There are multiple functions on Instagram, what worth to mention the hashtag function, brands are turning different hashtags into their own albums. When the Instagram users click into a hashtag, they see all relevant photos and videos. Some brands also hold some hashtag campaigns on Instagram, it is reported that activity-promoting advertisements that use hashtags draw a positive attitude toward advertising.
GU is an apparel store under Uniqlo. GU entered Hong Kong market in 2017 and opened their store in Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay, Tseung Kwan O, Diamond Hill and, Tsuen Wan respectively. Before starting the business in Diamond Hill, GU held a hashtag event -- Be The Next #GUidol. Participants had to match the clothes to the best look with at least two GU products, upload it to Instagram, explain how their outfits could match the concept of “Your Freedom” and add the hashtag #GUidol. The five finalists were required to match the clothes to different themes. The participant who got the most reaction on Facebook would be the winner of the competition. The winner was given a chance to join the GU Spring Summer Fashion Show 2019 in Tokyo and be the model of the next fashion season.
These kinds of online hashtag campaigns can lower the cost as well as boosting sales. Online promotion can save costs like printing and rental fees while GU’s campaign can also attract Instagram users to visit GU and do some shopping there as there were rules stating that the participants must put on clothes or accessories that with at least two of them were from GU. Plus, the photos of the participants can be viewed in the hashtag #GUidol, even if some Instagram users did not decide to participate in the event, they could still take a look at the participants’ photos. Since many participants were young people, this made the whole thing more persuasive. Even though celebrities can draw many people’s attention and attract people to purchase products that celebrities wear, some people may think that celebrities have a natural charisma, no matter what clothes the celebrities wear, they always look handsome or beautiful. Therefore, seeing ordinary young people having nice clothing styles with GU products may make people feel GU products are suitable for everyone and the campaign is convincing. Users may be inspired and visit GU to match their own style of clothing.
Be The Next #GUidol has increased the promotion channels through the hashtag and indirectly invited the participants to promote the GU together, using the hashtag function of the social network to show a greater propaganda power.