Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo just tried something a little different on Pinterest: a social marketing/branded content campaign, the "Uniqlo Dry Mesh Project," that aimed to cut through ‘scrolling slumber’ with a simultaneous pinning event (some might say hacking) that animate the images in real time to catch users' attention on the social scrapbooking site.
A series of branded mosaics were posted simultaneously on Pinterest across multiple categories (such as "Geek"). As users scroll through their favorites they encounter the giant blocks of images that coalesce into a larger, branded mosaic that appeared to animate on scrolling down. Images of Dry Mesh T-shirts — which are designed to keep the wearer dry by wicking away sweat — created the mosaics. The result was certainly a visually arresting animation for an otherwise visually boring, mono-colored product.
How they did it: Unqlo and its agency, Firstborn, created 100 separate shell accounts on Pinterest that were switched over to Unqlo-branded accounts (such as unqdm23, uniqdm25 and unqdm29) to create a single eye-catching, “animated” stream as they pinned specific items in a choreographed sequence of mass-pinning.
The giant branded mosaics can be seen by Pinterest users whether followers of the Uniqlo brand page on Pinterest or not. The Uniqlo Dry Mesh Project focused on five categories on Pinterest (Men's Apparel, Women's Apparel, Geek, Fitness and Sports), the brand’s appeal to an active, on-the-go lifestyle; and their future vision of “the ultimate functional wear.”
It’s the first use case on Pinterest to promote a brand and specific product this way, and iterates how social media and brands can work in tandem to broaden audience reach and engage users to dive deeper into exploring the site. (Smart car marketers in Argentina created a clever scrolling animation on Twitter — click here and press the 'j' key to see it in action.)
Uniqlo has a track record of digital innovation, including its 2010 Lucky Counter Twitter campaign in the UK, which turned lemons into virtual lemonade: its e-commerce site was temporarily down, so the retailer created a Twitter game to lower the the price of items based on user tweets.
Back in 2007 when Uniqlo first hit the fashion radar, we noted the national bravura. “One brand that wears its national colors on its sleeve is Unqilo, a fashion retailer that combines the back-to-basics approach of American Apparel, the competitive pricing of Old Navy, and the foreign edge of a Zara or H&M…it's refreshing when a Japanese brand discards discretion for an emboldened embrace of its culture in brand identity.”
Uniqlo (coined from "unique clothes") is making good on its brand commitment to innovate its way to the digital catwalk in its product and its presentation.
Below, check out Uniqlo's more traditional (video) promotion for its dry mesh t-shirt: