In the winter of 2011, Lady Gaga teamed up with legendary retailer Barneys New York for its first ever holiday promotional partnership. Barneys converted an entire floor of its Madison Avenue flagship store into Gaga’s Workshop, a unique holiday retail experience. The workshop featured a range of exclusive, special edition items available for a limited time only. Twenty-five percent of sales from these Lady Gaga retail items would go to her charity, the Born This Way Foundation. To extend the experience beyond the store, Lady Gaga’s management agency came to Digital Surgeons in need of a campaign that would seamlessly connect Gaga’s Workshop with the world.
The challenge was to bring Gaga’s Workshop to life digitally, creating awareness and excitement for the Barneys brand. Barneys wanted to engage with Lady Gaga’s enormous fan base both online and offline to increase sales and awareness for their brand during the holiday season. The goals were to drive retail store traffic and product sales, increase social media engagement, and promote the Born This Way Foundation.
Our strategy was to create a microsite experience that allowed those unable to attend Gaga’s Workshop in NYC to still have a once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience. We also wanted the microsite to promote the limited edition holiday products and enable commerce online.
We measured the success of this campaign through social media engagements (hashtag usage, FourSquare unlocks, shares, etc.), impressions and increase in sales over the previous holiday season. Barneys wanted to see that this promotion was being talked about online and that actual sales were resulting from these conversations.
The campaign ran from November 9th, 2011 until January 5th, 2012.
In order to bring Gaga’s Workshop to life digitally, Digital Surgeons engineered a digital campaign, interactive online destinations and artifacts that encouraged incredible Word-of-Mouth and earned media impressions.
The integrated campaign had many elements to it ranging from digital to social to experiential – bringing the workshop to millions across the globe.
We began with a cutting-edge website – www.gagasworkshop.com. To generate lead-in buzz online for the campaign we developed the concept of the 12 days of Gaga, a Lady Gaga-themed advent calendar that unveiled a new product each day. Each day traffic increased to the website to see what the new product was going to be. All of these products could be purchased through Barneys e-commerce integration.
Meanwhile, giant Gaga inflatables and Gaga street performers were placed around New York City generating massive awareness and buzz in anticipation for the opening of the in-store event.
As the workshop opened, the second phase of the experience was released introducing the Gaga Machine; a fun digital toy on the site in which viewers entered unique codes found online and throughout the city. This “machine” unlocked limited edition products as well as digital artifacts. The products could be conveniently purchased online as well.
Viewers could become a “workshopper” by uploading their photo and unique message creating their own little monster to share with the world on Facebook and Twitter.
On the topic of Twitter, the decision was made to not use a Gaga’s Workshop twitter account to facilitate interactions. Rather, to keep the conversations organic, a Gaga’s Workshop hashtag was employed and promoted.
To drive in-store traffic from a digital platform, a partnership with FourSquare was also secured. FourSquare and Digital Surgeons created an unlockable Gaga’s Workshop badge that was awarded to those who checked-in at Barneys. A promotion was run through FourSquare as well in which the first person to check-in every day received a special gift at customer service.
One hundred percent of the interactive budget was allocated to executing the campaign. An estimated 10% of the entire advertising budget was allocated to the program.
The entire Gaga’s Workshop campaign transcended media and truly was a one-of-a-kind experience for anyone who came across it either in-person or virtually. Awareness and discovery could happen via any touch point of the campaign and extend as far as the user wanted to take it. An experience could happen exclusively online, exclusively offline, or both; it could be personalized, it could be purchased, it could be shared socially, and most importantly it could give the user the satisfaction of charitable giving.
The campaign had astounding results. The decision to leverage social media as a means of spreading awareness of Gaga’s Workshop was incredibly effective. Between shares from the microsite and organic chatter about the event, the recorded results were absolutely astonishing.We successfully leveraged Lady Gaga’s huge social media following to accomplish our goals. Lady Gaga’s 26 million twitter followers and 52 million facebook fans were instrumental in spreading the news of Gaga’s Workshop. The results were as follows…
- Over 300,000 unique visitors to the microsite.
- 6 minutes was the average time spent on the microsite.
- 8,500+ people submitted their pictures to create their own “Little Monster”
- Facebook yielded 79 million (visible) earned impressions.
- The #GagasWorkshop hash tag was recorded 56,000+ times.
- Gaga’s Workshop was a trending topic on Twitter on 11/22/11.
- The FourSquare badge was unlocked over 3,000 times.
- Over 200,000 codes were entered into the Gaga machine.
- Gaga’s workshop was talked about in 149 different countries online.
- Google searches for Gaga’s Workshop related keywords yielded 700,000+ results.
We were astounded at the number of impressions this campaign garnered. Between social media, press mentions, and website traffic, the Gaga’s Workshop campaign received a whopping four billion impressions.
Impressions satisfy one half of the objectives set forth. How did this campaign impact sales? Barneys experienced a 70% increase in sales from last year’s holiday season. With such a drastic increase in sales, the Born This Way Foundation also profited from this amazing holiday campaign. Thanks to Lady Gaga and Digital Surgeons, it will be pretty hard for Barneys to put on a more impressive show for the 2012 holidays.