How Kate Spade is building an entertainment-driven content strategy

Kate Spade, Video, Social Media, Influencer
An image from Kate Spade’s ‘Make Yourself a Home’ YouTube series

By  |The Drum

About five years ago, Kate Spade found itself facing many of the same issues as other fashion brands. With glossy two-page magazine ads continuing to lose their luster, the handbag maker was struggling to shed its more traditional, print-oriented ways and create a digital strategy that worked.

Speaking at SXSW, Kate Spade’s chief marketing officer Mary Beech explained that at the time, the brand was employing a hollow one-size-fits-all approach to social by posting the same content on each platform. Additionally, the company was struggling to glean any real insights from the data it had on hand.

“We created content for all of the various mediums in which we were on, but we created one piece of content and just pushed it across all the mediums, not taking into any account what was specific about those distribution techniques,” said Beech. “We had lots of data, but we didn’t have insights, and so we weren’t using those insights to leverage them against the content we created and deployed.”

Fast forward to 2018, and the brand – which was acquired by Coach last year for $2.4bn – is doing things a bit differently. Through creating content that’s both platform-specific and entertainment-driven, the New York-based company has managed to create a digital strategy that it says is helping it connect and engage with fans.

Finding a story to tell

Getting into a “video-first” mindset is something that Kristen Naiman, senior vice president of brand creative at Kate Spade’s in-house agency, wanted to prioritize when she joined the company four years ago. At the time, Naiman said her team was “very stuck in thinking about the photograph” as the main form of communication.

To move away from that, her team began looking at what sorts of shows and series were popular to see if the brand could take any cues from the entertainment world.

“A lot of what was happening out there that felt really exciting was this renaissance of serialized narrative storytelling content,” she said, pointing to shows like HBO’s High Maintenance and the rising popularly of Netflix. It was around that same time that female comedians like Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer were beginning to see their careers skyrocket, something she said the brand also took note of since she believed they were helping to usher in a new era of comedy.

“We thought both of those things were amazing and really interesting,” said Naiman.

Those two insights led to the birth of Kate Spade’s #MissAdventure, a short-form YouTube show starring actress and singer Anna Kendrick that kicked off in 2014. In the series, Kendrick plays a slightly ditzy, quirky woman who spends her days exploring New York.

“Our principles were twofold: we were going to make something that behaved in a way that was digital-first, and we were going to make something that while it was meant to be a piece of marketing to a certain degree, was interesting first,” said Naiman.

Kate Spade’s products were tied into the series via a concept Naiman calls “product as character,” which essentially involves making a product an integral part of the story rather than something a character is simply wearing or using.

For instance, in an episode of #MissAdventure called ‘The Waiting Game,’ Kendrick realizes she’s lost her apartment keys once she arrives at her doorstep. To get in, she decides to create a makeshift rope using the Kate Spade clothes and shoes she’s just bought so she can climb in via the fire escape.

Naiman said making the brand’s products a “distinct element” in the stories it tells helps the brand become part of the narrative, a strategy she believes is more effective than simply sticking a logo at the end of a video.

“We are a materialist culture. We all live with a lot of stuff in our lives, and those elements in our lives are part of our story,” she said.

Choosing a platform

While some brands strive to be early adopters and try out every new platform, Kate Spade has taken a more cautious approach to social.

Krista Neuhaus, Kate Spade’s senior director of digital brand marketing, said the brand was on every single social channel when she joined a few years back. Upon joining, she made it her job to figure out not only which channels the brand should be on and which ones it shouldn’t, but also how it should approach each individual platform…Read more 

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Nike teamed up with Snap and Darkstore to pre-release Air Jordan III ‘Tinker’ shoes on Snapchat

Nike, Athletes, Tennis Shoes, Social Media
Image Source: Tech Crunch

by  | Tech Crunch

Snap, Nike’s Jordan brand, Darkstore and Shopify teamed up in a collaboration of epic proportions to pre-release the Air Jordan III “Tinker” on Snapchat with same-day delivery last night after the NBA All-Star game. This is the first time a brand other than Snap has sold a product via Snapchat.

The thousands who attended the Jumpman All-Star after-party in Los Angeles last night were able to scan exclusive Snap codes to receive the shoes by 10:30pm that same night. Once they scanned the Snap code, they were brought into the Snapchat app, where they could then purchase the sneakers.

