- Fast-fashion retailer H&M introduced six augmented reality (AR) filters on Instagram as part of its promotion for a collection inspired by 1990s streetwear. British singer Mabel and several collaborators appear in an Instagram Stories music video called "Bad Behaviour" previewing the 31-piece collection that she inspired, the retailer announced.
- The AR filters let Instagram users create their own versions of the music video to share with friends and followers, and can be found at the @hm channel in the app. The Kangol x H&M feat Mabel collection goes on sale on Sept. 17 in select H&M stores and online.
- Kangol is a U.K. clothing brand started in the 1920s, and its signature bucket hats with a kangaroo logo were popular among hip-hop artists in the '80s and '90s, giving the campaign a nostalgic edge. H&M worked with creative agency B-Reel on the campaign to let Instagram users create their own music videos with AR filters.
H&M aims to connect with a target audience of Generation Z consumers by focusing its promotion for the Kangol collection on Instagram. By creating a set of AR filters that are attached to a music video starring Mabel, the retailer is urging people to engage with its brand by creating their own videos to share with others. While the campaign doesn't include a hashtag challenge, it has the power to reach a broader group of consumers as people create customized music videos and post them online, a social media trend popularized by TikTok.
Instagram is especially popular with Gen Z, the group born after 1996 who tend to be heavy users of social media. About three quarters of people ages 13 to 26 in the U.S. use Instagram, per a Morning Consult study, though it's less clear how many people in other countries use the app. Parent company Facebook hasn't provided information about Instagram's user base in more than a year, when it said the app had 1 billion users worldwide. That number likely has grown as more people use social media to stay in touch with friends and family during the pandemic.
AR content is popular on rival platforms like Snapchat, which may indicate that filters also are popular on Instagram. Snap claims that more than 75% of users engage with Snapchat's AR features every day on average, according to information provided by the company. If Instagram experiences similar usage, H&M is likely to engage with its target audience of Gen Zers who enjoy playing with AR content.
For a fashion retailer like H&M, Instagram is a must-have in any campaign aimed at younger consumers. Gen Z shoppers tend to look for outfits they can share on Instagram, which has made fast-fashion retailers like H&M, Forever 21 and Zara that quickly update their inventories more popular among younger consumers for the past several years. About three quarters (74%) of younger consumers buy fashion products based on what they see influencers wearing on social media, per a survey by market researcher Cassandra. By collaborating with singer Mabel, H&M can connect with her fans and inspire them to purchase items from the collection.