Cole Haan is ditching the traditional fashion advertising playbook.
The premium fashion brand’s latest campaign is a departure from typical fashion ad campaigns, with its ads living not on glossy magazine pages but on podcasts, native ads and digital streaming services instead.
“Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Stories” centres around fashion models and mentor-mentee duo Christy Turlington Burns and Karlie Kloss. It focuses not just on their relationship with each other but also their passions beyond fashion that make them extraordinary, whether it is Burns’ Every Mother Counts initiative or Kloss’ Kode with Klossy program.
“At a time when more than a third of our sales come from online channels and half of those sales come from mobile, we had to rethink our strategy,” David Maddocks, Cole Haan’s Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of Business Development told Business Insider. “It was important for us to reach our consumers where they already are.”
Much of this target demographic, specifically young, affluent females, practically live online, so it made sense for the brand to meet them there. That is why the bulk of the campaign’s media plan focuses on content integrations with newsletters and podcasts that the brand has deemed to have an empowerment-oriented tone and female cult-followings.
Cole Haan is partnering with Lena Dunham’s newsletter Lenny Letter, for example, for six pieces of custom native content. This will include stories such as “Launching A Start-Up When Your Co-Founder Is Your Best Friend” by Dunham and co-founder Jenni Konner as well as a story by Kloss and Burns on how to turn moments of vulnerability into moments of strength.
The brand is also venturing into podcast ads for the first time, with ads in podcasts including Two Dope Queens, Note-To-Self, Death Sex & Money and Nancy. It is also partnering with podcasting giant Gimlet Media, getting some of its top podcasters to promote the campaign, including Startup’s Lisa Chow, ELT’s Flora Lictman, The Nod’s Brittany Luse and Science Vs.’ Wendy Zukerman. Gimlet will also create a custom landing page which will link back to ColeHaan.com, and drive traffic to the landing page through paid social promotion.
In addition, the brand is running ads across its social properties as well as on live-streaming entertainment platforms such as Hulu and YouTube.
“We’ve been highly digitally oriented for the past few years, this is just the biggest amplification,” said Maddocks.
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