Within 23 minutes, all the shoes sold out, Darkstore CEO Lee Hnetinka told me. Darkstore, a startup that aims to become an “invisible retailer,” facilitated the deliveries.

“This is the Holy Grail of the experience [Nike is] trying to intend, which is direct to consumer — to the actual consumer, versus a bot, — and same-day delivery,” Hnetinka said. “The Snap code introduces a new paradigm for commerce.”

Darkstore works by exploiting excess capacity in storage facilities, malls and bodegas, and enables them to be fulfillment centers with just a smartphone. The idea is that brands without local inventory can store products in a Darkstore and then ship them out the same day.

In addition to the exclusive Snap codes, Snapchat geofenced the area over the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles during the All-Star game. Within that geofence, fans had access to a special 3D augmented reality Michael Jordan lens.

The official release for the shoe isn’t until March 24, but Nike wanted to do something extra special in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan’s slam dunk in 1988. That dunk is often referred to as the moment when Jordan “took flight.”

This isn’t Nike’s first time selling shoes via app-based experiences. Last June, Nike’s release for the SB Dunk High “Momofuku” required people to go a Momofuku restaurant, or to the Momofuku website, and then point their camera at the menu in order to see a sneaker pop up in augmented reality. From there, sneakerheads could purchase the shoes. Similar to what Nike is doing with Snapchat, you have to physically, or virtually, be somewhere in order to buy a pair.

“Jordan Brand and the Jumpman represent greatness, so we hold ourselves and our partners to that standard to create distinct and meaningful experiences for our community,” Jordan Brand Senior Director of Global Digital Dan Harbison said in a statement to TechCrunch. “To execute on that, we worked with some of the industry leaders in this space. Snapchat had an existing partnership with Shopify to create the frictionless commerce experience, so we felt that would make sense. We had also talked to Darkstore and liked their same day delivery solution and learned they had partnered with Shopify in the past, so that became an easy decision.”

This collaboration also marks Snap’s moist aggressive move into the in-app e-commerce game. Snap launched the Snap Store within the Snapchat app’s Discover section earlier this month to sell the Dancing Hot Dog Plushie, Snapchat winkface sweatshirt and other Snap-related products. At the time, TechCrunch’s Josh Constine noted Snapchat could position itself as a way for top brands to reach their audiences in a medium that bridges both shopping and social experiences.

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TV May Affect the Brain, But Influencer Marketing Affects the Heart

Marketing, Advertising, Social Media
Image Credit: valentinrussanov/iStock
By  | Adweek

Marketing and advertising have evolved in many ways over the past decade, particularly with the ways we consume media, most notably social media.

The advent of social media has ushered in a new wave of creators— the talented individuals who have showcased their creativity and developed a following around their content.

Enter influencer marketing—one of the fastest-growing segments of marketing—a new and exciting way to bring your brand to life. The big question that always remains is: “How do I measure the impact of my marketing programs?”

The #paid team decided to tackle this challenge by working with the team at Nielsen Consumer Insights on a marketing effectiveness study to better understand the consumer impact of branded influencer marketing materials, specifically reviewing the creative campaign of a major food and beverage brand.

To accomplish this, Nielsen conducted an online study to:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of influencer marketing on key performance indicators (recall, affinity, etc.).
  • Assess the attributes associated with each piece of content (unique, credible, cool, etc.).
  • Determine the impact of influencer marketing on future purchase decisions.

As a basis of comparison, the team wanted to establish a benchmark against the primary channel for brand-based marketing—video advertising and TV commercials—by using a pre- and post-exposure methodology, often used by Nielsen Media Lab. The published study can be found on the #paid website.

The results were surprising but insightful into the ways consumers view these different types of content. The research showed that video advertising performed extremely well on brand recall and driving brand awareness. However, social media content drove stronger brand perception shifts, and content quality was viewed as equivalent or greater than traditional video ads.

So, what does that mean for influencer marketing? These are some of the major takeaways from the study:

Influencer marketing and TV work in complementary ways

Many marketers view these two investments as an “either/or,” essentially creating a divide between the two channels. In the end, the research revealed the various impacts of marketing and how they actually work best simultaneously.

