How the Tommy x Gigi Carnival Conquered Social Media at NYFW

There was a carnival, there was a pack of model It girls, there was Taylor Swift. The Tommy x Gigi shindig was everything you'd expect from a social media nuclear bomb.

Let's get into it


Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid together are a force to be reckoned with. They teamed up last season, planting the Tommy x Gigi seed by announcing the collection on their Instagram, as she proceeded to headline their NYFW catwalk and take over their Snapchat account leading up to the show.

They promised an affair to remember, and they did not disappoint. Thanks to the gajillion pieces of social media content, everyone has likely been made aware of the fact that their New York fashion week runway show last Friday was anything but tame. Show-goers were treated to a full-fledged carnival scene upon crossing the South Street Seaport entrance.

One thing's for certain, the entertainment was not remiss. While all the pomp and circumstance amused the very high profile guests, we couldn't help but ask the question that most all marketers were secretly posing themselves: what kind of return is Tommy Hilfiger (the brand) getting on this presumably excruciatingly steep investment - aside from brand equity with a whole new generation of kids?

Wow. BARBIE in @TOMMYxGIGI. What a dream.

A photo posted by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

Talking 'Bout My [Social Media] Generation

Tommy Hilfiger (the man) built his fashion empire on classic American style, which only makes the choice of golden all-American bombshell Gigi more fitting, never mind the fact that she's a bonafide millennial and gen Z idol. Basically the ideal person to lead the brand's transition into a new era.

Having been ahead of the social media curve within the fashion industry for some time by staging NYFW shows expressly for influencers, the brand's events are built for social. However, last Friday's carnival-themed fashion show totally exceeded anything they'd done in the past.

Sure, it was a playground for all the bloggers and celebs in attendance (fashion insiders, too, even if they were clearly not top of mind), but the major differentiating factor this season was the see now buy now fashion show model, as well as the fact that the carnival was going to remain open to consumers the following day.

While we can't speak to sales - although a lot of items have sold out - we can certainly speak to Instagram! What kind of value did this mega production bring in terms of cold hard data? Is Gigi really worth her weight in gold when it comes to social leverage? We measured it, naturally.

Results, Results, Results

We dug into the @tommyhilfiger Instagram account and all primary KPI metrics - engagement rate, organic reach and follower growth - to measure the results of this major marketing effort.

Let's observe.

The @tommyhilfiger account had a huge spike in followers over the course of two days around the show. With all the influencers there contributing to the social media exposure, this doesn't exactly come as a surprise. While they typically average out at a under 4K new followers per day, the Tommy x Gigi carnival helped the account add over 39K new followers in a single day.
Tommy Hilfiger Gigi Hadid nyfw carnival Instagram marketing

All of @tommyhilfiger's fashion show-related Instagram posts performed higher than their average engagement rate. Because golden girl = golden Instagram stats.
Tommy Hilfiger Gigi Hadid nyfw carnival Instagram marketing top posts

The earned reach of Tommy Hilfiger's account over the two day period around the show - 9/9 and 9/10 - was beyond impressive: a grand total of 3,436 posts provided them with almost 200 million organic impressions. Now that's UGC.
Tommy Hilfiger Gigi Hadid nyfw carnival Instagram marketing organic reach metric KPI.jpg

The most influential post of the night, aka the one that garnered the most likes and the highest reach, belonged to the queen of the hour, @gigihadid herself.
Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid most liked photo of the night

Something surprising (or not) is that while @tommyhilfiger's highest engaged-around post of all time is their tribute to the Paris attacks, their top 3 following that are all posts featuring Gigi Hadid, proving that she is an excellent brand fit. Well chosen, Tommy sir!
Tommy Hilfiger Gigi Hadid NYFW carnival Instagram marketing most engagement of all time.jpg

Without a shadow of a doubt, this event was a huge monetary investment for the Tommy Hilfiger brand, but it was also a gargantuan marketing win. In this day and age, affairs like these are the kind that keep brands buzzed about and relevant. For Tommy, making the label feel fresh in order to introduce it to an entire new category of clientele that would likely otherwise not be aware, nor interested in it, was also essential.

Deploying so many resources for a single event was certainly a gamble, but the risk paid off: you can't argue with cold, hard data. But after all of this, there's one last question that lingers: how does Tommy Hilfiger (the man and the brand) surpass itself in the next go-round?

Do you find these results to be surprising or expected?


Are you a marketer looking for this kind of granular data for your brand? Get in touch with us and it'll be our pleasure to chat!