By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

Lord & Taylor decided to put the old adage ‘nothing draws a crowd like a crowd’ to the test by asking 50 Instagrammers to post images of themselves wearing the same dress. The effort was part of the launch of their new, young, contemporary, private label brand Design Lab Lord & Taylor and Instagrammers were hand-selected and compensated by the brand for posing wearing the same dress.

The program was an effort to find brand lovers for the collection that recently launched online and in 50 Lord & Taylor stores in the US and 57 Hudson’s Bay stores in Canada.

The program speaks volumes about the changing public relations and media landscape that just several years ago was controlled by a few and now is in the hands of many. Pre-social, Lord & Taylor would have relied on long-lead magazines to help get the word out about their new offering and had to support the program with a touch of paid media. Magazines likely would have had a few internal meetings about the importance of Lord & Taylor as an advertiser and ‘suggest’ that the editorial teams consider the line for editorial inclusion. That inclusion would have been fragmented and likely wouldn’t have supported a key item anywhere near being seen on 50 different models.

While long-lead magazines still play an important role, today brands have a stronger circle of control and can work with the ‘new publishers’ either directly or through social media agents. This newfound network of influencers is still an untapped media network for the new publishers, the brands. Today’s brightest brands are either securing talent with large social reach or strategically developing programs to leverage large numbers of social influencers that, in aggregate, can match the reach of social celebrities.

At the end of the day, it all goes back to impressions and influence to drive sales. And Lord & Taylor wasn’t 50/50 about it, they just thought of 50 ways.

Enjoying the spring weather, maxi dresses & bright prints from @lordandtaylor's new #DesignLab collection. #ad

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