There are fashion companies using technology. There are technology companies that focus on fashion. And then there are technology companies that bring true innovation to the fashion industry, and TripleLift is one of those companies.
With a new $2.1 million seed round lead by True Ventures, TripleLift is expanding their social advertising campaigns that look to leverage social sharing. Last October they worked with Gucci to create banner ads with “Pin It” buttons allowing the images to go viral and have since worked with major brands like Martha Stuart, Puma, H&M and Armani Exchange.
“The web is increasingly dominated by images, and images are quickly becoming the primary currency with which brands communicate with their potential customers,” CEO Eric Berry tells TechCrunch. “TripleLift identifies how consumers engage with brands across the web and uses that data to create more relevant and effective advertising.”
Push vs. Pull Marketing
This reactive advertising capitalizes on two important shifts in fashion. First, it recognizes the difference between push and pull marketing. Fashion brands have always tried to maintain a tight control on the image and use of their products. But with social media sites like Polyvore, “users” have taken brands into their own hands. Luxury companies like Gucci once tried to fight these platforms and even once blocked Polyvore from using their catalog photos.
But when Gucci’s “Pin It” Fall/Winter 2012 digital campaign went live last year, Polyvore was included along with WSJ.com, Style.com, Lifestyle Mirror and New York Magazine’s fashion blog The Cut. The campaign showed that the company was opening its doors to consumers taking the brand as their own.
Of course this isn’t to say that Gucci really gets it yet. As Mashable points out, their Pinterest profile only had 3,100 followers with 432 pins while Michael Kors has 53,000 followers and 1,200 pins. And interesting enough, the ads did NOT include “Clip It” buttons for Polvore users to create sets with. Perhaps they still aren’t cool with the “collage.”
Instant Ads For Instant Trends
With millions of people able to instantly react to content, fashion trends are quickly changing faster than ever. With Twitter, a style can be “so 60 seconds ago” and innovations in manufacturing have allowed “Fast Fashion” companies like H&M to get the newest runway trends into their stores within weeks, often before the original designers can manufacture them for their own luxury retail buyers.
But now there’s a technological solution for that.
TripleLift’s newest innovation allows advertising campaigns to react and respond to what images and products are trending. By using image recognition, the company monitors 10 million engagement points per day on social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram to figure out what is being shared.
The company can then use face detection and color analysis to crop images and generate a new banner ad that focuses on the newly trending product. So while a brand might start with a planned and orchestrated campaign for a new product line, they can instantly tweak it and react to what specific items people like the most.
TripleLift CEO Eric Berry says that they are trying to “tie together owned, earned, and paid media.”
Berry along with his co-founders — CTO Shaun Zacharia and Chief Strategy Officer Ari Lewine — all worked together at AppNexus, a advertising platform for mobile developers.
The round was led by True Ventures and iNovia Capital, with participation from NextView Ventures, Laconia Ventures, MESA+, the Social Internet Fund, Pinterest investor William Lohse’s Social Starts, former DoubleClick executive Paul Olliver, and Liberty City Ventures.