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Macy?s American Rag supports musical content outreach with hashtags, Instagram

Macy?s private label clothing brand American Rag has launched a new music-driven program that includes hashtags, Facebook and Instagram activations for community-building and increasing brand awareness.

The new All Access program is targeted at the brand?s Millennial customers with the goal of providing direct access to exclusive music, videos, contests and in-person appearances by musicians such as rock group We The Kings, which is the first to be featured. Customers will have a chance to win Macy?s gift cards or tickets to see the brand by posting to Instagram and using different hashtags.

?There are two reasons why leveraging hashtags and Instagram for All Access makes sense for Macy's,? said Eric Bader, chief marketing officer of RadiumOne, San Francisco. ?First, they're two major ways that Millennials discover content and second, they give Macy's the best chance to reach Millennials with the type of program ? a contest and a range of content types ? that is usually very hard to promote affordably and effectively through static and more traditional media.?

Mr. Bader is not affiliated with Macy?s and spoke based on his experience.

Macy?s was not able to comment by the press deadline.

Mobile access
Throughout the American Rag All Access campaign, participating artists will create and curate exclusive content for the brand?s digital properties including and its social media channels.

For example, We The Kings will debut new songs for download exclusively on American Rag?s Facebook page as well as on the Web site.

We The Kings will also take over the @raggedmag Instagram account at various moments throughout the campaign.

American Rag, a Millennial apparel line, is also sponsoring We The Kings? tour dates from March 14 to March 29. During each tour stop, attendees will have a chance to win a $50 Macy?s gift card by following @raggedmag on Instagram, posing for a photo and posting it on Instagram with the hashtag #ARAllAccess.

Macy?s is also holding an Instagram contest giving fans a chance to repost the official contest photo posted on Feb. 4 from using the hash-tag #ARAllAccess for an opportunity to win a trip see We The Kings in concert and meet with the band.

Additionally, for two weeks starting on March 31, fans can ?regram? the official contest photo posted on the same day on Instagram with the hashtag #ARAllAccess for a chance to win clothing that We The Kings singer/guitarist Travis Clark wore and autographed during the photo shoot for American Rag?s latest advertising campaign.

Surrounding the consumer
Other elements of the campaign will include an opportunity to listen We The Kings at select Macy?s locations throughout March and the chance to meet the band with any $25 American Rag Juniors or Young Men?s purchase.

To further support the program, the March issue of Ragged Mag will be available for sale at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide for the first time. The band is featured on the cover and members helped curate the issue, which features exclusive behind-the-scenes information and photography.

The campaign is a good example of how hashtags and social media can be incorporated into a broader campaign around driving awareness and engagement with consumers.

?Marketers should recognize that hashtags by nature are not a formal media type, so they need to be planned using some creativity and strategy,? Mr. Bader said. ?Basically, good hashtag targeting is like good keyword targeting in search ? there are opportunities for surrounding the consumer, getting a link directly in front of them, conquesting competitors' terms, and inserting the brand into a relevant conversation.

?But it can go sideways if the hashtags the brand is targeting are sarcastic or negatively intended ? then all of sudden the brand is in territory that's hard to control and correct,? he said.

?Instagram offers good opportunities, but like all social media, the brand needs to offer users/followers benefits and a clear purpose or they'll get a reputation for trying to appropriate a popular meme or activity and it will get rejected for being out of place.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York