Fashion brands are increasing digital spending

Dive Brief:

  • Fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci are shifting marketing dollars from print ads to digital channels such as social media and online advertising, per The Wall Street Journal.
  • The Journal reported fashion brands increased digital ad spending 63% last year compared to 2013, according to Zenith Media. Magazine spending dropped 8% over the same period. Overall print spending well outpaced digital at $2.6 billion last year compared to $1.01 billion for online ads.
  • The trend clearly favors online marketing with François-Henri Pinault, chief executive of luxury conglomerate Kering Co., telling the Journal, “If we were to launch a brand today, all the communication to start would be online.” He also said the company has shifted its communication budget to up to 40% digital compared to up to 20% 18 months ago.

Dive Insight:

The change in how fashion brands are spending marketing dollars potentially could impact fashion magazines beyond the bottom line. Fashion houses and magazines have traditionally held a symbiotic relationship that provided the publishers with a certain amount of influence over the industry. If big luxury brands are able to directly reach an audience through digital advertising, fashion publishers could find that influence waning.

Beyond tapping online advertising channels, fashion brands are also finding value in influencer marketing. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton brought Tribe Dynamics on board to uncover and work with influencers from a spectrum including celebrities as well as people with only a few hundred Instagram followers. The agency uses a metric it dubbed “earned media value” to show LVMH how much it saves on advertising based on influencers talking about its brands.

Fashion and beauty brands have done well on image-focused social media platforms, despite some early wariness about appearing on sites next to advertisements not in keeping with their brand messages. Digital ad spending for fashion brands has been gradually increasing for some time as brands warmed to platforms. The shift away from print may not be complete yet, but the increase over the last few years indicates brands are increasingly more comfortable in advertising channels outside traditional print avenues. 

Filed Under: Social Media Trends
Top image credit: Yongseok Park