H&M Blends Celebrity + Content + Cause

Have you seen the latest H&M campaign for its autumn/winter collection? This time featuring, according to Forbes, the world’s highest-paid model, Brazilian Gisele Bundchen. In a video released in September, Gisele sings the Kinks’  “All Day and All of the Night,” in a retro recording studio, walking the streets of London singing and looking fabulous. The song is available for download at the Swedish retailer’s site www.hm.com  and via iTunes, with emphasis on the humanitarian character of campaign — all proceeds benefit  UNICEF. The idea is also to share Gisele singing aggregated positive feedback from followers as well as her Instagram photos.

Instagram GiseleG Budchen

This is another example of H&M’s PR campaigns featuring celebrity ambassadors, which have been quite successful. The summer collection featuring Beyonce, where the diva plays Mrs. Carter singing “Standing on the Sun,” was a hit, although suspected photoshopping occurred.  However, a February ad with David Beckham, in which the soccer legend runs in his underwear trying to catch a speeding Range Rover to grab the keys (he’s locked-out of his own house), definitely beat the competition. The video directed by Guy Richie has been pronounced by PR Examples among the Top 15 PR campaigns in 2013. It has been featured three times on the Top 10 chart, shared 1.2 million times, and soaked up 53 percent of the shares for the Top 10 Beckham ads.

David Beckham

According to an article on wwd.com “H&M declined to reveal its media spend for the steamy spots but noted that its marketing budget is around 3.5 percent of group sales, excluding VAT. That means in its last fiscal year, H&M would have spent about $621.5 million on marketing.” Quite a budget! Hence, what makes a successful PR campaign? Is the budget that important? Yes, but it is not crucial for big results. Most PR practitioners would agree on common ground, that is to start by conducting primary and secondary research, situation analyses, define objectives, publicity and stakeholders, find your key messages, define strategy, timeframe, budget and methods of evaluation. However, in order for a PR campaign to become successful, it should provide a compelling story, offer  added value, use right visual media, sponsor event or organization, and — hire a celebrity!

Do you think H&M did all of the above? On their website,  they detail how they perceive responsible marketing, defining seven ambitious commitments on sustainability:

1 – Provide fashion for conscious customers

2 – Choose and reward responsible partners

3 – Be ethical

4 – Be climate smart

5 – Reduce, reuse, recycle

6 – Use natural resources responsibly

7 – Strengthen communities

What do you think about their efforts in generating PR campaigns/marketing? What makes them different from their competitors?

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One Response to H&M Blends Celebrity + Content + Cause

  1. Leila O'Hara says:

    I think H&M’s strategy of using celebrities as ambassadors to promote their brand is an effective, albeit expensive strategy. I do not think this strategy is recommendable to all outlets trying to make it in the competitive clothing market. H&M has a massive PR/marketing budget of $621.5 million, a budget which is not attainable for a vast majority of clothing brands. It is arguable that those $621.5 million could go towards more effective marketing strategies, but since I do not have a marketing background, I have only one suggestion. I think something buzzworthy and attention grabbing like a Super Bowl advertisement could be money well spent for H&M.

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