Secondhand advertising

I originally published this story back in 2008. I was just talking about it the other day and thought you might take a look at it again.
Myrorna ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AUTUMN 05 1

Have you noticed that a lot of secondhand / charity / thrift store chains have very un-fashionable advertising campaigns? You would think that if they pay good money to advertise their shops and business in magazines they would also let professional people do the actual advertisements. But nooo... No wonder some people still think secondhand is filthy and smells funny :) This is the type of business that needs to be advertised the same way as normal fashion and lifestyle brands if they want to improve their image. A good example is comparing the advertising campaigns of Myrorna Sweden's Salvation Army’s vintage fashion and interior chain (allthough their website is very ugly), to a Finnish correspondent chain called UFF. The Sweds have hired a real fashion stylist and a professional photographer to do their campaign but my fellow Finns have propably done theirs with no help from any fashion pro and it does not look desirable. Secondhand advertising should not be targeted to the averige Jane/Joe, but to the niche consumer or local fashion bloggers as they set the trends and the masses follow them.
This is the gorgeous Myrorna secondhand ad campaign BrittonBritton designed for them in 2005.
Myrorna ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AUTUMN 05 2 Myrorna ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AUTUMN 05 3 Myrorna ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AUTUMN 05 4 Myrorna ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AUTUMN 05 7 Myrorna ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AUTUMN 05 5 Myrorna ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AUTUMN 05 9 Myrorna ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AUTUMN 05 8 Myrorna ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AUTUMN 05 6
Another thing is those "fashion magazine" like catalogues many fashion brands make these days like H&M Fashion magazine. I mean "editorials" are the perfect tool for selling secondhand fashion to consumers and what better way to do it than inside your own brand. My suggestion is that secondhand stores and recycle centres start collaborations with local stylists and photographers to create their own "fashion/lifestyle magazines". They could be either puplished on their site or other web pdf-publishing services (example Issuu) which is very low cost to make. All ready many stylists use secondhand stores as their departmentstores to find the grooviest outfits so why not shoot them on film and upload to the internet for everyone to see. Maybe even make a short video about the project! Customers could also send images of their secondhand outfits to the site to be published in their website gallery. I´m sure this would be inspiring to others to go and shop secondhand.
And what about the way they market their events and campaigns. Many secondhand labels just send me mail (plain text) about upcoming events. I´m sure the same releases also go to press. What they should do is add a few different shaped banners with the mails, so bloggers could add them to their sites with a few clicks. Also quality product / advertising images are super important to include in the mails. Bloggers and press are mostly buzy and lazy people so things need to be made ready-to-post for them much like any other brand lookbooks they recieve digitally from regular labels. Sound like a lot of work? Maybe, but digital media advertising like this is cheap. It usually costs just the pay for a person doing it.. And with that done right, a little effort and the result visibility can easily outgrow the printed media visibility. Maybe the reason many secondhand organizations miss these digital opportunities is because the marketing people there don´t even facebook. Too bad.
This classic school year photo styled Vogue editorial, Prada FW2011 lookbook or latest Prada SS2012 Resort ad campaign is exactly the "stylish secondhand bag-lady" style I´d go for when looking new fashions from secodhand stores. Beautifully styled, fresh looks. Quality good enough to post about. I´ve talked to a few secondhand marketing people about this and their responce is usually that they cannot make easy marketing because consumers want to buy that exact product and they might have only one piece... Yeah, but that exactly is the point in secondhand shopping! There is only one piece so you must be fast. In this sence secondhand labels cannot be like any other fashion chain, but they should not even try. This is why their advertising campaigns should focus on inspirational images and over the top fashion styling instead of product focused images. Sorry about the negative tone of today´s entry.. I just wish the PR folks of charity shops and organizations would realize if they want more customers (= more money) they need to focus more on the quality of their advertising. Recycling clothes and fashion is a business just like any other so why not market it the same way? And it does not have to cost much if you keep good relations to the best stylists and photographers in the city. Connections, you know...

Outi Les Pyy

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2 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you! It is a matter of common sense. I live in Spain and using or even thinking about wearing second hand, even if inherited from your next in kin causes outrage. The only thrift shops one can find are the typical Humana run down, smelly locals that target immigrants or elders. How trivialized the real spirit of re-using is! I can afford purchasing most fashionable brands, but I find it unnecessary and not creative at all. I also want to set example to my children...BUT if there was an educational campaign around the notions of concious consumerism, and good use of resources, combined with good taste (NEVER EXCLUDED) and "fashionable," people´s mentality would change! Wonderful concept! Go ahead and show us more of what you like. Thanks.

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  2. vintage shops are so much more interesting - you never know what you can find!

    http://flouncesandslashes.blogspot.com/2011/09/one-shoe-many-possiblities-1.html

    http://flouncesandslashes.blogspot.com/2011/09/one-shoe-many-possibilites-2.html

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