Walking down a runway wonderland: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2008

Heidi Klum in 2008 show

Heidi Klum in 2008 show

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Victoria’s Secret, its faction of female followers and the millions of American men who love to see flawless models in next-to-nothing lingerie.

In case you’re living under a rock, it’s almost time for the intricately embellished angel wings, sky-high stilettos and the 2008 black diamond fantasy miracle bra (which only costs a small $5 million) to rock the runway at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Taping of the show finished up in Miami at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Nov. 15, and the show will air Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 10 p.m. on CBS.

What’s all the hype about?
It happens every year. People go crazy wondering who’s modeling, who’s not and what lucky girl gets to flaunt the multimillion dollar bra. Heck, Fashionologie was posting hour-by-hour updates about the show’s status.

The show has become quite a phenomenon, and I must say, I’m one of about 8 million people who sits in front of my TV, popcorn in hand, and watches these pin-thin models prance around a glittery runway like it’s nothing.

Since the first show in 1995, statistics prove the ratings have fluctuated. However, in recent years, ratings have declined from about 12.4 million viewers in 2001 to about 7.4 million in 2007. There are no “black and white” reasons why the show lost momentum, but I think the producers fell into a creativity rut. Each year, the shows seemed to be the same as the last. Big ratings won’t happen without big ideas.

How can good PR fix the problem?
Promote, promote, promote! But first, start off by brainstorming creative ways to take the show to a different level. It’s important for Victoria’s Secret to analyze past show statistics to see where they went wrong and why. They also need to continue to show off the hottest angels and hire the hottest music moguls to perform. And most importantly, keep up on the commercials! It’s then only a matter of time until the date of the show is drilled into everyone’s head and all of America will be watching.

What do you think Victoria’s Secret can do to boost ratings in the future?

SPOILER ALERT! Play the video to see the models the 2008 show!

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7 Responses to “Walking down a runway wonderland: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2008”


  1. 1 kendrawheeler November 20, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Lauren,

    I used to work at Victoria’s Secret. And I can tell you internally the fashion show is a big deal. All the girls at work got together to watch the show and they made a party out of it.

    In the store there isn’t a lot of promotional activity. There may be a poster or two saying the show airs on such and such date but thats it.

    I can say from personal experience, VS does a lot to keep its relationships with customers by offering promos and free gifts. So it would be ideal to keep these customers in mind when promoting the show. VS should send its customers a reminder of the show. They could also tie in some sort of contest with the show. Another idea is for them to change the window displays to something that represents the show. They could also have the sales associates wear t-shirts that have fasion show details on them.

    VS does a great job of e-marketing its PINK brand. They should tie some of those same topics into the fashion show.

  2. 2 laurencarll November 23, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    I agree, Kendra. Victoria’s Secret has so many followers who just may be unaware of the show’s air time. I know I always want to watch the show, and I’m sure many other VS “fans” do, too.

    I always get sales promotion coupons and e-mails. They should definitely send one encouraging people to watch the show. Maybe all people need is a friendly reminder and VS will see an increase in fashion show viewers.

  3. 3 Sara Petersen November 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I think the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show is so well known that it really doesn’t need any extra publicity. It is the largest brand of women’s undergarments, and everybody knows who Heidi Klum is.

    The fact that viewer ship declining could very easily be tied to the lack of originality in the actual show. Scantily clad, thin and beautiful women walk down a runway with wings, and everybody anticipates the $5 million diamond bra.

    Get the show to change, give the viewers something they weren’t expecting.

    There is a Facebook event and 49,150 people are currently planning on “attending.” By putting the promise of something unexpected would draw more viewers.

    I receive e-mails from VS with all sorts of specials, deals and coupons. Send an e-mail to these current customers with information tantalizing enough to encourage more viewers.

    Get the VS models to have a discussion about being beautiful at any size and shape and being healthy and happy with the body women already have is most important. I think that something like this would draw more people to watch.

  4. 4 Katie Zenz November 25, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I think that people are really excited each year to see the fashion show. It creates alot of hype and gets people excited about the holiday season. The marketing they use is very successful because even though the viewers have dropped its still a large amount of people that watch it. I think an important thing that they need to keep in mind is that even though most people know about the show they still need to make sure they are creating a big enough hype. i feel like the show can be some what repeatitive and I actually didnt even watch it last year.

  5. 5 Julianne Protich November 25, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    I have watched the VS fashion shows in the past but i had totally forgotten about it until my friend told me about it. There as not been any publicity promoting at all i feel. They definitly need to have more commercials telling the date and time, i have only seen it like twice. Also, i know that a lot of men watch the show each year and there really isn’t any sort of marketing done in areas where men would be exposed to it. I feel that there should be some commercials on different TV stations and more posters and flyers seen in malls. I think that maybe VS is a little overconfident in years past and they just assume that people will lookup when the show will be on instead of promoting it a lot.

  6. 6 Nathan Noll November 25, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Great article Lauren,

    I don’t understand why VS doesn’t follow the most basic PR principle: company-wide Integrated Marketing Communications. VS should be banking their entire brand on this show. Their stores, their commercials, their catalogs and their clothing line should all have a look that reminds comnsumers it was created for a special occasion.

    VS could adopt a vibrant, unique color palate that screams, “FASHION SHOW 2008 IS COMING UP!” The marketing possibilities are endless. I’m sure the models will be flaunting VS’s latest exotic/expensive lingerie, but why not have them model the everyday things that consumers see in their stores. Yes, I want to see Heidi Klum in a pair of those sweatpants that say ‘Pink University’ on their butt.

    I must say that I am not fully educated on VS’s marketing tactics, I only occasionally hurry in the store to buy my girlfriend a bra for valentines day, but it sounds like the company is not using the full potential of this show.

  7. 7 Katie Moore November 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I love the VS fashion show. I am one of those people who takes the time to watch it every year. I know the show is having problems with their ratings but so does every show or enterprise at one point of time or another. Thats what keeps a good show or company on top, revamping and trying to look outside the box for fresh ideas.
    VS does a great job of marketing some areas of their company, but not as well in others. They should expand their market to include all sorts of shapes and sizes in women, not just the super skinney women that look like the ideal woman of todays culture. The are one of the only magazines that I have noticed that don’t include women of a bigger nature modeling their clothing or underwear line.
    As for the show they should include some of these women in it. Inform the public of the different ways VS can accomidate many different womens body types and lifestyles. The fashion show kinda sets the tempo for the company for the next year, so if they were going to change anything it would have to start there.
    As for ratings VS could take a cue from the Superbowl to boost the amount of watchers. The Superbowl is one of the biggest watched shows on Tv every year. I have friends who plan what they are doing on Superbowl sunday months ahead of time no matter if their team is playing or not. The commercials are fantastic, the amount of celebrities there is out of this world, the live acts are crazy (you never know whats going to happen), and the feeling about being apart of something that the world will be talking about for weeks, priceless:)


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