Ecommerce

Skims: A Masterclass in Well-Timed Celebrity Campaigns (+ Recreate Their Strategy)

  • Written by Kaleigh Moore
Skims: A Masterclass in Well-Timed Celebrity Campaigns   (+ Recreate Their Strategy)

Kim Kardashian has taken the fashion world by storm with her brand Skims, now synonymous with innovative shapewear and clothing. Since its inception, Skims has found a way to stand out with its products, clever marketing, and culturally timely campaigns, all of which are supported by Kardashian's fame, influence, and business acumen. 

Kardashian’s journey to serial entrepreneurship and use of social media sounds similar to Veeqo's recent ecommerce study findings, which showed that serial entrepreneurs are 6% more likely than non-serial entrepreneurs to prioritize using social media marketing for their business.

In the first quarter of 2024, Skims ranked 17th on the Lyst Index of the hottest brands—not far behind legacy luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Diesel, Alaïa, and Dolce and Gabbana. 

Celebrity endorsements have always been powerful advertising tools, and Skims is a prime example of a brand that has managed to stay ahead of the curve in the world of social media thanks to a variety of well-timed celebrity campaigns.

In this article, we'll break down the secrets to Skims’s marketing success and explore how precise launch timings and engaging promotional tactics have helped the brand make a significant impact. We’ll also look at how brands can replicate Skims' success can adopt these strategies.

Table of Contents

  • Skims’ well-timed celebrity partnerships and endorsements

  • 5 Tips to recreate Skims marketing success for your brand  

  • What we can learn from Skims

Skims’ well-timed celebrity partnerships and endorsements

Skims has strategically leveraged celebrity clout to amplify its brand presence. Let’s look at a few well-timed campaigns that captured the cultural zeitgeist strategically.

Skims x White Lotus Season 2 

Following the phenomenal popularity of characters Mia and Lucia in season two of the TV show The White Lotus, Skims hired the duo for a Skims product drop. Kardashian said, "I watched White Lotus and had to have my girls."

In what can only be described as an epic campaign with epic timing, The Skims Valentine’s Day Shop featured the show’s breakout stars and real-life best friends, Simona Tabasco (who plays Lucia Greco) and Bea Granno (who plays Mia), together for Skims. People who watched the show and rooted for the duo were thrilled to witness their comeback in the Skims campaign. 

Skims’ carefully orchestrated product strategy capitalized on the show's popularity and affluent demographic audience. Given The White Lotus's satirical take on the lives of the elite, a brand like Skims fit perfectly with the show's theme of wealth, luxury, and modern lifestyles.

Further reading: How to make your Shopify Store Live 

NBA and WNBA x Skims multi-year partnership

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the shapewear brand Skims announced a multiyear partnership, making Skims the official underwear partner of both the NBA and the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and USA Basketball.

Skims’ spot-on timing needs a special mention: This partnership came into effect following a record-breaking 2023 season for the WNBA, which saw unprecedented levels of viewership, attendance, and digital engagement. 

Known for its inclusive and innovative approach to shapewear and underwear, Skims has already captured a significant market share and public attention through various campaigns and product launches.

Partnering with the NBA, WNBA, and USA Basketball enhances the brand's visibility and marks a significant moment in sports and fashion where the brand’s ethos of inclusivity and body positivity aligns with the ethos of empowerment and athleticism represented by these basketball organizations. 

SKIMS WNBA Kim Kardashian

Image courtesy of WNBA

Usher x Skims before 2024 Superbowl performance

Usher took center stage in the new Skims men's underwear campaign, showcased around his remarkable Super Bowl Halftime show performance.

Following the Super Bowl and his album release, Usher's collaboration with Skims highlighted a new range of products, drawing considerable attention to the brand's offerings for men.

Usher's style and stage presence were on full display during his 2024 Super Bowl Halftime performance, which was eagerly anticipated and widely discussed. His outfits and overall performance style were a standout aspect of the event, remaining true to his iconic fashion sense and performance charisma.

Skims experienced a notable restocking of their men’s collection after Usher modeled their styles in a viral campaign. The restock occurred shortly after the Super Bowl, indicating the influence of Usher's spotlight on the label's product demand.  

Sabrina Carpenter x Skims Ahead of Coachella debut

Sabrina Carpenter is stirring excitement with her recent campaign as the new face of Skims’ Stretch Lace and Fits Everybody spring pieces. Photographed by Jack Bridgland, the dreamy campaign features the “Nonsense” singer modeling sexy coquette lingerie looks in a nostalgic ‘90s-themed bedroom.

This venture comes just before her highly anticipated debut at Coachella, adding to her dynamic career moves in the music and fashion sectors. 

“Skims has so many beautiful underwear styles that I was so excited to wear. I love both collections, especially the delicacy of the Stretch Lace and the second-skin feel of Fits Everybody. Every piece I wore was super flattering and so comfortable, which of course is always a given with Skims” Carpenter, a long-time fan of the brand, said in a press release.  

Nicola Coughlan from Bridgerton 

Prominently known for her role as Penelope Featherington on the hit Netflix series Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan collaborated with Skims around the launch of Part two of Season three of the show, right when online conversation around the show and her performance was peaking. 

