When Instagram changed the digital landscape by launching Instagram Stories on August 2, the J. Crew social media team knew it was just the opportunity they’d been waiting for. The internationally beloved brand, known for classic apparel & accessories, had been hoping to launch an exclusive pre-sale for its 1.5 million Instagram followers but wanted to make it feel special and unique. With the buzz around Instagram Stories, the timing was perfect.

J. Crew chose to stir up excitement around the release of a new line of pink sunglasses, offering Instagram followers the exclusive opportunity to purchase a pair one week before the official drop of the September 2016 collection. J. Crew shared a combination of GIFs and photos to tease the pink sunglasses campaign before announcing to followers that only 50 pairs were available for purchase. J. Crew directed followers to the Curalate-powered Like2Buy link in their Instagram bio. Half of the merchandise sold out in just two hours, and six hours after the launch their entire stock was purchased.

The campaign was a departure from the normal J. Crew social strategy. There is no J. Crew Snapchat account, so when Instagram Stories debuted, the brand realized it had been given a tremendous gift — a Snapchat-like feature that already had access to its 1.5 million Instagram followers.

For J. Crew, it was a great chance to experiment with the new feature. They hadn’t seen any other fashion brands doing similar campaigns and thought this was a cool way to create some excitement for fans and followers.

Plus it was a natural addition to J. Crew’s already robust Instagram strategy. The company uses Instagram to feature lifestyle images of its merchandise and instructs followers to use the Curalate-powered Like2Buy link in their bio. A year into the partnership, it’s been a tremendous success. Out of all the brand’s organic social media channels, Instagram has become one of the brand’s top revenue drivers.

For the pink sunglasses campaign, J. Crew was sure to share many of the same photos from its Instagram Story to its normal Instagram feed — so when any follower opened the Like2Buy link, they could easily recognize which photos were part of the exclusive offer. The goal was to make sure everyone was able to get in on the excitement, not just the first few adopters to Instagram stories. Plus it was a terrific way to put a summer spin on J. Crew’s fall 2016 campaign which focuses on pink and other bright colors.

The J. Crew team viewed the pink sunglasses campaign as a success, and plan to continue using Instagram Stories and Like2Buy to offer exclusive first access for upcoming new arrivals.