Topshop invites Gen Z to ‘Date Dash’ through its UK stores
Standing out in the crowded fashion market is never easy but Topshop’s ‘Date Dash’, an online dating show designed to re-write the rules of love, does just that.
Assistant Editor, BITE
Topshop used to be a youth fashion brand, but Gen Z simply aren’t shopping there. It has lost touch with its younger audience. Virtue’s task was to make the brand visible, valued and relevant to this new audience.
Across Topshop’s 604 stores, digital partners and franchises in over 35 countries around the world as well as their website that attracts 4.5 million weekly visits, one pair of Topshop jeans sells globally every ten seconds. This is quite a statistic but one which doesn’t belie the high street’s dwindling power.
High street fashion houses are having to compete with a Gen Z consumer’s growing appetite for second hand shopping as a heightened awareness of sustainable fashion puts the ‘fast fashion’ model under the microscope. As the first truly digital generation, for Gen Z, social media fuels a pressure to continually purchase new clothes, to avoid being photographed in the same outfit twice. But that also means Gen Z are looking to less conventional ways of shopping like rental and resale.
Topshop and Topman recognised that they need to do more to connect with a younger audience so they worked with VIRTUE to create a campaign to make the brand relevant, visible and valued. VIRTUE designed experiences that would appeal to Gen Z whilst also driving footfall in store.
Standing out in the crowded fashion market is never easy but Topshop’s ‘Date Dash’, an online dating show designed to re-write the rules of love, does just that. With an element of competition, the Dash is also designed to test players’ style instincts. Contestants are dropped in a Topshop/Topman store in either Glasgow, Manchester or London Oxford Street in their underwear and they must then race against the clock to find a suitable outfit to impress a potential suitor.
The series is made up of six episodes created for topshop.com with other social assets to run alongside the campaign. The show, while plugging the variety of clothing on offer in a Topshop/Topman store has also been created to bring people together who wouldn’t necessarily find each other elsewhere and to encourage collective exploration.
Influencer culture is giving Gen Z shoppers a degree of autonomy over how they interact with brands. They can craft their own imagery of what being a certain type of brand loyalist looks like, dictated by them as consumer rather than by the brand itself.
Brands that are looking to target a Gen Z audience need to work with their audience, to create content that means something to them and reflects their values. Date Dash works because it is not about interrupting a news feed, but rather about creating a reason to stop, share and shop.