Tag Archives: fashionista

Barbie heads to Selfridges for a makeover

6 Aug

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Barbie might have turned 54 this year, but she’s still got the looks to turn heads, thanks to department store Selfridges which has invited four designers to give her a makeover to celebrate its new concession in London.

Fred Butler, Nasir Mazhar and Sister by Sibling have designed four dolls – each which will become collectors’ items when sold in store later this year.

It’s a nice approach because although Barbie’s been transformed before – by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin and Chanel – every makeover has a different personality. Although this time the whole campaign doesn’t have the ‘wow’ factor.

To add value to the launch, I would’ve liked Selfridges collaborate with Mattel to do the following:

1. Window shopping
I’m sure Selfridges will be using its iconic shop windows to house a creative and colourful display to draw attention to the fact that Barbie’s in town. But the brand could go one step further and commission life-sized Barbie mannequins to sit in the designers’ fashion houses to promote the partnership.

2. Competition time
Barbie’s one of the few brands whose popularity is multi-generational. To capitalise on this, I would’ve launched a competition for the public to design their own outfit for Barbie – even securing the backing of the London College of Fashion to guarantee entries.

The winning outfits could then be sold in store for dolls and fashionistas.

3. Catwalk models
To drum up interest about the new department, Selfridges could also host an in-store VIP party for fashion bloggers, journalists and industry influencers. With models taking to a catwalk wearing the limited edition Barbie collection; experts hosting make-up demonstrations; designers sharing fashion tips; and a special guest from Mattel to share Barbie’s story, there’s lots of content there raise awareness.

Anyone who’s anyone had a Barbie when they were growing up. She’s a global brand and there’s so much scope to establish an integrated marketing, PR and social media campaign to benefit both parties.

With the department here to stay, it doesn’t need to happen at once either – drip feeding the activity would ensure talk-ability about the campaign throughout the year.

Right, that’s Barbie sorted. How can I help you Ken?

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A&F bans black clothing for attention

10 Jul

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If there’s one thing that all women agree on, it’s the colour black. It’s universally flattering. So, why has designer brand Abercrombie & Fitch banned it from all its stores?

The fashion outlet has announced that it’s no longer selling any black garments and its employees – including those based at its Ohio head office – are not allowed to turn up to work in it. Even black winter coats are frowned upon, leaving men and women across the country scurrying around for a new wardrobe.

Abercrombie thinks black is too formal and that’s not what it wants to be associated with. So it’s taken the decision on itself – without any research of feedback from its customers to back it up – suggesting that this is just a marketing and PR stunt, with not much substance behind it.

Journalist Ashley Lutz from Business Insider online suggests that the brand is chasing its ideal and preferred American sweetheart customer which is a tall, slim and pretty with an outgoing attitude. And its ban on black is just one step closer to targeting, and attracting, this type of person into its stores.

There’s a flurry of links to the news story which has been picked up by key websites such as MSN and The Drum. But other than that Michael Jeffries, Abercrombie’s CEO, has slipped his latest guidelines under the radar.

I’m no fashionista (however hard I try) but black is classic, not formal. And this isn’t a successful strategy, it’s a cry for attention.

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Is Dulux’s campaign a bit dry?

7 Feb

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It’s safe to say that PRs are a tough bunch that can promote anything: people, places, things. Essentially, we’ll try and get coverage for any noun – and that now includes colours.

Dulux’s campaign, featuring Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts promoting Indigo Night, its shade of year, launched a couple of weeks ago and has so far secured some great coverage, including: The Sun, Daily Mail and Grazia Daily.

You can argue that the campaign’s got credibility: a group of colour and trend experts got together and predicted that this rich indigo colour would take the year by storm and appear on every wall in the country (sort of).

But, in spite of securing plenty of coverage across national and consumer press, it’s always productive to highlight areas of improvement. After all, there’s always next year!

Rather than a series of ‘boring’ analysts that no journalist felt was worth naming, Dulux should have considered a consumer poll. Yes – the papers are saturated with research stories but that can only mean one thing. Journalists enjoy writing about them and we still enjoying reading them.

This data – focused on consumers’ decorating habits, how they choose colours and their preference of hues for different rooms etc – would’ve not only provided Dulux with a series of news hooks to drip feed throughout the year, but also invited the need for experts to comment on the findings (roll out interior designers and fashionistas etc).

The campaign could’ve also avoided being a ‘one-hit’ wonder by showcasing four colours to take consumers through the year – backed by four celebrities. Sensual Indigo Night to take us through winter, Duck Egg Blue for spring… You see where I’m going through this. Why stop at one spike of coverage?

Lastly, a PR stunt involving Nicola (chosen for her elegance, strength and quiet confidence) could’ve tied into the campaign giving Dulux a ‘big reveal’ story by launching at high-profile events, such as the Ideal Home Show or Grand Designs Live later in the year.

Now, I’ve had my 2p worth. I just need to wait for Dulux’s call because obviously they’ll want to work with me next time.

Have I missed anything? What are your ideas?

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