News & Views

Snapping on the street

by Contagious Team

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective ad campaigns and marketing ideas

Fashion brand encourages the public to act like the paparazzi in Tokyo

Japanese clothing brand En Route has taken its fashion show to the streets.

The United Arrows-owned retailer sent models clothed in its 2014 autumn winter collection walking down not a catwalk, but the streets of Tokyo’s Omotesando, Aoyama and Harajuku neighbourhoods. In a further twist, the public was invited to snap photos of the models for a cash reward.

They needed to download En Route’s The Snap Up iPhone app and take a photo with their phone. The photos were judged in real time and the best pics were uploaded to the campaign website, winning the amateur photographers 1,000 yen ($9) per photo. People could get extra money if they were lucky enough to spot the mysterious figure ‘Cashier Man’, who walked around with a giant illuminated yen sign and a cash machine on his arm. By swiping their phone on the Cashier Man’s arm, they could get paid on the spot.

The Snap Up event ran for three hours on 6 September as part of Vogue’s global Fashion Night Out extravaganza. Party , Tokyo, the agency behind the campaign, reported that 1,000 people participating took a total of more than 27,000 photos.


Contagious Insight / 

Getting noticed / For a new brand like En Route, a unique event like this is a great way to get noticed. Doing something so different to the normal fashion week catwalk show is also a smart ploy for En Route to distinguish itself from its parent company United Arrows, one of Japan’s largest fashion retail companies.

Involving the crowd / En Route’s Snap Up event brings democracy to the exclusive fashion scene. The campaign is especially relevant for a sports/streetwear brand, which isn’t high fashion. We’ve seen examples of fashion brands trying to involve the public more in the launch of the new collections. This was certainly the case for Topshop’s latest fashion show, where certain items were debuted on Facebook ahead of the catwalk. These kinds of tactics make the brand feel more accessible and brings the consumer closer.

A payout for existing behaviour / What’s curious here is the idea of encouraging the public to play the role of the paparazzi, and particularly paying them to do so. We always advise brands to think about how their consumers are already acting and then complement that behaviour rather then asking them to do something radically different. Most young fashionistas would be inclined to snap a photo anyway if they saw a street fashion show happening. En Route is simply rewarding them for doing so, turning the ordinary fashion show into a game and making its own clothing seem more desirable in the process.


This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact