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How Ted Baker Hacked Instagram Filters for a Brilliant Campaign

Screenshot 2015-04-06 08.26.04Ted Baker, the designer clothing label, flipped conventional Instagram marketing on its head with its #Pinch_Me campaign, and that creativity translated into some serious exposure.

In under a month, Ted Baker‘s campaign hashtag generated 7.3 million impressions and was used by People Magazine and a host of the world’s biggest fashion bloggers.

In a quote on Marketingland, Ted Baker Communication Director Craig Smith said that innovation is an important part of their social programs:

“Engaging with our customers through social media in an innovative way is key to our global marketing strategy at Ted Baker. Using Instagram in a first-of-its-kind initiative, we are able to talk to both existing customers and introduce new audiences to the world of Ted.”

How’d They Do It?

The designer clothing label posted specially processed campaign images that contained hidden messages to promote their SS15 collection. The messages can only be revealed using certain filters within the app. They encouraged users to screenshot and repost them using Instagram filters to reveal the hidden messages.

Screenshot 2015-04-06 07.54.48
By switching to the Crema filter, this Ted Baker image reveals a word scramble that spells out “Daydream.”

How’d It Go?

Ted Baker posted 15 photos, which prompted 685 unique people to post using the #Pinch_Me hashtag.

Screenshot 2015-04-06 09.11.40
#Pinch_Me Campaign Scorecard


The campaign highlighted the power of influencers, especially in the fashion industry.  Even though People Magazine promoted the campaign, the two highest peaks were driven by posts from actress Bianca Alexa Santos and blogger Rachel Martino.

This chart from Simply Measured's Instagram Hashtag Report shows the engagement driven to posts with the hashtag over any report period.
This chart from Simply Measured’s Instagram Hashtag Report shows the engagement driven to posts with the hashtag over any report period.

What Can We Learn?

The process is relatively elegant for how simple it is. It only takes a couple of actions for users to participate, and as humans, we’re naturally curious. When I see an image and know there’s something hidden in it, I want to know what it is. I’m not at all fashionable, but I screen-shotted and added filters to every one of their campaign images, just to see what was there.

On Instagram especially, it’s important to find creative ways to capture users attention as they scroll through their feed. Ted Baker captured our curiosity with a unique use of the platform, combining novelty and mystery. Keep these two aspects in mind as you plan your next campaign.

If you use Instagram Stories in your marketing plan or are itching to try them out, be sure to track the success of your efforts with Simply Measured Social Analytics – Instagram InsightsRequest a demo here.

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Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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