Hollister goes social with anti-bullying campaign

Abercrombie & Fitch-owned fashion brand, Hollister, is teaming up with one of the new breed of social media influencers to convey its 2016 anti-bullying message.

Set for exposure across the US – and in the UK for the first time – Hollister's contribution to National Bullying Prevention Month in October will see a video featuring YouTube star Brent Rivera sent to schools to inform young people of the negative impact of bullying.

The campaign, All Equal, is in its fourth year, and looks to raise awareness of bullying and provide resources for those in need. Since launching the initiative in 2013, Hollister has donated more than $1 million in support and has reached over 1.75 million students. With Rivera's input, those numbers are set to grow even further in the month ahead.

The social media star, who has a backing of more than 23 million supporters across the various social channels, has created videos depicting scenarios of how teens can help prevent bullying. The educational video along with a peer-to-peer curriculum, developed by renowned anti-bullying expert and clinical psychologist, Dr Joel Haber, will be distributed to more than 20,000 schools across the US and UK.

Materials created as part of the campaign are also available on Hollister's YouTube channel, while the brand has also designed a line of graphic T-shirts that will support the campaign and raise funds for related causes.

Fran Horowitz, president & chief merchandising officer for Abercrombie & Fitch, said: "As we continue to focus on the teen consumer, we know that bullying and cyberbullying have become an epidemic on a global scale.

"The profound and lasting impact bullying can have on that demographic can be catastrophic and our hope is that with our programme, we can continue to raise awareness and provide students with the tools and resources they need to stand up against bullying around the world."

Social influencer marketing

The partnership with Rivera is just the latest of many examples where retail businesses have allied with social media influencers to push their respective campaigns.

US-based designer furniture retailer, Z Gallerie, has recently established its Z List which involves identifying and partnering with social influencers who subsequently curate their own "e-boutiques", sharing their favourite style stories from the brand's product range. Influencers on the exclusive Z List include authors, fashion bloggers and lifestyle writers.

Meanwhile, under new CEO Federica Marchionni, fashion retailer Lands' End has been looking to leverage its social audience as part of a wider marketing push to help improve the business's fortunes. It has been forging direct relationships with fans of the brand online to try and gain traction in this area.

A recent survey by social influencer software tool Tomoson suggested that 59% of marketers are planning on increasing their influencer marketing budgets in the next 12 months.

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