Lord & Taylor paid 50 bloggers to wear the same print handkerchief dress and post photos of themselves wearing it on their Instagram account. The brand wanted to promote it's new Design Lab collection—festival-ready designs a notch or two less boho than Free People.
The scheme worked: The dress sold out in less than a week. Lord & Taylor CMO Michael Crotty tells Yahoo! News:
The goal was to make her stop in her feed and ask why all her favorite bloggers are wearing this dress and what is Design Lab?
The campaign's success underscores the power of the Instagram + fashion bloggers formula. With 300,000 million active users and 25 times higher engagement than any other social media platform, the app's power to sell is becoming obvious to even the least social-savvy brands. And without the ability to link directly to product, campaigns like this (as well as statistics like those produced by Fohr Card), are providing numbers to back up the hype.
UPDATE: However, reports this morning reveal that not one of the 50 bloggers disclosed that the Instagram posts were sponsored, which is required by the FTC (read the rules here). It's shocking, really, that no one at the brand and none of the bloggers would notice the oversight. The rules have existed since 2009 and were strengthened in 2013.
Marketing Land was first to report on the apparent violation, explaining that the FTC demands that disclosure must be “clear and conspicuous.” Lord & Taylor has not yet commented on the debacle, but we'll keep you posted!