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As a fashion brand, Balenciaga turned its social networks from a clothing catalog into a source of strange memes

Photos of terribly poor quality and unformatted clips are confusing, but in fact they definitely reach the audience.

Balenciaga
Balenciaga

The Spanish fashion house Balenciaga created a profile on Instagram in 2011. About seven years, representatives of the company led an ordinary account – they posted photos of new collections, announced shows, announced the opening of stores. However, after May 2018, the brand dramatically changed itsstyle and began to publish unusual pictures without signatures, model stamps, and information on where to buy clothes.

The brand is also popular in Russia – Balenciaga luxury items have become anattribute of many fashionistas. However, clothes are constantly forged – a copy of the popular Triple S sneakers, which cost about 60 thousand rubles, can be bought ten times cheaper.  drew attention to the company’s unusual social networks and PR campaign of the brand.

Old school videos and blurred pictures

On February 13, the brand posted a video in the spirit of the 1990s with references to the film “The Matrix”. A video of about two minutes recreates various scenes from tape with low-quality special effects. Models dressed in Balenciaga rollerblade, run on city roofs, pass through portals in chromakei and implant floppy disks into their heads. The characters fight each other, firing fireballs and lasers. Subscribers of their Instagram were divided into two camps: some joked and admired, others did not understand the idea.

“It looks like one of those low-budget films from Uganda that everyone is laughing at (@Henry_haswell); “This memes account keeps getting better with every post” (@bulviu_vynas); “It turns out what it is like to wear a Balenciaga” (@ iggyrutana777).

However, if you scroll through the profile further, it turns out that there is nothing surprising. By the standards of the social network, the photos in the brand posts are not just strange, but surprisingly bad. Users often compete in wits under the pictures and write that this is “a great page with memes”.

 

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“Why was my mom allowed to keep a Balenciaga account?” (@Alexjbarbas); “When you value your work as a photographer in a big fashion house, but you love meth more” (@brokenwhiteboi); “A new way to show a product is to make sure that nobody wants to buy it” (@panachai_ps).

 

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“When the alarm has not rang, and the bus leaves in 5 minutes” (@ Alex.bsrd); “When you look disgusting, and a man with whom you are in love passes by” (@ herrera.kevin22); “The patients escaped from the mental hospital, and I finally realized that the Balencaiga stole them all to make their models” (@kariessmen).

 

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“Oh no, I forgot my Nintendo at home!” (@ Selectivelysocial04); “Oh no, I forgot to charge” (@azroo_who); “When I left the room and forgot why” (@ itzrossharding42).

Instagram is one of the most important platforms that brands use to communicate with their fans. Most companies, from Gucci to Chanel , share photos with backstage and pictures of celebrities in their brand’s clothes. In this social network, fashion houses do not take risks, but defend their vision and advertise their success.

Balenciaga subscribers are amazed that the brand is making a repulsive project out of its Instagram profile. Instead of cultivating an idealized version of the ideal life, the company shows its fans an old man in a t-shirt “I love techno.”

 

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Ideologists of ugliness

Balenciaga representatives do not comment on your account. GQ journalist suggested that the company sends clothes to unknown artists, models and photographers: “They are asked to take pictures, after which the brand team seems to be intent on choosing the worst options

 

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November 14, 2018 Balenciaga launched a lookbook with 3D-models that bend at unrealistic angles. It was developed by the motion-designer Yilmaz Sen(Yilmaz Sen). In an interview with Dazed, he said that the brand contacted him and offered to create a project. Sen noticed the user reaction:

I read the comments, and there, of course, mixed reactions. Some people are outraged and say that this is not like a real fashion brand campaign. Others are upset, but many people think it’s cool and funny, so I’m happy. I wanted the response to be unprecedented.

Yilmaz Sen
Web Designer

 

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When asked about the negative reaction of the public, Sen responded: “I think they are not used to seeing something that has nothing to do with reality. It can be scary or difficult for a normal audience to establish a connection with a realistic object that falls apart and becomes strange, abstract and unrecognizable

 

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The brand knows its audience. And memes

The current creative director of the brand Demna Gvasalia (Demna Gvasalia) is not the first time using memes to attract the attention of the audience. One of his loudest tricks is the release of a shapeless blue plastic Fracta bag, which can be bought for 50 rubles in any Ikea store, with the Balenciaga logo for 2000 euros (about 150 thousand rubles). Some mocked the idea, others were perplexed, but most importantly – they discussed it . When in the summer of 2018, the fashion house released a couple of crocs on the platform, they asked9Gag : “ Does Balenciaga specifically try to become a meme?”.

It is not clear whether the abrupt change of the marketing campaign reflected in sales: the owner of the Kering brand did not disclose the actual revenue from 2017. However, in 2018, Balenciaga became the fastest growing company brand. In the media, the main audience of the fashion house is called the Millennials – the generation of those born at the turn of the millennium.

Unlike the previous creative director Alexander Van, known for his elegance and elegance, Gvasalia prefers bright colors and defiant logos. Demna noticed achange in the luxury goods market, where the focus has shifted from quality to product uniqueness: “The younger generation is looking for something that will help them to stand out and make them special, rather than the flawless images that traditional brands offer.“. This idea just continues in the Balenciaga marketing campaign on Instagram.

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