On YouTube, Chanel reigns supreme with the most subscribers and views of any luxury brand. Dior, a distant second, is trying to catch up by borrowing a few lessons from its competitors’ playbook.
The French fashion house upped its video production around its Spring 2017 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week this season, launched a new series, “Dior Stories,” around the company’s history, and took its beauty tutorials backstage to show models and influencers using the brand’s makeup products.
“For luxury, an industry that harbors brand loyalists, YouTube is very effective,” said Roy DeYoung, svp of creative strategy at PMX Agency, which recently published its 2016 Luxury Report focusing on luxury brands’ social strategies. “People love the history and learning more about these brands. While Chanel’s built equity, Dior is still behind.”
By the numbers, Chanel dwarfs Dior. The brand has 625,000 subscribers and 247 million total views, while Dior has 300,000 subscribers and 165 million total views, according to PMX’s 2016 Luxury Report. Chanel’s percentage of organic views also trumps Dior’s, with just over 50 percent of views coming in organically, without ad spend, compared to 20 percent of Dior’s views. But Dior, which comes in as the second luxury brand with the most followers and views behind Chanel, is in a good position to engage customers on the platform by tapping into its history and translating it into two-minute videos.
“With this latest series, Dior could be able to better compete with a brand like Chanel, which has completed a similar historical marketing series ahead of them,” said DeYoung. Dior didn’t respond to a request to comment for this article.
Chanel’s video series, “Inside Chanel,” and “Dior Stories” both hope to bring to life the companies’ histories in video clips.
“The fashion industry has quite a few iconic brands that have an amazing history, sharing these histories with the up and coming generations that may not be familiar could only help their brand stay relevant in today’s fast moving technology age,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of mobile marketing platform SiteMinis.
Dior has also turned up the volume of its posts around its September fashion show, something that Chanel has done with strong results. According to L2’s Video 2016 report, Chanel sees a greater return on investment for its fashion shows by posting more than the runway itself on its YouTube channel: it breaks the event apart into different pieces of content shared individually on the platform.
“Chanel blows all other high-fashion brands out of the water with the sheer number of videos it’s posting,” said Mabel McLean, research analyst at L2 and the Video 2016 study lead. “One runway show will turn out eight YouTube videos — an interview with Karl, celebrity attendants and the runway designs themselves. That’s a great way to up view count.”
For its Spring 2017 show, Dior released 16 different videos, covering every aspect of the making and execution of the new collection, the first designed by new creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri. Beyond the runway video, the videos shared a look at the casting, fittings, hair and makeup, preparation at the Dior offices and front-row celebrity interviews. For its 2017 Resort show, 12 similar videos were posted around the event.
Dior has similarly followed Chanel to Facebook. Both brands expanded their video reach beyond YouTube this year: Chanel ran Canvas ads around its beauty campaign videos, which received 842,000 organic views, according to L2. Dior, meanwhile, ran a 360-degree video of its couture show over the summer. With ad spend behind it, the video reach 3.6 million views.
“There’s a clamor to get content out there, but people need to want to share it,” said DeYoung. “Both Dior and Chanel have invested in rich videos that tell their brand story, making it easier to play to the different strengths on Facebook and YouTube.”