Fashionistas Had to Post 26,000 Tweets to Crack Open This Mysterious Orb

Fashion-forward American women are willing to do a lot to get their hands on the season's "it" bag. But how about flocking to the Web to join in a rapid-fire Tweet-off for a slim shot at shattering a glossy black sphere with a handbag locked inside?

Sure, they'll do that, too.

In fact, fashionistas sent 26,000 tweets for Breakthrough, an April 15 event that proved to be (even by Internet standards) one of the more unusual marketing stunts to come along in recent years. It was also a prime example of how guerrilla marketing—head-turning events traditionally set up on the street—can find a bigger audience via social media. A second orb shattering in the U.K. generated more than 12,000 tweets.

Staged by the modish cosmetic brand Nars, Breakthrough aimed to generating buzz about a new color collection from Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane. "We wanted to do something bespoke, something completely different—and we landed on this," said Nars' digital and consumer strategy director Heather Park. "The fact that it was so strange was the terrific aspect of it."

Strange it was. Below, a behind-the-scenes look at how the gig went down.

@UpperEastRob Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.