Harnessing social media influence, Bloomingdale’s launches its first-ever Snapchat contest

bloomingdales first snapchat contest
Bloomingdale’s, the New York City department store with the iconic “brown bag” made famous on popular TV shows from Friends to Sex and the City, is now looking to a new medium to promote its brand.

The store, a NYC tourist attraction, recently kicked off its “100% Bloomingdale’s” spring campaign with a big social media push. The company’s multi-pronged digital strategy encompasses all the major networks, from Facebook to Pinterest (through which shoppers can also buy its items using buyable pins).

Now, Bloomingdale’s is seeking to ramp up its Snapchat following by launching its first contest tied to the app. Using Snapchat to boost a retail brand is a buzzing trend, but not everyone can get it right. After all, celebrities and publishers currently dominate the visual messaging app, approaching it with a creative flair that has arguably been missing from their day jobs.

For its part, Bloomingdale’s has shown a knack for the platform, encouraging its viewers to interact with it in inventive ways. Those who tune into the retailer’s Live Stories will be treated to a chic NYC adventure starring an unnamed socialite who can be seen sipping cosmopolitans at the bar in one clip, and picking out a pair of SJP high heels in another.

Bloomingdale’s occasionally urges viewers to shape the fashion adventure by giving you a choice as to what its shopaholic protagonist should do next — you can DM the store on Snapchat to choose. In a recent clip, you are given the option to make the character jump in a rooftop pool at a crowded party, and the ability to help her pick out fashion items. The selection with the most votes gets chosen. It all comes together to form a constantly updating fashion adventure that boasts all the glamorous cues you’d expect from a Manhattan-set Live Story from one of the world’s leading department stores.

That’s where the Snapchat competition comes in. This weekend, March 12-14, the retailer is asking its followers who live within the NYC metro area to snap a picture of their fashion adventure essentials on Snapchat and send it to Bloomingdale’s. Targeting female customers, the winner will receive a fashion-packed day in NYC on March 19, including a Drybar blowout, brunch at Le Train Bleu, and a Yacht Manhattan wine- and cheese-tasting session.

Additional social media-related events are also taking place during the month of March at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship. An upcoming partnership with Museum Hack, for example, will involve a scavenger hunt that uses visual clues from Instagram and the retailer’s own Bloomticons emoji app. More details can be found on the Museum Hack website.


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