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How we used a public content shoot to create a huge buzz for a small lingerie brand


Creative lingerie shoot by SZN Social, Holly Lulu Intimates
Photos by @cg.studios.au

We did a public content creation shoot on the streets of busy St Kilda on Tuesday afternoon with 4 models of diverse sizing wearing Holly Lulu lingerie.

Here's the behind the scenes and here's some of the public reactions we got.


WHY WE DID A PUBLIC SHOOT

I wanted to do this content shoot as a case study to prove some things I know to be true about how virality works and what kind of content cuts through, online in 2023.

It pains me to see most brands still using outdated marketing tactics and content styles and being disappointed with their results.

And, my mission is to help brands understand what *really* works, what performance content looks like and how you build brand awareness and generate rapid online growth. The public element was an essential part of this shoot not just for the attention but we also wanted to make a statement about the policing of women's bodies and who is supposedly allowed to wear what.

We had several plus sized girls modelling in the shoot, as Holly Lulu is a brand designed for *all* women and for the pleasure of women.

We wanted to give a big ol' F U to archaic beauty standards - by parading all shapes and sizes around in public in lingerie absolutely not giving any F***s.

However, the response we got... was not what we expected.

The benefits of the public shoot were:

  • It would give us the most bang for our buck by combining an in-real-life publicity stunt with a scroll-stopping content creation shoot.

  • We attracted a huge amount of attention in the physical environment of the shoot (including the 150 bikies who turned up for their weekly meet LOL) and many people took videos, came to find out who we were and posted us on their socials. We turned a regular day into an *experience* that people wanted to share!

  • We also created digital content that was very different from the majority of boudoir-style lingerie content you see online. We wanted to create provocative and unusual scenes to stop the scroll and create enough intrigue to prompt viewers to investigate further.

Basically, we wanted to stop people in their tracks online and offline

Because, the reality is, in 2023 there is SO much going on in the online space that if you can't find a way to capture attention?

It really doesn't matter how good your product is.

No one but your most supportive family and friends will ever see it


HOW THE SHOOT UNFOLDED (FUNNY & UNEXPECTED MOMENTS)

At 4.30PM on Tuesday afternoon, we met at the Luna Park entrance, the mecca of St Kilda.

The nervous energy was positively vibrating

There were 9 of us all up - 4 models, Holly the brand owner, Marisa on photography, me on video, Prue on BTS and reaction video, and one of the model's (male) friends.

The girls piled into the McDonald's change rooms to don their lingerie while we scoped out our first location.

We decided to jump right in the deep end and use the busiest pedestrian crossing (which also doubled as a tram stop) out the front of Luna Park.

Honestly, I wasn't sure how confident the models would be in *such* a public setting as I hadn't worked with most of them before.

And, I wasn't sure how the public would react.

But the second unknown (the public reaction) was also part of the point, y'know?

That reactionary content would be an essential part of helping this content generate attention online.

When the girls emerged in their lingerie, semi disguised with throw over jackets and dresses, stockings and lacy bra straps peeking out - we announced the first location.

Without a moments hesitation, the girls threw off their cover ups in the middle of the street, and revealed their brightly coloured, lacy lingerie complete with garter belts and heels.

The reactions were immediate.

It was as if every set of eyes in the entire suburb turned to us


One by one, the girls sauntered across the pedestrian crossing in front of a stream of idling cars, feigning ignorance to the attention they were receiving, while we were positioned somewhere slightly out of immediate eyeshot filming.

Meanwhile, a tram had stopped in the centre of the crossing and people were spilling out onto the busy street - heads jerking as they registered the group of women standing in their midst.

It was honestly so great

In the days before the shoot, we had done a couple of Zoom calls, and talked about the possible negative reactions the girls might receive.

I was a little worried about the girls receiving negative comments from passers by and wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable in that scenario.

We weren't just pushing societal boundaries by bringing lingerie into the streets but we were going even more provocative by doing so with plus-sized girls (who according to much of the internet are not entitled to wear anything sexy or skimpy)

I have to say...

I was shocked by the reactions we received.

Not only did we not receive a single negative comment - or even look - from anyone walking or driving past.

But, people were downright LOVING IT.

We had women calling out compliments and cheers to the girls as they walked past.

People tooting their horns with grins plastered on their faces as they drove past

Countless people approached us to find out what we were doing, ask about the brand and wanting to take photos with the girls.

Dozens of people openly stared or filmed as they walked past, positively titillated by the scene.

When a group of almost 150 bikies descended on the scene, though, we grew a little nervous

Large groups of men are typically something women actively avoid on the street.

And bikies? Oh god.

As a couple of them strode towards us, we were all side eyeing each other in anxious anticipation of what they would say.

As the first one reached us a genuine, beaming smile spread across his face

"What are you guys up to?"

Contrary to popular opinion, most men are in no way concerned about size or shape if it's standing right in front of them wearing lingerie, let me tell you

The bikie guys were positively thrilled by their luck of arriving to their meet to find a bunch of models in lingerie.

They invited us to come and use their bikes as props if we wanted to (we did, obviously) and we spent about 20min mingling amongst their group, chatting and taking videos.


They were nothing short of respectful and simply added to the fun.

Eventually, I convinced one of the guys to take a passenger and Maddie enthusiastically volunteered.

The sheer scene of a girl in lingerie and heels riding on the back of a motorbike into the sunset as it sank down through the palm trees and into the ocean... could not have planned that better

And, speaking of reactions to the girls...

I was even more pleased at the women's response!

As we all know, at times, women can be a little bit 'internalised misogyny' and judgemental of women doing provocative things.

But, from the reactions we got and the women who went out of their way to speak to us, cheer the girls on or take photos with them?

I got the sense that most women found our diverse group to be a really pleasant surprise and one they could wholeheartedly get behind

It really was one of those situations that surpassed all expectations and left everyone involved (including the bystanders) feeling like they were 'part of something' that day.

And the content we created off the back of this day?

Well, here's some of the comments we've received already:



THE TAKEAWAYS

The question is - why does all this work?

And, I'm sure some of you are wondering

"How is this relevant to my business - which isn't provocative by nature?"

The principles that underpin this public shoot can be adapted to any brand or campaign.

This was just the best way to leverage them for this particular brand and product.

Principles for a successful brand awareness campaign in 2023:


  • People love to feel part of something (rather than just being advertised at) and are more likely to share and get involved in an immersive experience designed for their entertainment.

  • It's much easier to get attention in a real life setting than it is online because there's less competition for attention and a potent human connection element.

  • You can leverage real life activations to generate a buzz online - through encouraging bystanders to share online, as well as, creating your own content. There are lots of ways to use real life settings for online growth.

  • If you want people to stop scrolling when they see your content on social media - you need to incorporate a disruptive element (in this case, we used 'bystander' style content of lingerie in public and kept the reactions in the videos).


Want to develop a unique campaign that will blow your competition out of the water?


Something that hasn't been done hundreds of times already?


Something designed to generate an element of virality online to get you the *most* brand awareness?


Get in touch with us no - hello@sznsocial.com


We have options for brands at all sizes and budgets from 1-Day VIP Strategy sessions to help you DIY through to longer term strategy development, campaign management and content creation.

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