Social media craze is present everywhere in our lives. Fashion brands are using every social media channel efficiently for marketing purposes however Gucci took this one step further and launched memes instead of campaign editorials.
The latest trend on internet is memes, relatable and funny posts that address millennials. Gucci hired “international meme creators” and created the collaborative project called #TFWGucci. The Instagram posts had direct reference to popular memes, which made Internet humour lovers “laugh-out-loud” while leaving some of their followers clueless.
For the ones that do not know the Internet slang “TFW” translates to “That feeling when”. #TFWGucci, emphasis on the hashtag, was the campaign for brand’s new luxury watch collection Les Marché Des Merveilles. Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele underlined the brand’s “desire to engage with a wider creative community than that which traditionally locates around the world of fashion”. The meme series created by Insta-famous profiles and graffiti artists included infamous memes such as Arthur and the starter pack. The posts got different feedbacks, while some followers found it “lit” (translates to cool/amazing in meme language) some said it was just like a joke and added that they found it cringe-worthy.
Did Gucci’s attempt to interact with the younger generation work out? In a time where the young generation is struggling to pay loans and buy real estate can a world-known luxury brand sell an 870 dollar watch with memes? Many critics judged Gucci’s marketing strategy pointing that it tries to target the wrong group. The fact that the brand had to explain what a “starter pack” means supports these critics, memes are supposed to be relatable and should speak for theirselves without extra effort.
It is certain that many fashion brands are trying to adapt to the new young Internet culture. In Milan Fashion Week 2017, Dolce & Gabbana dedicated a large part of their casting budget to make influential millennials walk on their runway. These influential millennials are fashion bloggers, Internet personalities and Insta-models that have millions of followers, this was an Insta-bait marketing tactic of the brand. Moreover, March 2017 cover of Vogue Italia featured photos from Steven Meisel’s camera presented in an e-commerce homepage structure. The cover was Vogue Italia’s new editor-in-chief Emanulele Farneti’s first cover and was criticized brutally, many critics found the cover to look “cheap”. Farneti’s intentions were to adapt to this new era of fashion business, the time of the Internet.
Many worldwide known brands are trying to reach the new generation, people of the Internet, with new ways of campaigning. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that they are trying to be relevant as much as possible. However it is a discussion that what kind of profile does this marketing strategy create for these well known luxury brands? When they are trying too hard to be hip they just end up looking like “cool moms” that are trying to get in their teenager daughter’s lives…