the cameras, say hi to top models, and providing a countdown to the runway show. We also addressed any user questions in real-time.
We arranged cue cards (i.e. “wave to audience,” “smile to camera”) to guide red carpet celebrities, models, and front row fashion influencers, encouraging them to interact with Periscope cameras and break the 4th wall to address our live audience. A smooth, cinematic experience was achieved using innovative camera techniques, jibs, mobile lights, and handheld stabilizers—creating the best possible shots and transitions, given the limits of the Periscope app. We had a total of 24,435 live viewers, with 6.5 minutes average Periscope viewing time.
H&M Balmain was featured in Twitter Moments, which curates trending content by the Twitter Fashion team. These instantly editorialized, tagged live posts reported the event in real time. These editorial features were strategically packaged by MI&C through a partnership with Twittter. We made Twitter Mirrors available to all models backstage, and optimized the backstage and red carpet areas for making Twitter Mirror content (GIF selfies). The Backstage Twitter Mirror generated impactful content featuring top models (including Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss) and produced numerous retweets of content including from @Twitter Fashion (2.18 million followers). 1,482 Retweets; 3,933 Twitter Favorites
3. SnapchatMI&C created best practices, tone of voice, and art direction for H&M’s SnapChat content. We liaised with the SnapChat Live Stories team to ensure they were aware of the event and influencers attending, resulting in 4 Balmain x H&M SnapChat stories being featured in the New York Live Story that night. We earned editorial placement organically, generating a huge earned media reach through Snapchat. Estimated reach of 3.2 million, over 24 hours
4. Youtube MI&C produced, delivered and posted an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) overnight to take advantage of the PR buzz and to provide the public with premium content reflecting the quality of the event itself. All footage was edited overnight to produce premium brand-ready assets for the news outlets and for user views on YouTube. We had to beat the next day’s news cycle to sustain the conversation around the event and receive top coverage. 97,779 YouTube views
5. InstagramMI&C created short form video assets for Instagram, on the night of the event, to sustain the energy and conversation happening around the Balmain x H&M runway event. These Instagram assets were concepted to reflect the futuristic “music video” look and feel of the event, with graphic elements and dynamic transitions that reflected the collection. 222.2K Instagram Likes; 2,915 Instagram Comments