We speak with senior creative of Victoria’s Secret about their latest Selena Gomez lip sync video


BY KENNETH RICHARD

It isn’t easy being a leader. Outside of competitors nipping at their heels, leaders face their biggest competitor every day with a casual glance in the mirror, recognizing their biggest objective is to simply outdo themselves. No one knows this more than the senior creative leader of the most recognized fashion brand in the world, Ed Razek of Victoria’s Secret.

Rather than sit back and let their annual most-watched-fashion-event-in-the-world roll out organically, Razek and team have activated every touch point from media to social before their upcoming 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which airs this Tuesday the 8th. Their latest activation is playing out now on YouTube and social with the Victoria’s Secret Angels getting a little help from Selena Gomez as they lip sync “Hands to Myself” from her new album. A teaser to the forthcoming show, where Selena Gomez is part of the performance.

The Impression spoke briefly with the senior creative and CMO of Limited Brands about the video, being social and simply not resting on laurels.

Ed, thanks for carving out the time a week before airing. Before chatting about the video, would you mind sharing with us your thoughts on social, as Victoria’s Secret is pretty good at it?
We try to use social media in a social way. When you and I aren’t working like we are now, and we are just having a conversation, it is a social conversation. I don’t say, “Kenneth, I’d like you to know that the bras are buy one get one half off today.”

I don’t work for the FBI, Ed.
(Laughs) So we try to do things that break through that perimeter for at least 80 percent of the social media we run.

We are fortunate that we have unique relationships with musical artists that matter to our constituency. Selena Gomez has 55 million Instagram followers. At the same time, the models that are in the show have dramatic followings on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

I’m pretty sure that Victoria’s Secret and Pink are the strongest brand sites on Facebook and Instagram.

There was a point last year when Victoria’s Secret was gaining around 100,000 followers per day on Instagram. It’s easy to get fascinated with the numbers, but that isn’t where the rubber meets the road. Where the rubber meets the road is, “Ok, what are you going to talk to them about.”

– Ed Razek

How do you keep your conversation with them relevant so that it feels like a conversation instead of me announcing something to you?

We try to push hard on the social parts of social. And we try to do edits for social that are imperfect. Intentionally imperfect. They are like our comical spots with that level of slickness. I did a spot where I simply had a girl walk down the beach for 15 seconds with the hashtag, ‘Something Big is Coming.”  That was it. No sound but maybe a seagull in the background.

I remember that. It was the precursor to the swimwear event right?
Exactly. The interesting thing is that you remember that, and look at how much stuff you look at every day.

It speaks to the power of how good you and the team are at social. Which brings us to the latest. How did Selena’s lip sync of “Hands to Myself” come about?
We shot it on the fly. The label wanted to introduce the song and we are always interested in finding new ways to entertain. I had the song via link, as the album wasn’t out yet.

We put it on a boom box and the girls would listen to it a couple times and then lip-synch it no matter where we were. They would be at a foosball table, they would be in a restaurant, they would be walking through a photo studio like Pier59, outside, or on a beach. Then at the last minute when Selena came to the fashion show, we filmed her doing it as well. And then we cut it all together at the last minute.

We worked with the label to coordinate the effort to release it simultaneously, so that it went out on her site, the label’s site, our site. And we teased it for a few days with Selena and the Angels by running 15 second bits of it so everyone could look out for it on December 1st.

Already it has a million hits and we hope it will have millions more as we build up to the broadcast next Tuesday night.

Sure it will. Ed, thanks for the time and looking forward to the broadcast.
Thanks Kenneth.