Case Studies of PR and Advertising Campaigns Included
Did you see Gucci’s ‘Winter in the park’ Campaign? That is a question you might have heard around in the industry. Have you ever wondered what is it exactly people refer to when they speak of a new fashion campaign of a brand?
A fashion campaign is a marketing tool for communicating new product, event, and service through impeccable storytelling. Fashion items become imagery of desirable or relatable feelings like love, passion, accomplishment…
A well thought out fashion campaign is supported by research and has a specific message that is clearly conveyed through the chosen medium of communication. Whether that be a shop display, fashion show, video and pictures shown on social media or in the subway.
Fashion campaigns are created with a purpose and are always related to the brands’ mission and vision. The incentives of a campaign are most often to:
- create awareness about the brand and related activities or products;
- get people to attend an event (opening of a new shop, pop-up shop, cocktail party, etc.);
- ultimately to sell their brand image, products, and/ or services.
They do this by bridging the gap between the brand and the customer in the most natural appearing way possible. That being said, fashion campaigns can be broadly separated into two groups:
PR and Advertising campaigns
Although, today these are widely entangled and often we can find elements of both in one campaign. Nonetheless, I will try to draw a differentiation for the purpose of the article with few examples.
A PR campaign is a project created to help the environment and/or people in some way while strengthening the image of a brand and aligning perfectly with the brands’ mission and vision. PR campaigns are often connected to the company’s CSR strategy.
This type of campaigns are not meant to be so much of a public display of a perfect image, as much as really taking to heart to make change in the world. This type of campaigns choose causes that are deeply rooted in the company’s DNA.
They serve to provide value to the world community as well as make the brand worthy of the clients time and money. PR campaigns often lead to winning loyal clients and long-term supporters for a brand.
Usually, an added (sought after) bonus is the free press a company gets because PR campaigns are newsworthy and journalists are more likely to write about an event concerning the community. Let’s take a look at a project that the Swiss brand Bally undertook in July 2019.
Bally Peak Outlook
The Bally Peak Outlook is a great example of a PR campaign as it touches upon everything mentioned above. This campaign resulted in the first organized clean-up of Everest. Something the brand can be very proud of and a good act that becomes part of their brand DNA.
The Swiss brand collaborated with Eco Everest Expedition Leader Dawa Steven Sherpa who led the expedition with his team of experienced native Sherpa climbers. They removed two tons of waste, from base camp to the peak, that was responsibly processed by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, with over half collected from the “Death Zone.”
‘The 2019 Bally Peak Outlook initiative also collaborated with climber and author Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the son of Tenzing Norgay, for his cultural expertise and insights into the region.’ Bally is supporting the family-run Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Foundation, which provides educational programs throughout the Khumjung Valley and the Himalayan region.
This PR campaign has strong tights with Bally’s mission ‘Preserving the world’s mountains.’ and relates to their brand heritage. Bally created the Reindeer boots worn by Tenzing Norgay during the first-ever ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 with Sir Edmund Hillary.
The 2019 Bally Peak Outlook campaign leads the way to the establishment of their own foundation in 2020. The Bally Peak Outlook Foundation formalizing the company’s ongoing commitment to environmental preservation becoming the perfect CSR for the brand.
This initiative received media attention from Vogue, The CEO Magazine, The Telegraph, and others. There is also an extensive paid article at National Geographic which in itself could be considered a PR move. Check out the video for a glimpse of the action that took place on Everest.
Ad campaigns can easily be dismissed as beautiful perfect images selling a product. The truth is, when it comes to luxury brands, that is rarely the case. Every time you turn the pages of Vogue and see editorials you should know there is a lot going behind the images you see.
The beautiful editorials are the finished product that is collective of the work of designers, models, stylists, make-up and hair artists, photographers, creative directors and others. The creative process that goes into the making of an ad campaign considers many factors.
The brand image is at stake and every detail needs to be considered- from styling to location. What is the message that this campaign is sending? Ad campaigns are usually created to bring the brands’ A game.
They ‘live’ in paid for spaces like print magazines, online magazines, paid social media posts, billboards or in any on and off-line space dedicated to advertising. Ad campaigns are the eye candy for clients to ‘feast’ on.
The image portrayed in an ad campaign is the image that a brand wants to be known for and the lifestyle they want associated with it. This is a brand’s chance to appeal to their ideal clients on aesthetic and personal level.
Ad campaigns create perceived value for the brand by touching upon clients’ dreams, desires, and any relatable feelings. They are one of the factors considered in pricing a product. The following example displays most of the concepts I touched upon.
Michael Kors Spring 2020 Campaign
The spring Michael Kors Collection ad campaign was photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Shot on the grounds of a Beverly Hills estate, the campaign features models Ugbad Abdi and Rianne Van Rompaey. The campaign shows tailored pieces and as well as romantic dresses.
“My spring collection is a celebration of the best of American style,” said Michael Kors. “The Collection campaign focuses on a mix of ease and glamour that is inherently American, and the layers of sophistication, irreverence, and romance found in the images complement that juxtaposition.”
‘The global campaign breaks this month, with print ads running in spring issues worldwide. The images will also appear in digital outlets, as well as social media platforms and traditional outdoor media placement.’ — Lisa Lockwood from WWD.
PR campaigns are like the housekeeping you do for your soul. Advertising campaigns are like the things you do in order for others to appreciate, approve, and like you. If I had to illustrate the meaning of campaigns for brands, it would go something like this:PR campaigns are like a sweaty workout that makes you feel great. Ad campaigns are like the high heels you put on when you go on a date. Click To Tweet
Today, we speak openly about anything and everything. Sharing has always been an important key of relationships and storytelling is deeply rooted in human nature.
Thus, in appreciation of the relationship between a brand and client is best that the brand discloses their CSR strategies and still court their clients on regular basis with ad campaigns.
Hope this short overview was helpful and gave you some clarity on the matter of ‘What is a Fashion Campaign?’.