Merci & Fashion Week: creating a connected and short-lived brand experience


Instagram is a virtual showcase and the world of fashion can use it effortlessly with its showcasing through carefully created stagings, visually impacting shots and their constant search for innovation… This dynamic hasn’t been completely exploited yet and the fashion world could stand to go further: overall, only 18% of all content posted on Instagram by active users of the platform is fashion-related.

Merci started out as a fashion and interior design store on the Boulevard Beaumarchais in Paris. When the Fashion Week exported itself in Paris in 2018, Merci installed a pink bubblegum dome on its first floor. That isn’t the first time that the brand set its sights on a pop-up store, indeed, but creating this Insta-friendly space stirred up crowds. These were composed of their usual clients, curious Parisian people and most especially, international visitors who went to Paris on a quest for inspiration. All in all, this unusual and temporary pop-up store sought to replicate Instagram’s artistic and trendy codes.

The opportunity was up for the taking and Merci knew it. The Fashion Week is THE fashion and haute couture event that gets everyone going and that no one wants to miss. Die-hard fashionistas fly to Paris in order to admire the shows, bump up their sense of style with never-seen-before creations and take opportunity of a trip abroad to can glean a couple of shots they’ll post on Instagram as a proof they were there. Merci follows these pillars of the “perfect opportunity” culture that you simply can’t miss out on: that’s why its dome was full of brand-new collections and collaborations alongside international brands and designers. The similarity with Instagram is obvious: the store’s visual aspect is meant to catch your eye and clothes are copied from the Fashion Week’s trends so that shoppers can become stars of that event and of their own show. The whole goal was to get Instagram users to interact as much as possible with the posts so that it could get trendier instantly. Here, this completely immersive client experience plays on what you don’t expect and the rules you don’t fit.

Merci wanted to take advantage of this great opportunity and so it had to dabble in visual and experiential marketing. First things first, Merci recreated the virality that permeates the fashion world and appeals to the younger generations, mostly on their fear of missing out on the newest trends. That’s why it kept its collection live for one month only, from February to March 2018. Merci also sought to satisfy its fashion-obsessed female fans and replicated that atmosphere of a girl-friendly shop with a pink bubblegum dome full of similarly-themed clothes, courtesy of that year’s theme. Merci killed two birds with one stone: it could give some inspiration to Instagram users who were looking into refurnishing their closets and offered them a sweet-looking haven that goes beyond traditional stores where you’d have to walk through unending aisles.