By: Sarah Jones
May 6, 2016
Kering-owned fashion label Stella McCartney is communicating its brand values through a handful of millennial spokesmodels.
To launch its latest scent, Pop, the brand has brought together a posse of personalities who have similar feelings about issues such as sustainability and the treatment of animals, asking them to share their views in a social media campaign. Through this “celebration of individuality, authenticity and adventure,” Stella McCartney opens up its brand to a younger audience whose ideologies may align.
“This campaign feels like it’s taking away the filtered, glossy effect of other social media campaigns on Facebook and Instagram and focusing on providing a real connection with this ‘girl gang,’” said Lauren Klostermann, director of digital marketing at Blue Moon Digital, Denver, CO.
“It targets a younger audience that is interested in issues they share with Stella, including animal rights and sustainability,” she said. “It also emphasizes individuality and acceptance.”
Ms. Klostermann is not affiliated with Stella McCartney, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Stella McCartney was unable to comment directly before press deadline.
Stella McCartney’s #PopNow campaign stars Lourdes “Lola” Leon, the daughter of pop star Madonna and a performing arts student; musician, writer and director Grimes, reach name Claire Boucher; actress and campaigner Amandla Stenberg and animal activist Kenya Kinski-Jones.
When first revealing the campaign faces, the brand’s eponymous founder took to social media, sharing why each of the women inspire her personally. This adds a layer of genuineness to the choice of spokesmodels.
Still campaign imagery shared on Instagram and across other social media channels depicts the young women in natural settings, whether playing an electric guitar sitting on a bed or palling around with each other.
Photographer Glen Luchford, who has previously worked with the brand and worked with Ms. McCartney’s mother Linda Eastman, shot the still campaign.
While the brand began teasing the campaign around the time that the perfume became available in late March, additional video elements of the campaign did not roll out until a month later.
The campaign features the women in separate short social videos, as they talk about their beliefs.
Grimes shares that sustainability is very important to her, saying that an ecological focus is what draws her to Stella McCartney as a brand. She also speaks about her friends, who are not afraid to tell her when her music is not good.
These statements are spoken in voiceover to vintage-tinged footage of the pink-haired Grimes on the California desert.
A second film released May 5 takes a closer look at Ms. Kinski-Jones’ feelings on animals.
As she twirls with pink balloons or hangs with her fellow campaign faces, she talks about how Pop as a fragrance represents the idea of being in the moment and unapologetic.
The animal activist also talks about how people should be thinking of all creatures and not just themselves. This is paired with a picture of a polar bear with the words “Not tested on animals” superimposed.
As a sustainably-focused business that does not use leather, having spokesmodels that reflect not just the brand image but also the ethos will help to reinforce its position. This campaign gives Stella McCartney the opportunity to reach out to younger, cause-minded consumers.
A yet-to-be-released campaign film by Melina Matsoukas follows the foursome on a road trip, a representation of their drive in their own lives. The concept centered on friendship is meant as a departure from the typical fragrance film.
“Pop is a spirit,” said Stella McCartney in a statement. “It is about capturing and celebrating that very special and exciting time when you are finding yourself and coming into your own.
“It is about freedom, and starting your life away from judgments or labels,” she said. “Together as one, these strong young women are a force to be reckoned with.”
Ms. McCartney believes that beauty should enhance natural beauty rather than covering it.
Pop Eau de Parfum, developed under the brand’s licensing deal with Procter & Gamble Prestige, combines tuberose and sandalwood to create a vibrant, contemporary scent. The fragrance is produced using biomimicry technology, extracting oil from a blooming flower rather than processed ones, helping to save a sandalwood tree per every 2,500 bottles.
Taking the concept of flipping tradition, the bottle is an inverted version of the brand’s Stella fragrance bottle, topped with the Stella McCartney coin in metallic hot pink.
Continuing its commitment to the environment, Pop’s packaging was made using technology that limits its ecological impact. The boxes come from sustainably managed forests and the bottles are 100 percent recycled plastic, allowing consumers to support a brand they can trust.
Ms. McCartney approaches her business with an innate sustainability mindset, which she explained to the audience at the 2014 FT Business of Luxury Summit.
From using wind power for a store to foregoing leather and PVC, Ms. McCartney considers environmental friendliness so automatically that she forgets she is doing it. This has become part of her namesake label’s story, even if it is one that it does not overtly promote.
Accompanying the Pop perfume is an accessories collection that includes a Pop Falabella handbag in punchy colors and vegan leather, keychains, scarves and shoes.
“Stella McCartney is looking to connect with a younger, edgier audience with these spokesmodels,” Ms. Klostermann said. “These girls are a down-to-earth version of other Instagram stars like Kylie Jenner.
“The Stella girl cares about specific issues and wants to use her disposable income to support causes that matter to her.”
As millennials gain disposable income, marketers are appealing to them with focused campaigns.
Beauty marketer Estée Lauder is appealing to the next generation of consumers with a collection designed specifically for a social media-savvy clientele.
The Estée Edit is retailing exclusively through Sephora in the United States and Canada on March 15, with a coinciding launch campaign featuring influencers and models Kendall Jenner and Irene Kim. When developing the line, Estée Lauder envisioned what its eponymous founder would do to disrupt the beauty market today, keeping heritage at the heart of this new brand extension.
Consumers are split on their willingness to download luxury brand applications, but when dispersed into generations, 72 percent of millennials are inclined to download a branded app, according to a report from The Luxury Institute.
Digitization of the luxury world is slowly evolving as younger generations grow into being affluent consumers. Luxury clients differ across more than just generations, but understanding the prime and upcoming consumer can prepare marketing teams for the future.
“By using video & bios in a magazine-type layout, this will engage the younger audience to hear from spokesmodels that they relate to,” Ms. Klosterman said. “Via the use of Facebook advertising, they will also hit a younger demographic that appreciates the individualistic message.
“Finally, via the use of the #PopNow hashtag, their audience can feel engaged in the mission of the campaign outside of the perfume itself, creating a greater affinity with the overall brand.”