When consumers see a TV ad, they see the brand logo, product shot, key claims and tagline. Catchy jingles can get stuck in people’s minds. All of this works well to get people to notice and remember a brand, but this is only the first step within the path to purchase.

Influencer marketing takes this a step further by integrating products into the creators’ lives that consumers seek inspiration from and relate to. In short, creators make products highly relatable and desirable. These attributes have been shown to increase consideration and purchase intent—the next stage of the path to purchase.

Content can be produced—at scale—from social media creators

Marketers should look at how we develop creative content in the 21st century. It doesn’t require pricey studio rentals, a production crew, casting talent and editing anymore. All of these tasks are performed by content creators—the 21st century production crew.

Initial concerns about the quality of the content were put at ease when the results showed that content quality was actually viewed as equivalent or exceeding that of the traditional video ad.

Tools to measure the impact of influencer marketing are becoming more abundant

Measuring the impact of brand marketing has always been an elusive and tricky thing to figure out. The ways we measure the impact can vary depending on the type of campaign that’s run, the objectives set out and the conversion funnel.

That said, establishing campaign goals and running brand measurement studies or any conversion analysis are excellent ways to track the performance of influencer marketing and determine the brand’s return on investment.

When traditional research leaders like Nielsen partner with brand teams, agencies and industry innovators on finding new ways to measure the impact of new approaches to marketing, the industry wins. It allows all marketers to understand the different use cases and make everybody’s efforts stronger.

Authenticity and relatable at its core

A strength in influencer marketing stems from its ability for brands to partner with creators that develop content perceived to be authentic and relatable to their audience. Their audience has come to know them for an extended period of time, heard their reviews on a range of different products and services and see a bit of themselves in the creators they follow.

When a creator voices their opinion and integrates a brand into their feed, it connects to their audience in a much more powerful way than simply getting a video view or an ad impression.

Influencer marketing should be considered a key part of a marketer’s tool kit

While influencer marketing programs can be led by different teams—PR, creative, media or the brand—the simple story is that influencer marketing is here to stay and deserves significant investment and coordination within a brand plan.

When the #paid team works on various influencer marketing programs, they either partner with brands directly or with their media agencies, as they often hold the media budgets. Those budgets are crucial in order to ensure the scalable success of influencer marketing: Creators deserve to get compensated for their work, time and talent; brand teams need to ensure that content is created on time and according to the brief.

All in all, the future of influencer marketing is bright. Influencer marketing budgets continue to rise, creators are learning how to integrate brands in a more sophisticated and authentic way and the industry as a whole is adopting best practices to drive even more value for everybody involved.

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YouTube to Invest $5 Million This Year in Creators Who Promote ‘Empathy and Understanding’

Social Media, YouTube, Videos

Variety Magazine | By 

YouTube is looking for some upbeat PR — pushing the idea that the Google-owned global video platform can be a force for social good, after suffering an advertiser backlash in 2017 over objectionable content that was being monetized.

In 2018, YouTube said it will invest $5 million in its Creators for Change program, including production and marketing support. The program, which launched in September 2016, is aimed at boosting the profile of YouTubers whose videos “counter hate and promote tolerance.”

Since launching Creators for Change, YouTube has teamed with 39 creators from around the world who have released dozens of videos encouraging empathy and understanding. This year, YouTube plans to engage more creators in the program as well as develop new tools and guidance for empowering the broader community.

“Video is a powerful medium to open minds to new perspectives and shared experiences,” Juniper Downs, YouTube’s head of public policy, wrote in a blog post. “Creators prove that to us every single day. And we think Creators for Change in 2018 will reach and inspire even bigger audiences.”

Over the next several months, according to Downs, YouTube will announce the recipients of the production grants through the renewed investment. More info on the program is available at

On Wednesday, YouTube is hosting the Creators for Change Summit in London with several hundred creators in attendance.

Those include Dina Tokio (pictured above), a British beauty vlogger who uses her interview series “#YourAverageMuslim” to challenge perceptions about Muslim women; L-Fresh the Lion, an Australian rapper of Sikh descent, who created a two-part track to challenge racism; and Rosianna Rojas who in partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency traveled to a remote area of Colombia to document stories about refugees.

Last year, hundreds of advertisers froze spending on YouTube after spots were discovered running in front of objectionable content. That included terrorism and hate videos, as well as videos with young children targeted by pedophiles.

