Victoria's Secret selfie campaign marries millennial interests

Victoria's Secret has joined other retailers hosting mobile marketing campaigns that marry two features meant to pique shoppers' self-interest: discounts and selfies.

The intimate apparel retailer is urging shoppers to take a selfie in a store, share it on social media, and then present the final image to an associate to receive a free gift. It's part of a promotional campaign for a new fragrance meant to drive store traffic and create user-generated content.

Stores have posted stickers on mirrors encouraging shoppers to grab an item such as a bottle of Tease perfume, now heavily promoted, and take a selfie. It's a great way to engage shoppers and produce more user-generated content for social media feeds. Selfies need to be shared on Instagram with the appropriate hashtag and shown to a store employee in order for shoppers to get a free gift for their efforts.

"In-store selfies tied to social media are a great way for retailers to drive traffic to their stores and engage shoppers," Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners told Mobile Commerce Daily. "Selfies have become a hot trend among the younger generations and they present opportunities for retailers to leverage this fascination to connect with their customers in an entertaining way.

Merchants and brands continue to find new ways to put the smartphone camera to good use. Victoria's Secret in particular has run a series of promotions around selfies, even getting its models (Victoria's Secret Angels) to offer tips on how how to take a good selfie. In March, the retailer offered free selfie sticks to the first 50 customers that showed up to stores.

In July, MasterCard said it was testing facial recognition technology as means to validate purchases, both in-store and online. The effort could be a win-win on a couple of different fronts as a selfie for security helps ease shoppers fear of fraud and taking selfies is a natural thing for the younger generation.

Is all this just another bid for millennial business? It had better not be, warn marketing experts. Cynical millennials can usually see that coming from a mile away. Each effort should offer some value to the shopper—a discount, free gift or improved security—or the program will fall flat.  

For more:
-See this In Style article
-See this Mobile Commerce Daily story

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