Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition puts spotlight on digital, social
- Sports Illustrated has a variety of social media and digital tie-ins around the latest version of its annual swimsuit edition, per a Time Inc. press release.
- Those rollout for this year's issue includes over one dozen Facebook Live shows, a Snapchat Global Live story about the models, a partnership with Giphy to create hundreds of searchable GIFs, exclusive YouTube influencer videos and exclusive Instagram videos.
- The campaign also includes partnerships with Time's Instagram community devoted to authenticity, @WomenIRL, and with Health.com in an effort called "What I Model," which will include user-generated video content submitted under the hashtags #WhatIModel and #LoveYourSwimsuit.
The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has been making a splash on its own for years, but, for 2017, Time Inc. is adopting some of the trendier tactics around real-time marketing, especially with the behind-the-scenes live streaming video and the tapping of apps like Snapchat and Instagram.
It's no secret that print media has lost a bit of its luster and popularity in recent years, so the publisher is smart to put an emphasis on digital as much as anything to extend the reach of its latest edition. Younger readers who aren't necessarily going to pick up the magazine on a newsstand might be enticed by a Facebook Live broadcast of the shoot or from stumbling on the Snap story; user-generated offerings and the entire "What I Model" component is also a clear effort to expand the issue's appeal past its usual target demographic.
The entire campaign also includes 360-degree video from the photo shoots as well as premium in-app content, adding a layer of interactivity and immersion. The official launch party in New York on Feb. 16 will be live streamed from the red carpet.
Marketers and publishers are finding that real-time strategies and live streaming video, in particular, are often most effective when presented ad hoc, giving audiences a sense of backstage access rather than an overtly scripted, tightly controlled experience. SI’s digital element of the launch checks off all those boxes.