Global accessories brand Herschel Supply started the #CityLimitless Instagram contest with the objective of gaining brand recognition in the urban photography world, unifying the Instagram community through the use of a new hashtag – #CityLimitless. Herschel Supply also sought to elevate their visual storytelling by bringing the experience out of the rural settings commonly associated with their #WellTravelled tag, by situating itself in the daily reality of the urban landscape. Herschel Supply wanted to align itself with the authenticity and architectural wonders that cities have to offer – and evolve the brand in the process.
Herschel Supply's #CityLimitless campaign evolved from the brand's enormous amount of organic engagement and user generated content on social media, particularly through Instagram photography. Since joining the platform in 2012, Herschel Supply's followers have avidly shared photos of the epic journeys they take their bags on. #WellTravelled was started by the brand to document this content and it immediately took off as a widely used hashtag; it is currently tagged in 780,000 images.
As momentum gained with this initial campaign, the brand sought to focus the scope of visual storytelling to the urban experience – highlighting metropolitan skylines and compelling architecture through the discerning lens of the Instagram community. Another objective was to establish a new tag, #CityLimitless, and align the brand with the content that it would populate. This would be achieved by calling upon the Herschel Supply audience to simply upload a photo that embodied their urban experience. No branded product was necessary to be included in the entry, the campaign was purely launched to contribute to the Instagram community and establish the brand within the urban photography world.
All images that were tagged with #CityLimitless and #HerschelSupply in the three-week contest window were granted entry. The grand prize winner won a #CityLimitless survival kit which included a $1,000 Herschel Supply e-gift card, exclusive product and a Leica camera. A fan reel with entries was featured on the blog and updated daily as a way to highlight the campaign and provide entrants a reason to revisit the website to see if their photo was featured.
Above all, the campaign was intended to feel like an organic experience, inclusive to all users – regardless of whether they were a professional photographer with 50K followers or a kid with an iPhone. There was no pressure to sell product through #CityLimitless or promote the brand in a sales driven manner. The contest was a natural evolution of Herschel Supply's digital experience after being solidified in the realm of travel and adventure for several years. By bringing the UGC into the urban landscape it encouraged a new demographic to engage with the brand and align itself with a more elevated and artistic aesthetic than it had been associated with in the past.
The contest was met with far more engagement and entries than expected. Over the course of the three-week contest #CityLimitless went from 0 to 22,000 tags on Instagram, solidifying it as recognized tag throughout the platform. Overall, over 15,000 photos were successfully submitted to the contest.
The tag currently sits around 171,000 photos with 31,500,000 interactions on Instagram, and is growing more and more each week. Herschel Supply was successful in showcasing the urban experience with photographers across the globe and made a name for the brand in this community. Furthermore, #CityLimitless was applied in numerous other marketing initiatives such as an ongoing photo essay series featured on the Herschel Supply blog, a retail pop-up space in New York, and a branded photo walk with the creative minds behind the street photography magazine Street Dreams.
Fill out the form below and we'll work on connecting you to the entry creator!