Did Chanel Make a Big Social Splash with #CHANELtower?

Dash Hudson
Jul 10, 2017 · 4 min read

[Originally published on the Dash Hudson blog.]

Chanel is among the top followed brands on Instagram. So what happens when they leverage the social platform to amplify a huge event? We took a look.

It’s no secret that the luxury industry has had a bit of a tough time embracing social media. Some maisons have been slow to adopt the medium to bolster their marketing efforts, while others, like Chanel, have come to realize that such platforms are an incredible opportunity for brands to continue the customer journey.

That conclusion has earned them a spot on the list of most-followed brand accounts on Instagram, as they continue to use their cachet to draw the Chanel audience into the storied house’s exclusive world. The social team manages to make fans feel like outsiders having scored a very coveted invite to peer into an sacrosanct universe, all while building on that legendary legacy with impeccably crafted visuals that promulgate their agenda.

Chanel is also known for elaborate fashion show settings, which are always located at Paris’ magnificent Grand Palais. It wouldn’t be hard for guests to forget they’ve stepped inside a historic monument, as Karl Lagerfeld never neglects to completely transform the interior to fully embrace a collection’s theme. Rocket ship? Check. Supermarket. You got it. Sea world? Certainly. For Chanel, this is not the exception, it’s the norm.

It only seems fitting to compliment the ornate clothing’s beauty with extravagant, larger-than-life backdrops. This week’s haute couture event was not about to pale in comparison to its predecessors. A giant replica of the Eiffel Tower greeted the show’s attendees inside the Grand Palais, foreshadowing a collection celebrating the house’s influence on Parisian fashion. Ironically, the nostalgia presented on the catwalk was leveraged and broadcast to willing onlookers from all corners of the globe through the most modern of methods: social media by way of smartphones.

It’s nice to see such a dichotomy carried out seamlessly though a social media strategy. And don’t you think for one second that every single digital detail of the affair wasn’t mindfully orchestrated by the Chanel sprites: flying in leading ladies, pop stars and Instagram influencers from around the world, throwing them into social-sharing scenarios, and essentially engineering a content creation heaven. Throw in a branded hashtag into the mix — in this case, #CHANELtower (cheeky!) — and you’ve got a recipe for a big social bang.

We were so curious that we thought we’d take a deep dive into how it all transpired on Insta.

First things first: let’s take a look at Chanel’s own account activity around the date of the event, July 4th. They had a HUGE spike of likes and comments, indicating that the show content they were publishing was highly compelling to their audience. Chanel fans couldn’t get enough of everything #CHANELtower. Instagram engagement at its finest.

Now let’s peek at the heat around the designated branded hashtag, #CHANELtower. While they used the hashtag on their own content, which contributed to its reach, it only represents a speck of the exposure it garnered for the Chanel brand. Yes, that is a reach of OVER 126 million.

Their organic reach is always pretty steady, with a bevy of customers constantly tagging the house in their content, but the huge spike on show day is a clear result of tastemaker marketing paying off. Flying in and putting up all those influential instagrammers and high profile celebrities in swanky hotels enabled the Chanel brand to be exposed to nearly 150 million users in a single day. That’s not counting the impressions from content created pre and post show.

So how many new followers did all this activity yield for the Chanel Instagram account? Nearly 30k in one day, which is close to double their typical day. That’s how it’s done.

The most liked image of the entire affair belongs to miss Lily Collins (yep, daughter of):

In fact, miz Collins had not only the second, but also the third most liked images of show, with über influencer Chiara Ferragni coming in fourth with her strut right under the Chanel Tower:

What Chanel has shown is that while it’s legacy brand that’s anchored in tradition and old school savoir-faire, it’s also a visionary house that’s constantly looking to assert itself as a modern day leader.

Would you like to see these types of insights for your own brand? Get in touch today and we’ll get you sorted.

Dash Hudson

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