Clear Channel has teamed with Bloomingdale’s to celebrate the fashion retailer’s celebration of Great Britain style with a multi-platform campaign that will include live shows, online radio and exclusive interviews. The custom partnership kicked off Aug. 28 with a Bloomingdale’s-branded UK rocks station on IHeartRadio.com , and will culminate in October with a pair of performances at the IHeartRadio Theater in New York featuring Emeli Sande and Jake Bugg on Oct. 10 and Rita Ora on Oct. 17.
Video vignettes featuring interviews with the artists as well as U.K. designers like Paul Smith, Alasdhair Willis of Hunter and Christopher Bailey of Burberry will also appear on the UK Rocks station, in addition to curated music by artists hailing from the area.
“Bloomingdale’s is always looking for new and unique merchandise for customers as well as great experiences and dynamic ways for communicating with our audience,” Frank Berman, exec VP-marketing for Bloomingdale’s tells Billboard. “With Clear Channel’s vast network of traditional radio as well as unique and innovation digital channels such as iHeartRadio, this partnership allows Bloomingdale’s to provide our customers with content to be experienced online as well as an opportunity to bring that digital content to life in the form of two private concerts happening in October.”
Berman also explained the natural affinity between the markets and why the UK is hot this year. “Music is important because it has always had an influence on fashion,” he said, “The underlying theme we are seeing in merchandise this season is British influence. We are constantly looking for partners who can bring us unique content that our shoppers will be interested in and expand our reach to millennials. It’s all about content, distribution and bringing it all to life in our stores and on our website.”
Bloomingdale’s is a modestly large advertiser, spending over $111 million on measured media in 2012, and a first-time partner with Clear Channel on an integrated basis.
The editorial interviews IHeartRadio conducted in London with designers like Paul Smith were a particular highlight of the process for Zena Burns, Clear Channel’s VP of digital programming platforms. “Paul Smith may be my new favorite person alive, friends and family notwithstanding,” Burns says with a laugh. “He has so many incredible stories from making these crushed velvet trousers for Led Zeppelin to working Clapton, Pink Floyd to Bowie. Jake Bugg was just in his studio the day we met with him, and Franz Ferdinand were coming in the next day. I think Tinie Tempah was coming the week after that. Once he starts talking about music he’ll basically get going all day, so it was great to show that he has such a tremendous background in it.”
Bloomingdale’s and IHeartRadio will live-stream the October concerts at IHeartRadio.comn and Bloomingdales.com/UKrocks, with a contest for five lucky winners to be flown to New York City and win a $500 Bloomingdale’s gift card being held at Bloomingdales.com/britsweeps. Berman adds that the campaign’s success will be measured through audience impressions, traffic to Bloomingdales.com and overall engagement with the Bloomingdale’s brand. “I would be lying to you if I didn’t say the sale of our exclusive merchandise, which has been thoughtfully curated for our customers,” he added.
Clear Channel’s clout among retail advertisers has grown in recent months, particularly with Macy’s, which will return to September’s IHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas as the partner for the second Rising Star contest.