#MarketingExcellenceAwards highlight: The Front Row takes the fashion world virtual

With the fashion industry being badly hit due to the pandemic this year, The Front Row set out to bring the fashion world onto a digital stage. Collaborating with AP Media, The Front Row transformed a fashion show into an immersive virtual festival with extended reach.

Besides being the first brand to pull off a virtual fashion festival in Southeast Asia, The Front Row was also awarded the silver award in the category of Excellence in Event Marketing (Virtual) in Marketing Excellence Awards 2020.

Challenge

With COVID-19, the fashion industry had a major decline in sales and consumption, as it is no longer considered as essential in a consumer’s daily life. As such, the fashion industry has been forced to adapt to the changes of the new norm, with festivals and events being cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.

Given the situation, The Front Row wanted to launch Southeast Asia’s first virtual fashion show using an immersive digital platform. Its key objective is to provide a similar experience as a physical fashion festival and gain a wider audience reach as the event is not restricted by physical space.

Strategy

The Front Row was conceptualised to be an immersive experience that enables anybody to have easy access into the portal and experiencing firsthand the first digital fashion festival in Southeast Asia. By segmenting the portal into different sections, it imitates a physical space, enabling the user to travel between hotspots, giving them the experience of being physically there.

The virtual fashion show was produced against a green screen.

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For its creative assets, The Front Row uses very soft pastel colors with clean sharp lines to display a modernised take of fashion and tech in one portal. The key visuals were thought out with local landmarks reimagined with a touch of surrealism, bringing a sense of familiarization yet imaginative touch to the local scene

Execution

Through the festival, The Front Row and AP Media made use of livestream to garner more awareness for the festival. The audience through the livestream were able to follow the schedule and have a constant amount of content to look forward to during the festival.

Additionally, The Front Row livestreamed podcasts and had them embedded within an immersive 360 digital portal, creating a live environment that the audience can immerse and experience in.

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The Front Row implemented tech and creativity in the same space, and was able to close the gap between the arts and science. Using the digital portal, social media and digital marketing, the brand was able to get the word out, encouraging both fashion enthusiasts and casual onlookers a space to explore the next big leap in fashion festivals.

For its social media strategy, The Front Row used Facebook to create media buy and marketing strategies, as well as livestreaming broadcasts during the festival. This helped the brand gain traction and effective brand awareness. It was also able to give live updates on the happenings during the festival through the platform, enabling the audience to have consistent updates of the ongoings of The Front Row.

The Front Row also used Instagram to target the younger audience. The features of Instagram allowed grid layouts to create dynamic posts that creates strong marketing and branding awareness for fashion festival.

As for its digital strategy, The Front Row launched its own EDMs to gain traction, keeping audience up to date with the event details. Concurrently, it had teasers and trailers that promotes the festival, bring additional hype and traction to The Front Row.

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Results

The Front Row’s media buy and social media marketing showed an effective growth in terms of engagement and reach during the span of the festival. It managed to achieve a total reach of 561, 428 on Facebook and 396, 899 on Instagram.

The festival also got press coverage from media outlets such as Channel NewsAsia and The Straits Times. The Front Row is also now the pioneer of digital events of Southeast Asia, enabling it to be the thought leader for future events in the digital space.