Skims consistently showcases its strategic marketing prowess, crafting culturally and contextually relevant campaigns and impeccably timed to maximize visibility and engagement. The brand capitalizes on mainstream cultural trends by aligning its products with influential personalities at pivotal moments to bolster its market position.

5 Tips to recreate Skims marketing success for your brand  

Some experts opine that 2024 is the year you should create your own brand. There are certainly some trends you can jump on this year, like starting your own Tik Tok shop (here’s a guide on how to get started selling on Tik Tok). But what can we learn from one of the leading woman-owned ecommerce brands? Let’s find out. 

1. Select the right celebrity

Choose a celebrity whose image and audience align with your brand and ensure that the celebrity genuinely resonates with your brand values and products. Skims emphasizes diversity in body shapes and sizes in its marketing and accordingly favors celebrities who share or publicly support values of body positivity, self-love, and inclusivity. 

It’s additionally important to consider the celebrity’s reach and their influence on platforms where your audience is most active. 

However, you don't always need to use a celebrity to jump on a trend. If a celebrity collab isn't in your budget, you could see similar impact from jumping on a trending topic or popular meme for a lower cost.

For example, when IKEA used Bernie Sanders sitting in a chair wearing mittens to generate over 1.2 million views. Or when this injury law firm used Tiger King to create a commercial which got them 20 media placements and over 1000 social media shares.

2. Develop a compelling campaign narrative

Create a narrative that authentically connects the celebrity's personal brand with your product. Find a fresh angle for your campaign that aligns with current cultural trends or events. 

Aligning with cultural movements towards greater inclusivity, Skims has been praised for its broad range of sizes and shades. Tapping into the current body positivity trend, the brand attracts a diverse range of customers.

3. Timing is key

Keep an eye on market trends. Aim to connect your campaign to what is current and relevant. Launch your campaign during or around significant cultural events that align with your brand (e.g., sporting events, holidays, award seasons).

Skims’ partnership with Team USA for the Olympics brought the brand into the global spotlight, backed by the team's celebrity athletes.

This move allowed celebrities in the sports arena to be indirectly involved in promoting the brand, as they were seen wearing Skims apparel. The strategic partnership gave the brand a significant presence at a major international event.

It’s also a wise idea to time your brand campaign to coincide with new product launches or restocks. Remember ecommerce thrives during Thanksgiving and other festive periods. 

4. Use multi-channel marketing

Leverage multiple channels (e.g., social media, email, TV) for a wider reach and create anticipation with teasers leading up to the campaign launch. Consider leveraging other influencers in addition to your main celebrity to amplify your message. 

Harper's Bazaar and Yahoo Entertainment coverage of the Mia & Lucia campaign for Valentine's Day 2023 highlighted how SKIMS cleverly used these actresses to resonate with a younger, trend-savvy audience.

By capitalizing on social media platforms, where both Grannò and Tabasco have significant followings, SKIMS generated considerable anticipation for the campaign. 

Seeing demand soar with your multi-channel marketing strategy? Get ready to ship out those orders with Amazon Shipping.

5. Analyze results and maintain the momentum

The internet loves Kim Kardashian’s shapewear company. But it loves its ads even more. That’s the kind of ripple effect that Skims’ marketing campaigns manage to create. 

Keep the buzz alive after your campaign launch with follow-up content and ongoing collaborations. The internet is unpredictable, and you need to always have a pulse on audience reaction.

Don't be afraid to be flexible: Let your brand campaign evolve based on what content works and the audience's changing demands.

You know what’s working when you see an actual impact on sales. In today’s marketplace, an inventory management tool is invaluable to accurately forecast customer demand, automate inventory tasks, and keep your inventory up-to-date. 

What can we learn from Skims?

If there’s one thing we can learn from Skims, it's this: leveraging celebrity influence with the immediacy of social media at the right time is a formula for success. 

It's a competitive marketplace. For any brand that wants to continue to stay relevant and desirable, here are some key takeaways from Skims’ marketing strategy: 

  • Align with figures who embody your brand's values: Authenticity is key. Partnering with celebrities who resonate with your values and whose followers are likely to be interested in your brand ensures that your message reaches an engaged and relevant audience.

  • Tell your brand story: Skims's success underscores the value of creating themed campaign photoshoots that highlight the product and tell a story that aligns with the celebrity's persona and the brand's image.

  • Use marketing channels smartly: Identify the right channels for your product and audience. Apart from dominating social media, Skims is a shining example of Shopify prowess. Shopify's customizable templates and seamless checkout process played a pivotal role in Skims' success.

  • Create cultural moments rather than advertisements: By tapping into current trends and societal movements and choosing celebrities that are currently capturing the public's imagination, Skims positions itself at the forefront of conversations, making its campaigns more impactful and memorable. 

Further reading: Ultimate 2024 Ecommerce Retail Calendar Dates to Boost Sale

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About the author

K

Written by Kaleigh Moore

Ecommerce Writer

Kaleigh is an expert on ecommerce, retail, and SaaS. She previously owned an ecommerce business, and now writes for the likes of Shopify, Forbes, and Vogue Business.

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