Last Autumn, we were asked to put Cotton Traders’ upcoming Spring collection front and foremost in the minds of journalists and fashion influencers to earn valuable column inches for the brand, all while navigating the challenges of a second national lockdown which rendered in-person events impossible. The resulting digital press day was such a hit with the media, that even with lockdown easing in Spring 21, Cotton Traders were keen to build on this digital format to tease their upcoming AW21 line. Carousel were tasked with attracting high-profile broadcast, national and lifestyle media to the event to boost brand exposure through coverage in key titles, but also wanted to take this as an opportunity to build stronger connections with Cotton Traders’ social media fanbase.
Understanding that today’s journalists are overrun by Zoom invites competing for attention in their busy schedules, we knew it would take a special event to warrant their attendance and earn our client vital coverage hits.
First, we hired out a bespoke studio space and styled it with mannequins and display units to showcase the Cotton Traders collection in a way that would draw attention on camera. We then partnered with the live broadcast experts at Manchester’s Finest to deliver a premium live-stream, to stand out from the crowd. After all, nobody enjoys watching a poorly-lit front room demo over a crackly home broadband connection!
Next, we enlisted long-time Cotton Traders model Ali Bailey to co-host the event alongside Cotton Traders’ charismatic stylist Julie Dickson. The pairing gave a recognisable, friendly and knowledgeable face to the brand, and allowed us to craft a natural dialogue around the upcoming Cotton Traders range to keep viewers engaged throughout the half-hour broadcast. With both also having an active Instagram presence, this also enabled us to tap into an existing social media audience and spread the word to fans at home in the run-up to the event.
Meanwhile, to drive excitement and engagement among Cotton Traders’ social media fanbase, we created an event listing and shared a series of announcement posts and Stories, using targeted ad spend to maximise exposure amongst the target market.
We used our strong relationships with national press and fashion influencers to attract an enviable guest list for the event. Then on the morning of the event, we delivered the AW21 lookbook and a breakfast care package including pastries, coffee and orange juice straight to attendees’ doors to brighten up their morning and remind them to tune in, since social distancing shouldn’t have to mean missing out on the extra perks of a great press event!
On the day, Ali and Julie welcomed attendees to a live Zoom stream where they talked through a pre-planned list of key looks for the AW21 season, with multiple camera angles used to better highlight key features of the new collection and ensure they delivered impact when viewed on screen. We also delivered live updates to the presenters via earpiece to ensure they could answer press questions in real-time.
With the press preview over, the action switched to a consumer-facing Facebook Live stream, with Ali and Julie chatting consumers through the most coveted pieces from the upcoming collection, offering styling tips and answering viewers’ questions. Throughout the broadcast, we shared question prompts and responded to fan comments to fuel further engagement, and used ad spend to maximise views both during and after the event.
The latest Cotton Traders virtual press day delivered strong results for the brand in terms of both press attendee feedback and social media customer engagement.
The press preview portion of the day attracted attendees from leading titles including Good Morning Britain, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail and The Independent as well as a number of stylish Instagram influencers including Forty Not Frumpy and Scot Style Editor. Feedback from attendees was highly complimentary, with OK!’s Lauren Goodwin saying “Thanks so much for showing us the new collection, some gorgeous pieces in there. Customers & our readers are going to love it I’m sure.” Freelance stylist Wendy Rigg also commented, “It’s great to hear you both talk so knowledgeably about the clothes - really gives clear picture.”
Likewise on social media, the event significantly exceeded targets, delivering over 18,000 video views and 1,300 fan engagements. Customers on the brand’s Facebook channel were also quick to praise the new collection and share their excitement ahead of it launching, with one commenting “Brilliant new collection, I can’t wait to buy them online,” and another mentioning, “Love the star sweatshirt. I’ve told my OH I want it for Christmas.”