Daily Insights

Tommy Tucks Into Social Trends

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Feb 28, 2019

Tommy Hilfiger is tucking into the latest in social media trends: Instagram Stories. The fashion brand announced that it’s launching custom templates for the platform inspired by its new TommyXZendaya line. By promoting the templates via an influencer-led line, here’s how Tommy Hilfiger’s double dose of digital can show off the brand’s best angles.

A top performer in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion Global and on social media, Tommy Hilfiger has a history of weaving influencers into its advertising across all platforms. For example, the brand maintains an influencer-tied YouTube program that puts out videos regularly to its over 60,000 subscribers on the platform and on Facebook. One of these videos in particular features Rafael Nadaal and has garnered 7.6 million views so far, while another with Gigi Hadid raked in a cool 5.5 million views. This success is indicative of the fact that while video advertising can be a huge driver of sales, it can be that much more powerful by a famous face. That said, it makes sense for TH to continue hooking up with influencers such as Zendaya for upcoming collections and in this case, for its new digital push.

Instagram has emerged as the key platform for brands to reach and engage the desirable millennial consumer, a demographic which makes up over half of brand site traffic. While only 35% of US consumers use Instagram, this number climbs to over 65% when looking at consumers under 30. In fact, Instagram accounted for 97% of all social media interactions for brands tracked in Gartner L2’s study in the last year, primarily through influencer-tagged content.

At the same time, brands like Tommy Hilfiger need to tread carefully in influencer-marketing territory. Growing evidence shows that millennial consumers look for authentic content and are less interested in celebrity endorsements. Coinciding with this preference for authenticity in influencer marketing is a shift from top posts featuring fashion show and brand-sponsored events, and moving toward less brand-overt occasions, like charity and award events. The number of brand photoshoot campaigns with influencers in top-engaged posts has declined year over year, signaling increased skepticism and a perception of celebrity endorsements as inauthentic.

Diving into Instagram Stories templates with an influencer-led line is a bold move, but it follows Tommy Hilfiger’s pattern of influencer-led digital initiatives so far. The clothing company may have influencer appeal in the bag, but it needs to ensure that the new templates don’t come off overly branded—an issue that can commonly besmirch brands—in order to maintain authenticity.