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Fashion Magazine MacKay and Co.

Here's how we brought a simple suit, shirt and tie to national attention.

The national retailer designed the ideal grad package – a great black suit along with shirts and ties in a wonderful range of colours, all three pieces for one impossibly low price. Our challenge was to generate publicity – the right publicity – for this initiative and drive young men coast-to-coast to Tip Top Tailors to purchase their grad or prom suit.

How to reach young men? We’d find them online, of course. We started by announcing this great fashion offering on Tip Top’s Facebook page, and with a contest – win your grad suit, shirt and tie – that we launched via a Facebook advertising campaign targeted to this demographic and driving them to Tip Top’s Facebook page to enter.

But how many seventeen and eighteen year olds buy their own suits? We knew we had to reach their mothers as well and we’d do that through traditional media outlets. We dearly wanted to generate a newspaper feature story for this Tip Top initiative, but how? What would interest newspaper style writers given that a suit, after all, is a suit?

Our bright idea…create a “Grad Crew;” a team of five or six prom and college-bound young men who, in return for grad suits, shirts and ties of their own, would become the young faces of this Tip Top initiative. We considered using male models, but we believed that real, everyday young men who could be interviewed about their upcoming prom would be more apt to capture the media’s imagination.

There’s more: In addition to information on the grad package, we developed a release on everything a young prom-bound guy needs to know to navigate prom night successfully. Tip Top sales associates were a wealth of information, much of it humorous; they’ve been dressing nervous and awkward young men for prom and grad for years. The result was an insightful and amusing list of pointers on how to shop and how to be the perfect prom date.

First stop: The Toronto Star, the city’s highest circulation daily. The Star’s Fashion Editor liked our ideas and photographed our grad crew and interviewed a Tip Top executive for a special prom feature. Our grad crew and Tip Top’s product offering became the front page of the newspaper’s fashion section. And the Star’s videographer interviewed the boys for the Star’s online edition.

Next: Television, and to us that meant CityLine, the Canadian national morning lifestyle television show that reaches 1.9 million viewers. If CityLine covered the story, we’d reach all the moms we needed. They loved the idea; they sent a producer and cameraman to Tip Top’s Toronto flagship store to interview and film the boys being fitted for their outfits. Then Metro, the Canadian newspaper that’s distributed in cities coast-to-coast decided to write about the grad outfit as well. And more still – seven more top newspapers and a dozen online outlets fell in love with our tips for grads and covered the story from that perspective.

Results? Our initiative reached more than 11,000,000 Canadians and Tip Top Tailors’ grad suits, shirts and ties sold out in a matter of days.

Click here to see some of the Grad Crew media coverage.

Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa Citizen April
Toronto Star
Grad Crew Contest
The Daily News