Ripley’s mission is to both entertain and educate – sparking conversations like the discourse around this dress does just that. With both political and pop culture significance, we strongly believe that this dress is the most famous item of clothing from twentieth century culture. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums invite guests in to see and experience things they would never see elsewhere, and this dress goes above and beyond. Our goal was to communicate this to a younger audience, achieving brand awareness and driving fans to see the garment on display at a Ripley’s attraction.
Sixty years after Marilyn Monroe famously sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy, Kim Kardashian added to the pop culture significance of Monroe’s iconic dress — becoming the only other person to ever wear the gown. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, the owners of this historic garment, worked with Kardashian on this memorable red-carpet moment at the Met Gala and beyond, leading up to the dress touring Ripley’s Believe It or Not! attractions.
This campaign began with a call from the Kardashian camp and some serious contemplation from Ripley’s. The multi-million-dollar dress has rarely been separated from its dress form, let alone worn by anyone other than Monroe. Before a PR plan was even imagined, we needed to know if the gown would fit.
On first attempt, a Ripley’s rep flew out to Kardashian’s home with the dress for an initial fitting. After hard work and dedication, Kim flew to Ripley’s Orlando HQ for a second try, where the media started to buzz. When paparazzi spotted Kim and Pete Davidson at Ripley’s, chatter sparked surrounding the purpose of her visit. This is when we really knew how much the story would take off!
With input from garment conservationists, appraisers, archivists, and insurance, both the Ripley’s and Kim knew they could make the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity happen. It was agreed that no alterations would be made and Kim would only wear the dress for her red carpet appearance, changing into a replica for the event. As one could imagine, there were many more logistical elements to keep in mind.
The minute Kardashian hit the carpet, Ripley’s deployed a media alert and interview requests started flooding in. Kim also posted and tagged Ripley's account that evening, leading to an immediate surge on social media, where Ripley's began to post behind-the-scenes content. A NY media tour resumed the next day, which included Good Morning America, Inside Edition, and Access Hollywood.
Ripley’s has managed to leverage this campaign beyond the night of the Gala. This includes the brand’s inclusion on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim’s publicized visit to Ripley’s Hollywood, the acquisition of other Kardashian exhibits, and the creation of a Kim wax figure. Ripley’s has also created perpetual content around this event, as Kim granted permission to film leading up to the Gala and an exclusive interview.
Following the Gala, the dress immediately went on display at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Hollywood, launching with a strong influencer campaign which included Kim, herself.
Ripley’s is truly proud to be the stewards of such an iconic artifact and are excited to be able to add to its cultural significance with Kim Kardashian. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! will continue to exhibit the dress at its attractions worldwide to keep this viral moment alive.
In its first month, this campaign generated 18,952 articles and 7,328 broadcast hits, reaching millions of people worldwide and generating billions in estimated media value. Top hits include Vogue, The New York Times, Good Morning America, Today, Rolling Stone, and BBC. Nearly a year later, mentions continue to hit daily and we expect our brand to continually be mentioned in conjunction with Kim’s future notable looks and red-carpet walks.
With goals of gaining audience and awareness, social media was the best way for us to track measurable results. On Instagram during the week of the Met Gala, we received 18.9K+ profile actions (+49,597.4%), 29.6K+ engagements (+1,369.7%) 4,677,580 impressions (+6,728.7%) and had a Net Follower Gain of +15.3K+ (+108,814.3%). Facebook gained 11.3K+ new followers and saw 32K+ page visits during this week alone. Tik Tok gained 4,573 followers, as well.
The week of the Gala (May 2, 2022), we saw 8.7 million social Impressions across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — up 156% compared to the week prior. Engagements during that week were also up 161%. If we look at just Instagram, our focus, we had 4.6M social impressions – up 6,985.5% compared to the prior week.