YouTube has taken a series of steps to curb violent and disturbing videos — and to reduce the chance that any ads will run against outré content. Most recently, last week YouTube announced a stricter set of criteria for creators who are eligible to participate in its revenue-sharing program and said it will start manually reviewing all videos in its Google Preferred premium ad program.

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8 tips for getting social media ads right

Social Media, Ads
Image Source: Marketing Land

Original post – By  on December 29, 2017

A friend recently complained to me that the targeted ads that persistently stud her social media feeds are not only disruptive but also frequently irrelevant. She uses social media primarily to keep track of friends and to follow artists and crafters that could offer her inspiration or technical knowledge.

As she vented her frustration, I wondered why the ads she saw were still so consistently missing the mark despite the great leaps in ad targeting technology. Surely there must be a better way for brands to reach audiences through social media.

Surprisingly, though almost two-thirds of social media users are irritated by the number of promotions that clutter their feeds, and 26 percent actively ignore marketing content, a whopping 62 percent follow at least one brand on social media.

According to the GlobalWebIndex, 42 percent of social media users are there to “stay in touch” with their friends, while over a third are also interested in following current events, finding entertaining content or killing time. Though 27 percent of users find or research products on social media, most usage is skewed toward building relationships. As such, it’s clear why many social media users are annoyed by ads they find intrusive, irrelevant or boring.

While this data helps us understand why users may find ads abrasive, it also gives us a glimpse into why they are so open to following brands on social media. Today’s hypercompetitive ethos is not limited to brands or ads. Consumers want to know about the latest trends in fashion and technology, and they want to know first. By following brands, users can keep tabs on the latest and greatest.

Following also allows consumers to interact with brands more directly and to voice their dissatisfaction when brands misstep. A full 46 percent of users have “called out” brands on social media, and four out of five believe that this has had a positive impact on brand accountability. The good news for brands is that when they respond well, 45 percent of users will post about the interaction, and over a third will share the experience with their friends.

Brands should note that 60 percent of callouts are in response to perceived dishonesty, which should lend some context to the fact that 30 percent will unfollow a brand that uses slang or jargon inconsistent with the brand’s image. This can be a costly mistake, as 76 percent of users aged 13 to 25 stopped buying from brands after unfollowing.

The news may seem bleak, but the truth is that these facts draw a clear path for brands that want to tap into the unprecedented consumer access offered by the social media revolution. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Be authentic

Above all, brands need to strive for authenticity. Consumers have shown that they are not only open to branded social media content, they welcome it, provided the content is useful and relevant rather than disruptive to their experience.

From social media usage statistics, we see that users are most interested in staying connected and entertained. Brands that share news of upcoming trends or offer content that stands on its own merit can add value to users’ social media experience while reaching out to a more receptive audience.

2. Be useful

Understanding how individuals utilize their…Continue reading

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Why Maybelline is winning at social media

Maybelline, Beauty, Cosmetics
Image Source: The Gigi Hadid x Maybelline collection

Among beauty brands, Maybelline is the master of driving social media engagement.

The L’Oréal-owned brand has beat out its parent company, as well as competitors including Estée Lauder and Revlon, in cross-platform engagement since the start of the year, according to recent analysis from ShareIQ, a social analytics company. On Instagram, for example, Maybelline saw a total of over 59 million likes between the start of the year and October 20, compared to L’Oréal’s 27 million likes and Estée Lauder’s 5 million likes during the same period.

At the same time, Maybelline far outdid the competition on Pinterest, garnering 730,000 repins, compared to L’Oréal’s 167,000 and Estée Lauder’s 28,000.  (Most beauty brands find the volume of visual content that’s shared on Instagram and Pinterest, and the accompanying signals, to be more valuable than Twitter data, according to Jonathan Gardner, ShareIQ’s director of marketing who conducted the research.)

These results are all thanks to a combination of frequent, educational posts, savvy influencer relationships and a collaboration with Gigi Hadid.

“Maybelline has been keeping a baseline of fans engaged and are building spikes of excitement with new and influencer content, earning engagement with new audiences,” said Gardner.

