Campaign: Modelinia.com launch
Duration: September 2008 – March 2009
PR Team: Full Picture (New York and Los Angeles) and Modelinia.com (New York)
Six months prior to its February 2009 launch, Modelinia.com, a model- and fashion-focused media outlet, set out to introduce its brand to fashion industry insiders. The outlet hired Full Picture last August in an effort to build the credibility needed for its editorial team to gain backstage access to Fashion Week events and, upon launch, to drive traffic to the site.
“Our goal was to essentially launch the site and gain traction and credibility within the industry,” says Liane Mullin, cofounder and chief strategy officer at Modelinia.
“We used guerilla PR and marketing to build up what would be about getting access to models,” adds Nicole Esposito, EVP and head of PR at Full Picture.
Prior to the launch, the team worked with Modelinia's editorial group to develop Spiked Heel, a fictional Web series, starring Heidi Klum and Coco Rocha. As part of the effort, it partnered with the New York Post to develop and plant about 2,000 mock covers showing a fictional kidnapping of Klum. The team also developed and seeded a reality Web series called High Heel Bootcamp.
“It was an amazing opportunity, because the girls we had used that were [in ‘Bootcamp'] were walking in shows at Fashion Week,” says Mullin.
In addition, it worked with Necco Sweethearts to distribute candies with custom slogans during February's New York Fashion Week and Valentine's Day.
During the pre-launch effort, which took place in September of last year, the team played off of the upcoming presidential election and handed out spoof election pins for models such as “Hillary [Rhoda] 2008,” at Fashion Week. It also conducted short-lead media outreach. Tactics through February 2009 included Twitter and Facebook launches and media outreach to entertainment writers, TV critics, international outlets like Grazia, fashion blogs, and long-lead publications.
Since the February launch, Mullin said traffic quickly rose from nothing to 100,000 users a day, and it spiked 30% in a recent two-week period. The launch generated 74 stories in international, national, regional broadcast, print, and online outlets, including a CNN American Morning spot and an AP story covering High Heel Bootcamp. Media impressions totaled 54.8 million.
Mullin notes that the team is planning to develop distribution partnerships and PR events as part of a long-term integrated approach.