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November 17, 2021

The Rise of Short-Lived Marketing

Vogue Business delves into how brands and influencers are rethinking their social media feeds...

Brands wiping their social media accounts, deleting their profiles, and ephemeral content – in one of their latest articles, Vogue Business explores the realms of fashion and luxury as well as how brands are making bold moves to stay relevant in a digital-first world.

‘From Balenciaga to JW Anderson, brands are quickening the pace at which they remove content from their social media feeds. Balenciaga first wiped its Instagram grid clean in June, ahead of unveiling its first haute couture collection in 53 years, and has since continued to clean its Instagram feed regularly. Its current feed features just 64 images from the Spring/Summer 2022 collection.

JW Anderson has a mere 35 posts on Instagram featuring seasonal products such as the new Bumper bag. Nicolas Ghesquiere wiped his Instagram feed for his 921,000 followers ahead of Louis Vuitton’s spring summer show: a video of the womenswear collection remains the only post. Meanwhile, some fashion influencers are also curating their feeds: leading creators are often opting to remove sponsored posts after a period of time, say marketing agencies — unless brands are willing to pay more.

The focus of marketers is moving to so-called ephemeral content, which is shown for a shorter period of time, sometimes less than 24 hours, before disappearing. Marketers used to prioritise evergreen campaigns with high-quality content that stuck around. However, brands are having to work harder to appear new and fresh, says Nadia Tuma-Weldon, lead of global luxury practice at McCann Worldgroup, a global ad giant with clients ranging from L’Oréal to Nestle and Mastercard. “There’s a lot of pressure to capture a youth audience and every marketer is just scrambling to figure out how to get their attention. If you work in fashion, your competition is not the next clothing or shoe brand — it’s the entire internet.”

Instagram, launched initially as a photo-sharing app, is encouraging users to share and engage with ephemeral short-form video content; as do newer livestream apps such as Periscope and Meerkat. “These platforms are allowing people to show their personality a bit more,” says Eastmond. “Social media, and especially fashion, has been very curated for a long time. People used to care about how their feed images look all together but there wasn’t necessarily personality there. Since the rise of Instagram Stories, brands are having to act more like individuals.”

The obsession with the Instagram grid is passing. “Instagram has become this kind of multifaceted platform where you’re able to do so many different things. The grid has become less important and less emphasised,” says Chriselle Lim, a Los Angeles-based digital creator and entrepreneur.

Benefits of a blank canvas

Social media experts believe there are advantages in short-lived marketing. Ephemeral content allows brands to be a little more lo-fi and in the moment, says Science Magic’s Eastmond. Sharing behind-the-scenes ephemeral content from a runway show or shoot is engaging and more likely to prompt conversation than a carefully prepared feed post that looks straight out of a catalogue, he adds.

Is ephemeral content right for luxury?

Others are more cautious about the short-lived content trend in social media. “If you’re an influencer and you’re saying yes to a job, I would hope that you’re not only doing it for a paycheck. If you truly love the brand, why would you delete the content?” questions Salsamendi.’

To read the full article and more conversations surrounding short-lived marketing visit the full Vogue Business HERE