Express Lets Consumers Strut their Stuff
To build buzz leading up to a New York City fashion show that would highlight its holiday styles, apparel retailer Express set up a catwalk in the middle of Times Square, letting consumers strut their stuff and have their photos taken—just like supermodels. The event broke the Guinness World Book Record for the largest number of people modeling on a catwalk.
The company invited fashionistas and Express fans to walk the runway. After signing consent forms and receiving a t-shirt proclaiming “I was a model for a minute,” the newly recruited models were briefed backstage by professional runway experts. Express marketing executives were on watch at the end of the runway, keeping an eye out for fresh talent, while representatives of the Guinness Book of World Records monitored all the action. Participants were instantly able to share a photo of their moment in the spotlight thanks to on-site social media kiosks. Five winners were rewarded with $250 Express gift cards and others received gift cards good for $10 to $75 at an Express store.
Despite the 95-degree heat, the new record of 1,243 models was set at 11:35 a.m. (All it took was a little creativity, 18 hours to build the catwalk and more than 1,000 bottles of water to hydrate the models.) Later that evening, Express’ official runway show unveiled the retailer’s holiday collection, and the entire show was streamed live at express.com.