Even luxury brands are jumping on the Game of Thrones bandwagon. John Varvatos released an exclusive 11-piece men’s capsule collection on its site last month, the designer’s first collaboration with a TV series. The move could potentially boost John Varvatos’s weak social marketing.
When the brand announced the partnership through its social properties, the results were encouraging. The initial Instagram post showcasing the brand’s collection got twice as many views as all other videos posted on the brand’s handle in 2019. By using hashtags #GameofThrones, #JVForTheThrone, and #FortheThrone, the brand expanded reach beyond its loyal following. Since Game of Thrones itself used the new hashtag #ForTheThrone on its Instagram handle last November, over 180,000 posts have used it.
This also marks the brand’s second big-budget collaboration over the last year, suggesting that these posts might be part of a major strategy shift. The brand collaborated with singer Nick Jonas on a men’s collection and fragrance for the spring/summer 2018 fashion season. A post featuring the fragrance on the singer’s Instagram handle, which boasts over 22 million followers, garnered over 277k interactions—160 times the brand handle’s yearly average.
This could be a surprising turnaround for John Varvatos, which earned an Average rank in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion Global, in part due to its weak Instagram and Facebook performance. Partnering with influencers (or productions, in this case) with a significant social following and posting on brand-agnostic handles is a viable way to expand social reach and brand recognition.
However, it’s not that easy. After the initial post introducing the collection, the eight posts using Game of Thrones hashtags saw a 28% dip in interactions compared to the brand’s monthly average. This indicates that while using trending hashtags is a viable tactic to get views, brands must still create compelling content for users to engage and to create a sustainable lift. It will be interesting to see where the brand flies off to from here.