At a time when consumers are always connected and used to interacting through social networks and instant messaging, communication and advertising are forced to be even more innovative, intriguing and impactful than in the past. With this in mind, we asked some creative agencies and a multimedia platform how communication and ad campaigns toward the youngest generations are evolving.

Everybody is online

“Everybody’s online, all the time. There’s so much to do here, and we’ll never get bored. Actually, if you think about it, even when we’re bored of being online, we go online even more,” says Mihnea Gheorghiu, global digital creative director, Publicis Italia, the advertising agency behind Diesel’s last campaign “Diesel Jogg Jeans, Made to Run Away.” This campaign highly resembles youngsters’ everyday life as it is inspired by speed-dating and online encounters.

Mihnea Gheorgiu, global digital creative director for Publicis Italia
Photo: Publicis Italia
Mihnea Gheorgiu, global digital creative director for Publicis Italia

“I think the ‘digital adaptation’ is all about having the right thing to say and–most importantly–say it at the right moment,” he continues. “So, every fashion brand wants to be like that cool friend who says the right thing at the right moment.”

For Gheorghiu, mobile dating culture has become something very normal globally. “Every day, it gives birth to amazing stories, good or bad. Diesel Jogg Jeans is great for dates–looks amazing on you, it’s comfortable, and it’s really versatile. You can go to a fancy restaurant then hit a rave. But when we created this campaign we asked ourselves: ‘How can we say this with a Diesel voice?’ Well, the funniest dating stories are not the ones that ended in eternal love, are they? No. It’s the weird and embarrassing ones that make the headlines.”

Picking some crucial aspects in everyday life appears to be as the best way for hitting a consumer’s attention. Thus Lotto also has started a new campaign that underlines how–rather than via communication–people and their attention to lifestyles have changed. “Communication is not fundamentally different today,” says Pieter Leendertse, managing director of KesselsKramer, which created the s/s 2018 Lotto campaign.Of course there’s an increased emphasis on online shopping, digital channels and a growing army of influencers, but at the heart of good communication is still relevance and creativity that appeals. If anything, people have changed more.” Lotto’s campaign aims at underlining that active and sporty lifestyles are trendier now among non-athletes. Therefore the campaign hypes the athleisure movement as the Lotto Life’s collection that offers products that are good for being active, but also look trendy. “In the case of Lotto, the consumer wants to feel fit and happy. For this reason we focus on everyday well-being and both product and communication do that. The health and fitness industry keeps increasing, but instead of sweating in the gym all the time, you can see opportunities for exercise in daily situations and routines,” continues Leendertse.

Lotto campaign
Photo: Lotto
Lotto campaign

Communication hasn’t changed rules

Gheorghiu’s campaign for Diesel believes that it is crucial to always have a good story to tell, and tell it in the right moment or place: “Being able to tell a good story is the best thing a brand can have after the product itself. A good story transcends any language and it will always turn a stranger into a friend.”

Similarly, Leendertse believes: “ You’ve to appeal, entertain, or be useful in another way to be relevant and stand out. Make smart use of new possibilities, but stick to your original plan and patiently tell a consistent story across all channels. This has not changed. In fact, in today’s fractured media landscape it’s more difficult and yet important than ever.”

He continues: “Unlike pure performance campaigns, we don’t show footballers in the Champions League or tennis players at Wimbledon. Instead we focus on everyday life situations and we give these scenes a lighthearted Lotto Life’s twist.”

Pieter Leendertse, managing director of KesselsKramer
Photo: KesselsKramer
Pieter Leendertse, managing director of KesselsKramer

How to manage a complex situation

Understanding the complex media system of today is key also for Daniele Testi, creative director of Popkorn Films, who created Nove25’s campaign. He believes it is important to keep one’s pace with social network’s fast evolving reality. “Today it is really important for a brand to be as dynamic as possible in order to keep up with the lightning pace of an Instagram feed and the new mobile-first culture that we now follow. A great brand has to be able to clearly interpret its own DNA, make it immediate, authentic and relevant while remaining true to its core values. Precise messaging and creative visual solutions, spiced up with a 360 degree brand strategy are key,” he says.

Daniele Testi, creative director for Popkorn Films, created the new Nove25's new campaign.
Photo: Nove25
Daniele Testi, creative director for Popkorn Films, created the new Nove25's new campaign.

Other brands of the jeanswear and sportswear markets are expressing a different approach to their campaigns. Many of them prefer to study and produce campaigns internally. They think they can better understand how to present their collection’s own identity and better engage their very different target users–from social media–addicted and digital aficionados to traditional consumers browsing printed publications and billboards.

Nove25's most recent campaign
Photo: Nove25
Nove25's most recent campaign

Out of the choir

As part of its spring/summer 2018 campaign “The Artist Collection,” Pepe Jeans London teamed with artist, photographer and art director Ernesto Artillo to create a set of thought-provoking, fun and innovative images to be posted online only. They play with the idea of identity and art influence and how to stand out from the crowd on the Web. “The Internet is packed with faces. Faces that we repeat over and over again with similar poses and confusing intentions. Millions of selfies that seek to please others and disconnect us from ourselves,” says Artillo. “Your identity is the best work of art you can do in your life,” he adds, implying that every form of communication shall stick to a precise identity and story despite the highly fragmented and multifold media panorama.

Pepe Jeans' SS18 campaign "The Artist Collection"
Photo: Pepe Jeans
Pepe Jeans' SS18 campaign "The Artist Collection"

Some figures

Launchmetrics, a global provider of technology, data insights and tools for influencer identification in the fashion, luxury and cosmetic segments, has analyzed some of most significant sportswear and jeans brands’ visibility. It defined some of the most successful brands according to their ROI (relationship between their investment in advertising and return in editorial pages) and also about their ranking in main social networks for number of followers.

The most significant results were registered in 2017 by Vans as it reached the highest ROI (38.21) followed by higher ad investors such as Puma (15.21) and Nike (10.69).

Other best performing brands in terms of high editorial placements were Adidas (which reached 14,116 editorials) and Tommy Hilfiger (11,373 editorials) all occupying among the top six brands on Instagram and Facebook. “High rankings for brands like Adidas and Nike are due to their many profiles dedicated to single lines and projects that help enlarge their audience,” explain analysts at Launchmetrics. “Tommy Hilfiger’s results, instead, stand out because it did great online projects–including the Tommy Now project–and as it involved an influencer as Gigi Hadid who counts on 39 million followers and any of her tweets or posts generates a huge buzz.”

Impactful ideas and ad campaigns, but also cool capsules, collabs and the right influencers can help building a brand’s visibility and success, but what is the right balance? This is another topic of discussion for another story to come soon...

TOP 10 BRANDS ON INSTAGRAM FOR NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS (MARCH 27, 2018)

(SOURCE: LAUNCHMETRICS)

1. NIKE

2. ADIDAS

3. VANS

4. PUMA

5. TOMMY HILFIGER

6. LEVI’S

7. REEBOK

8. GUESS

9. STUSSY

10. NEW BALANCE

TOP 10 BRANDS ON FACEBOOK FOR NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS (MARCH 27, 2018)

(SOURCE: LAUNCHMETRICS)

1. NIKE

2. ADIDAS

3. LEVI’S

4. PUMA

5. VANS

6. TOMMY HILFIGER

7. REEBOK

8. HAVAIANAS

9. GUESS

10. THE NORTH FACE



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