In 2010, Tom Ford re-launched his namesake brand in a fashion show that prohibited any type of social media or digital communication. Five years later, the brand replaced its traditional runway show with an energetic music video starring Lady Gaga.

That social shift is reflected in this year’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion, which places Tom Ford in the Gifted category, a promotion from last year’s Average ranking. The Lady Gaga video garnered over 1.2 million views – 9.4 times more than all the brand’s other videos – as well as 4.5 times more comments.

Tom Ford's Lady Gaga video

This healthy increase suggests that Tom Ford understands not only the importance of social media innovation, but also the role that strategic investments play in boosting social content. Only 28% of the brand video’s YouTube views were generated organically. The remainder came through paid ads, which are utilized by 86% of Index brands.

The huge amplification effect of YouTube advertising makes this strategy indispensable. Between October 2014 and 2015, brands with mostly sponsored content averaged 3.6 million total views on the platform, while brands with mostly organic content averaged less than 300,000. Tom Ford seems to realize that the pay-to-play model is key to reaching viewers, although catching up to the level of Index leaders may prove difficult.

Share of Views Driven Organically on YouTube

Daily Insights in Your Inbox