Victoria's Secret 1999 Fashion Show

Essay by rvr410University, Bachelor'sA, March 2008

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As the Internet continues to evolve, we continue to redefine its uses for making money. Such is the case of Victoria's Secret, the world's leading specialty retailer of women's intimate apparel and beauty products, that bet big on the web in 1999 to launch a brand new marketing campaign for their products. What took place was unplanned, and several observers took the incident as evidence that the online universe was an unreliable animal. Critics called the 1999 Victoria's Secret Spring Fashion Show Webcast a failure, but upon closer investigation of the facts we see that it was truly a success.

On the evening of February 4, 1999, Victoria's Secret launched the world's first ever virtual fashion show Webcast, viewable for the entire world to see by way of real-time streaming media technology. Within minutes, drew a record-breaking visitor count of nearly 2 million worldwide. It was reported that the site received more hits than any other online single day event has ever received; it broke Internet and e-commerce records.

However, the company's website and the overall Internet infrastructure were unable to meet the unanticipated demand during the Webcast, crashing networks throughout the entire United States. "That Webcast's appeal surprised the media, retail executives and network administrators alike, producing bottlenecks at every Web server and frustration in the faces of viewers all over the world" (BNET, 2000).

Although there are plenty of gripes to be found on the Internet about what had happened, Victoria's Secret, as a company, was more than pleased with the results. According to CNN Money (1999), Ed Razek, President of Brand and Creative Services for Victoria's Secret, was "absolutely thrilled by the response to the fashion show and by the record number of people who logged onto the Website to watch it live." He later...