How to Make Your Customers the Next Zoolander

That Hansel is (still) so hot right now. In case you somehow missed the announcement of Zoolander 2, here’s a quick synopsis. Last week during the Valentino Fall/Winter 2015 Fashion Show Derek Zoolander and archrival turned best friend Hansel rekindled their bromance in the most appropriate way possible – they hit the runway. The handsome as ever duo strutted their stuff draped in Valentino’s newest line and broke the internet (Poor internet, it just recovered from the blue/black vs gold/white dress fiasco).

In a matter of minutes #Zoolander2 was trending worldwide on Twitter and Facebook. Since the epic walk-off over 13,000 photos have been shared on Instagram using #Zoolander2 and Ben Stiller is promoting #Zoolander and #Valentino throughout hisInstagram profile. Days later he used the infamous Selfie Stick to snap some pictures of “Blue Steel” in the streets of Paris.

A lot has happened since the launch of Zoolander in 2001.This time around Hansel ditched his trademark Razor Scooter entrance but the undeniable swagger is still there. Thankfully, Derek didn’t attempt to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia and his cheekbones look prominent as ever. I’ve also heard the Derek Zoolander School for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Who Want To Do Other Stuff Good Too has since taken off, but no surprise there.


Fourteen years have passed and more than just the Zoolander world has evolved. Back in 2001 the words social and media were separate entities. Traditional marketing ruled the landscape and people actually trusted it. Word of mouth marketing and referrals are the oldest and most trusted form of marketing, and paired with the seemlingly infinite growth of social media – digital word of mouth marketing is more important than ever.

Take a look at these numbers: twelve days before the show there were 3,444,708 photos and videos using #Valentino on Instagram. Today, there are over four million. No matter the campaign, an 18% increase in Instagram content in less than two weeks is no simple feat. I would argue Valentino pulled off the most impressive fashion marketing campaign in recent memory for two main reasons.

  1. Valentino engaged Millennials: This may seem like a no-brainer for any marketing campaign but getting younger people engaged with high fashion is a difficult task. While I do not currently plan to purchase any items from the new Valentino line I was introduced to the brand thanks to Derek and Hansel.
  2. It wasn’t traditional paid advertising: The exact details of the partnership haven’t been made public and we can all assume Valentino paid a hefty price. However, this was an extremely creative technique to use paid advertising to accomplish the same KPI’s a successful organic social media campaign accomplishes.

Here is where we come to the fork in the road; not every brand or marketer has the luxury (cough, cough, budget) to run a campaign with most really-really-really ridiculously good looking male models. But, with Visual Commerce you can now leverage your customer-created content to increase engagement, referrals, and sales – because after all, isn’t there a little bit of Magnum in all of us?

Check out StoryBox and afterwards you can kick your feet up at work and enjoy anOrange Mocha Frappuccino.


Topics: User Generated Content, Blogs, Visual Commerce