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Fashion and Food in marketing

June 9, 2013

When the video for the Feasting on Fashion campaign in Schön! above arrived in my inbox I was transfixed. It’s shot so stylishly, and I couldn’t help but admire the skill of the crew for not getting those expensive clothes covered in any number of oozing, gooey or splattering food and drink. The team behind the shoot were  Dionne Loftus and Frankie Pike, Dionne directing and editing and Pike on photography while styling credits go to Tomas. C. Toth.

Fashion and food seem to be a combination that’s in vogue. Harrods ran a digital campaign towards the end of last year which saw fine food and designer clothing sharing space on their website’s homepage. The stunning shots named were set in various Harrods’ cafes including The Georgian Restaurant, Ladurée and the Ice Cream Parlour.

Harrods fashion and food

Harrods fashion and food

harrods-fashion-food-digital-campaign-600x325

The difference between this and the Schön! version is the calibre of the foodstuffs used, but the execution is not too dissimilar, particularly in video format. For Harrods of course there is a commercial benefit. If those customers who come into store after seeing the campaign are more likely to then eat in a cafe or buy food from the food hall then they’ve successfully killed two birds with one stone.

These executions are very literal, but plenty of retailers who sell both fashion and food are recognising that they can tap into the customer mindset and promote both at once. The retailer wants to sell you the dress to host the garden party, but also the food and wine to serve, the table and chairs to sit on etc. If you get the mindset right then the rewards from add-on sales can be great. Why let the customer go elsewhere when you sell the goods they’re looking for? The downside is that you can’t cover all customers at once. The mindset for a particular segment of your market may be one thing but another may be thinking about something completely different. The key is in knowing where the biggest wins are and not alienating those that don’t quite fit.

I wonder if we will tire of this approach in time as more and more retailers all clamber to market to us in this way. For example, I don’t like tennis and, even if I did, a hundred emails telling me why I should buy white clothes because some pro athletes at Wimbledon are wearing white to work… well that doesn’t really make me want to buy. What about you?

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