Waistcoats are still coming home: the impact on search

Nicole Tuffin, 11 Jul 2018

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As the first manager to guide the England Men’s team to a World Cup semi-final since 1990, Gareth Southgate won the support of the nation and did it in great style, literally. It became apparent throughout England’s World Cup campaign that he would be going for a smart look finished off with a (now famous) navy waistcoat.

The rise of the waistcoat

Consequently, the success of Southgate triggered huge interest in the term ‘waistcoat’ online, sending it soaring as the nation’s hopes continued to be fulfilled.

From Google trends data over the past five years, it’s clear there’s a correlation between the England team’s success and interest in waistcoats, particularly evident in the large peak seen after our successful last 16 penalty shoot out.

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Marks and Spencer’s campaign

Since our Quarter-final victory, Marks & Spencer successfully launched a waistcoat campaign to build upon their already impressive 35% increase in waistcoat sales seen in the last month.

They declared Saturday as #NationalWaistcoatDay, which blood cancer research charity, Bloodwise, quickly gained inspiration from to create their semi-final campaign #waistcoatwednesday, which had the nation in a waistcoat frenzy.

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Waistcoats on social

#Waistcoatwednesday gained huge traction and the whole of twitter flooded with tweets showing support in its many forms. From waistcoat cupcakes, to dress your dog waistcoats, to make your own waistcoat or just simply wearing a normal waistcoat, we seemed to have hit a waistcoat phenomenon never seen before.

Who’s winning in waistcoats?

When looking at the search term ‘waistcoat’ over the past month, it’s clear that since the beginning of July the value of this term has been growing, which aligns with Gareth and the England team’s success since the group stages of the competition.

Fashion UK | Leaderboard

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M&S increased their position, reaching 4th by Waistcoat Wednesday, with their successful campaign as the ‘Official tailor to the England Team’, even managing to surpass Moss, the top position holder from mid-June to 3rd July.

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M&S managed to create a well joined up marketing strategy which brought them great success. Creating their own waistcoat-related hashtag campaign, alongside a luxury waistcoat line identical to that of Southgate’s, on top of gaining the title of ‘Official tailor to the England Team’, M&S covered major ground with such success they even sold out of navy waistcoats ahead of Wednesday’s match.

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Utilising this opportunity to full effect enabled them to benefit from huge sales in an area that previously wasn’t bringing them their most revenue. Importantly, this demonstrates to the rest of us the power of an effective marketing strategy developed on the back of a popular trending topic.

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