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There's an Angel in Everyone
By: Casey Schoelen
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It’s that time of year again! Today is the Annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. How does one brand manage to have an annual event that has girls everywhere planning watch parties? They toss in several world famous supermodels, crazy stage backgrounds, a few musical acts, and some angel wings. And then put it all on TV.
Tagged as, “The sexiest night on TV,” Victoria’s Secret builds a full campaign around the event that includes a pre-show, an all-access website featuring interviews of each angel, and giveaways. There is also insider information on how the angels train, their hair and makeup tricks, and what it’s like to sport those heavy wings down the runway. It has come a long way from its quiet beginnings in 1995, when it was just a fashion show of new lingerie.
The impressive part about this event is that yes, the angels wear some new products, but that isn’t what brings in the audience. In 2011, the fashion show brought in its largest ratings from adults 18–49 and with 10.3 million total viewers saw its biggest audience since 2002. Is this just coincidence because the subject matter appeals to both men and women? Or is this just a genius branding event in that it draws audience members who probably don’t even shop in the stores? How do they do this?
It’s hard enough for brands to drive awareness and increase social engagement, but it’s possible if brands give consumers a reason to be engaged. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show definitely emphasizes the “show” aspect. Some of the angels do wear the new collection, but most of the angels wear extravagant 2.5 million dollar pieces that match their winged costume. The costumes make the show fun and exciting, while tapping into an idea that most viewers couldn’t or wouldn’t ever do: wear these pieces of clothing while strutting down a catwalk in an insane pair of high heels. Everything about it is somewhat aspirational for the viewers. Men want women like that. Women want to BE like that. Toss in a few good beats, a ton of glitter, and a boatload of confetti and that’s one heck of a party.

This year’s fashion show features the popular Justin Beiber, who is accompanied by some angels lip-syncing his latest hit, “Beauty and a Beat.” There is something for everyone, which means big viewership and high engagement. According to Nielsen, in June 2012, a third of active Twitter users tweeted about TV-related content. Simultaneous smartphone and tablet usage while watching TV is on the rise and with a show this big, it’s guaranteed to have a positive impact of brand awareness as people take to social media to discuss which angel had the hottest wings. Remember, it’s all about the wings and this is one fashion show that is guaranteed to be a success.

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About the Author
Casey Schoelen is a young millennial excited and passionate about branding, advertising, and marketing. She is also a Nashville-native who loves traveling, reading the NYT, and watching sports.
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