Indeed, throughout the year, at least every other post on Maybelline’s Instagram account has either featured or mentioned an influencer, ranging from the beauty vlogger Melissa Flores(37,000 followers) to the fashion blogger Nicole Alyse (over 89,000 followers). Most of this content — which includes both pictures and short “get the look”-style videos — is generated by the influencers themselves and tagged with #mnyitlook, as encouraged by the brand in their Instagram tagline. The best responses have the chance of getting reposted.

swatches“Swatch” imagery is popular on Maybelline’s social accounts

“We know that our customer is looking to beauty influencers to provide beauty trends and education, so it’s important for us to incorporate their amazing content on our channels and partner with them to communicate to their audiences, as well,” said Marnie Levan, Maybelline’s vice president of integrated consumer communications.

But with so many beauty influencers out there today, Maybelline has a few criteria: “We try to find those who authentically talk about and use the brand’s products regularly,” said Levan, “as well as those whose content is not just engaging but also educational for the consumer.”

This past August, the brand took that relationship one step further, launching its first influencer-driven product line with popular beauty blogger Shayla Mitchell, who boasts 2.5 million followers on Instagram. Curated by Mitchell, the “Maybelline x Shayla” collection included a shade extension of the brand’s Colossal Big Shot Mascara and a new rendition of its City Mini Palette. Mitchell’s goal, according to an interview with Refinery29, was to create products that worked for all skin tones.

The surrounding social media campaign — which saw posts shared across all of Mitchell’s social accounts, as well as Maybelline’s — was the brand’s most successful to date, said Levan. The collection sold out on within a few days of the launch and is continuing to sell impressively in stores, she said.

Outside of this influencer-centric content, the brand’s Instagram account features a stream of swatch posts — in which different shades and textures of a certain product are shown on a model’s wrists — as well as staged, artful product shots.

Another factor in Maybelline’s success is how often it’s posting: On Instagram, it shares an average of five posts per day, compared to L’Oréal’s average of four and Estée Lauder’s average of two, according to ShareIQ.

And then, of course, there’s Gigi Hadid. Although she’s been spokesperson of Maybelline for a few years now, Hadid launched her first collection with the bran in early October, soon after her makeup artist, Erin Parsons, became the company’s global makeup artist.

While relying on a celebrity for influence is by no means a novel idea, Maybelline has been particularly smart about leveraging the opportunity, said Garner. It ensures that Hadid posts frequent Maybelline-centric content to her own Instagram account, where she has over 36 million followers. In the 48 hour period surrounding the lines UK launch on October 12th, she shared 7 related posts.

What’s more, Hadid always mentions Maybelline in the tags and comments, a strategy that helps push her many owned followers to the Maybelline account, said Gardner. After the model announced the first online sale of the line on the Boots UK website, the product sold out in 90 minutes.

“Paying a spokesperson is one thing,” he said, “but effectively using the channel is another.”

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Instagram redesigns call-to-action bar to dynamically mirror ads

Social Media, Marketing, Instagram
Image Credit: Source:

For the second time in the two years since rolling out clickable ads, Instagram is updating the look of what people are supposed to click. This time the Facebook-owned photo-and-video app is tweaking ads’ call-to-action bars to better blend in while still standing out.

Last year, Instagram made its ads’ clickable element more obvious in an effort to make people more aware of the option and assuage advertisers’ concerns with the app’s direct-response options. A few months after replacing its ads’ call-to-action button with a horizontal bar that ran along the entire bottom of an ad’s photo or video, the company set the bar’s background color to switch from white to blue after four seconds to draw more attention to it.

Now, instead of blue, the bar will dynamically change to the main color contained in the ad’s photo or video, the company announced on Monday. Instagram will change the color of the call-to-action bar to better coordinate with the primary element of the native ad that grabbed the user’s attention.

According to an Instagram spokesperson, the redesigned look is meant to ensure that an ad’s photo or video is its standout element and to make people’s feeds feel more natural. It may also ensure that Instagram can insert more ads into those feeds without making them look overloaded with ads.

The blue call-to-action bar had been the most obvious signal that a post was an ad, though it only turned blue after a post was on screen for at least four seconds. By making the call-to-action bar feel more like a part of the photo or video, the difference may not be so obvious to people swiping through their feeds. If that proves true, then Instagram may be able to insert more ads — and relieve Facebook’s ad-load pressure, which is expected to decelerate the company’s ad-revenue growth this year — without overdoing it.

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