Hugo Boss Facebook Model Contest: “My friend, the brand”

Hugo Boss Model Contest 2011 Facebook Webcast

Hugo Boss Model Contest 2011 Facebook Webcast

Hugo Boss, a German heritage brand, delivered one of the most innovative web events of this year as part of the launch of the new BOSS Black collection. Over 200,000 Facebook fans were invited to apply as a model in the premium fashion show. From thousands of applications, 5 male and 5 female contestants were selected via online voting and a jury call and flown to Berlin to show their skills. After three days of casting, fitting, and coaching, two winners lived their dream of sharing the catwalk with international top models.

With only 8 weeks from inception to the day of the show, many organizational hurdles had to be overcome. To handle the applications, a Facebook app was developed that would need to sustain the massive traffic from 200,000 fans, provide data storage as well as photo upload capabilities, permit instantaneous scaling of server resources, and provide maximum redundancy. In parallel, the setup was optimized and audited for performance. Drawing from more than 2.5 years of experience in developing cloud-based, high-availability and high-performance platforms based on Amazon Web Services, MES built a solution that extended the MES Content Distribution Network with an application hosting platform as well as redundant database, monitoring and autoscaling capabilities. Hand in hand with the frontend developers of the agency Werbewelt, the campaign was launched in under 10 days.

The venerable Hamburger Bahnhof zu Berlin provided the ideal setting for the show. The production schedule called for video production from the moment the contestants de-boarded their airplanes up to the fashion show, daily features on Facebook, YouTube and Hugo Boss TV, and finally a livestream of the fashion show. MES set up production infrastructure for the video production agency PUBLICMOTOR that was used to review and edit the material produced by three camera crews on site. Once approved, clips were put into an automatic transcoding pipeline that converted and delivered them to the target platforms (Hugo Boss TV, Facebook, YouTube, iPhone, DVD).

Similarly, clips were produced as live inserts and played out to the OB truck that produced the live feeds for the show. The two-hour live show was produced and encoded on site. A backup satellite feed was set up to MES headquarters in Wetzlar, where additional encoding hardware was ready to take over the live encoding in case of sudden connectivity issues on site. Up until the early morning hours, red carpet interviews, the fashion show, and a backstage feature of the two newly made models were edited and delivered to the distribution channels.

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