Floral prints, lacy bras, young and diverse models – sounds the same as every other Bonds campaign. And it more or less is, there’s just one thing the brand has done differently this time around, and it might be just what it needed to cut through the clutter.
The intimates giant has partnered up with Pedestrian TV to release a video series for its latest campaign, Mash Up. Aimed at Australian women in their early twenties, the videos feature women who have found their passion in life, and manage that alongside their day jobs. Storytelling at its best, the focus is completely on the character featured and for that reason, genuinely engages the viewer.
Storytelling may be the marketing buzzword of 2017, but if that’s the case than rightly so, and I can’t see it going anywhere fast. Brands are using storytelling to engage audiences on social media and their owned assets in a way that is meaningful and emotional. It is one way to cut through the noise of social media and Bonds has recognised that if it wants to stay relevant and compete for screen space in a fast-paced social environment, it will have to engage first, not sell.
The videos themselves do that perfectly, introducing the subject and creatively narrating their story. As a member of the target audience, I can see exactly why it appeals. Gen Ys are constantly saying they want to feel passionate about what they do, that they need to know they’re making a difference, and that they don’t want to be another cog in the chain. Bonds and Pedestrian TV have taken this information and used it to connect with the audience on an emotional level. If you can’t find a job that is your passion, then why not do both? Or in this case, find two passions and mash them up! Other than some minor product placement (that you probably wouldn’t notice unless you were looking for it), the Bonds branding is used once throughout the video.
Andy Crestodina says that an ally in creation is an ally in promotion. What he means is that if you engage partners in your content creation, whether it be expert comment, survey distribution or even content production, you immediately have access to another, often new, audience. The opportunities of this both in B2B and B2C landscapes are huge.
Another reason to partner is to gain audience trust. This deal in particular is beneficial to Pedestrian TV only because it now has great storytelling content to further engage its audience. For Bonds, the benefit is much more substantial. Pedestrian TV has a loyal, engaged following that trusts and looks to it for recommendations. This message, storytelling or not, could not have the same success as it does coming from an independent party. And transparency is really important. Neither brands hides the #collab – and they don’t have to. They’re selling a story, not a product, and that is something their audiences want to be a part of.
Brands that shy away from a customer-centric content approach usually do so for lack of understanding about ROI. No doubt, this is an awareness piece for Bonds to break into a more mature audience, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be measured.
Other than the video views and post engagements, the success is the conversations. Comments like “if this isn’t you i don’t know what is”, “life goals” and “Omg you go girl!!” are some of the most positive interactions a brand can have, and it makes all the difference when it comes to comparing two products on a shelf – an emotional connection with the brand wins.