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BCBG Max Azria and Magnum indulge in social media for unique partnership

Fashion apparel brand BCBG Max Azria is partnering with Unilever's Magnum Ice Cream brand on a new clothing accessory designed to evoke the texture, look and scent of the frozen products while leveraging social media to generate buzz and boost summer sales for the item. 

BCBG Max Azria released a wrap garment that emulates what it is calling the ?Magnum Effect? with specialized scent technology imitating the smell of the ice cream as well as materials and patterns borrowed from the products. The uniqueness of the product allows BCBG Max Azria numerous possibilities to play with on social media, and the brand is utilizing this with posts on multiple platforms including reporting the launch event from Snapchat.

"The idea is unique, and BCBG is correct that most women love fashion and chocolate, and would be very interested in having an item that intertwines the two," said Maric Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta, GA. "The gift with purchase is a good push for online shopping and if the Instagram and Snapchat accounts led to a click to buy without too much trouble this could be a very large and very needed boost for BCBG's and magnum's social accounts. 

"The significance of using Instagram and snapchat for BCBG is in the demographics, 16-25 year old women show that statistically these social media outlets are two of their 'go to' social outlets in recent studies," she said. "If any topic is presented properly and even a small portion of the NYC public loves the product following the announcement in the city, then the accessory being just announced on social media could absolutely create a viral effect that could ramp very quickly.

"The challenge for BCBG will be in ensuring the right amount of stock for the product in the event that it does go viral. When I was with EXPO, we promoted a unique pink ottoman on the Oprah show and did not anticipate the online viral effect at all, the product sold out on the website in minutes and back ordered; being able to gauge the impact of the press is key to the success of the launch."

The ?Magnum Effect,? a term created by the brand, is the sensation of pure happiness and comfort that the ice cream is said to create. The goal of the partnership is for BCBG Max Azria customers to feel that way just from wearing the accessory. 

The wrap is available for a limited time as a gift with purchase for BCBG Max Azria customers.

Sensory stimulant 
The accessory itself is peculiar enough to become a viral topic through social media. A garment based off of an ice cream with coinciding scent is something that has never been done before, and may create a widespread social conversation if done correctly. 

Magnum and BCBG Max Azria are on the right track with generating buzz. Both brands alluded to the partnership through social networks leading up to the launch of the wrap, which can create a dialogue due to the secrecy and event-type hype it promotes. 

Using Snapchat to showcase the launch event is important as well, giving consumers a glimpse into the interesting product and further creating that event-like atmosphere. The apparel brand also featured other outfits that executives were wearing at the event. 

This partnership is beneficial to Magnum Ice Cream as well, allowing the brand access to fans of BCBG Max
Azria. This type of marketing coincides with Magnum?s overall brand image. 
The ice cream brand markets itself as a luxury treat for women, with numerous posts supporting that notion visible on its social media accounts. For instance, an image on Facebook depicts a coffee gathering with girlfriends gossiping, with many pictures throughout social featuring fashion outfits, manicures, interior décor and anything that is known to catch the eye of the female demographic. 

Social media influence
Social media is essential to connecting with consumers on a personal level and creating that necessary authentic brand image. There are numerous brands that take advantage of this. 

Comic book publisher and film producer Marvel Worldwide Inc. recently ramped up awareness for an onslaught of new movies coming this summer and next year with Twitter accounts based off its characters in an effort to connect more with fans (see more).

Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor Bureau also geared up to bring flocks of new visitors to the popular springtime location by rolling out a marketing campaign that offers a first-person view of a vacation via GoPro technology and leveraging an Instagram campaign to showcase guests? beachside experiences (see more).

These social media tools are highly beneficial. However, these platforms could be taken to another level with the correct alterations. 

"Social media companies such as snapchat need to realize the importance of the 'click through' to buy or engage the consumer further," Ms. Troutman said. "Snapchat is highly used and the images sent can cause a viral effect that could drive consumers to stores or to the mobile web to search, although the tool could be much more successful with deeper engagement."

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily