News & Views

Ted Baker / It’s not as it seams

by Contagious I/O

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 hides messages behind Instagram filters as it launches new collection

To launch its 2015 Spring Summer collection, British fashion label Ted Baker has created a competition asking users to regram (i.e. repost) Instagram photographs in order to discover hidden messages.

Ted Baker will post a new image each day during the two-week long #Pinch_Me campaign, developed with London-based agency Poke.

Each image features clothes and accessories from the brand’s new collection and is captioned with instructions asking users to screenshot the photo and apply different Instagram filters. Certain filters will expose a hidden message, which can be sharpened by playing around with the app’s editing tools or re-filtering the photograph a second time.

To enter the competition, people simply have to use the #Pinch_Me hashtag when re-posting a photo.

One person will win a trip to Portmeirion, the Welsh town where the brand’s SS15 launch film (below) was shot and famously the iconic shooting location for cult 60s mystery drama The Prisoner.

There are also small challenges to complete throughout the campaign, such as solving anagrams, for a chance to win smaller prizes.


Contagious Insight / 

The mystery box / This Instagram platform hack taps into people’s love of instrigue and drive to discover the unknown. As Lost creator JJ Abrams explained in his 2007 TED talk, ‘mystery is the catalyst of imagination’. He believes audiences stay hooked on film and TV series because of the ‘mystery box’ in the story - the unknown element they don’t understand but feel an irresistible desire to have revealed. With a clear nod to the The Prisoner’s mysterious reputation, Ted Baker is using this technique of withholding information in the form of hidden messages to create intrigue while cleverly adapting it to Instagram, bolstering it with a suitably curious hashtag.

And, of course, all that screenshotting, filtering, re-filtering and re-posting ensures that those who engage with the campaign spend a fair bit of time actively looking at the new collection.

Organic attention / This tactic of trying to attract attention rather than demand it is emblematic of Ted Baker founder and CEO Ray Kelvin’s attitude to the overall communications strategy. The brand claims to rarely use conventional advertising (Kelvin told us he finds print ads ‘cheesy’). ‘We like developing new content, we like to find ways of people discovering it and finding it cool rather than us pushing it into their faces,’ Kelvin recently told Contagious. The #Pinch_Me campaign is a clear-cut expression of that attitude.

Keeping the Ted Baker logo off the images keeps the campaign unbranded enough for it to not stick out overtly as marketing on Instagram, which may cause some users to consciously avoid the campaign, while the editorial-style images look perfectly at home amongst the platform’s typical cappuccino and sandy beach visuals.

 Ted Baker


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