Taking home the gold award for “Best PR campaign: Fashion, Apparel & Accessories” at Marketing and A+M's PR Awards 2020 is South Korean eyewear brand, Gentle Monster, and its digital agency Access Communications.
Following its first foray into Singapore in 2017, Gentle Monster sought to launch its 2019 collection titled “13” with a celebrity and influencer-centric communication campaign with social media amplification. Let’s take a deeper look into the campaign that won the judges’ approval:
In a market flooded with retail brands jostling for customers’ attention, Gentle Monster wanted to increase its reach to regional customers through the launch of their 2019 collection “13” at its new flagship store at The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Its agency, Access Communications, was tasked to create excitement surrounding the collection as well as the store through an offline activation on a limited budget.
In addition, the brand wanted to break through the clutter of all the new product launches to get Gentle Monster on the must-have list not just those living in Singapore, but also in Southeast Asia. Access Communications’ challenge was to ensure that the brand was covered by all major media platforms in Singapore and regional area without spending the budget on advertising.
The campaign ran from 2 January 2019 to 6 March 2019, with the target audience being Gentle Monster’s existing customer base and new potential customer base in the Southeast Asian region. The key objectives of the campaign were to:
- Increase awareness of the new flagship store in Southeast Asia and the 2019 collection “13”
- Appeal to both Gentle Monster’s existing customer base as well as new potential customers who had come to expect more quality and style from a brand
- Achieve sales and conversion during the offline activation
Without any budget allocated for advertising, Gentle Monster and Access Communications understood that they needed to go way beyond simple advertising or promotions. They needed to inject excitement into the offline activation and amplify it through social media platforms. Looking past the different demographics, the two companies identified one common insight among Gentle Monster’s audience: Singaporeans are heavily influenced by what celebrities and influencers do on social media.
Hence, the overall strategy was to create a buzz-worthy offline activation accompanied by a celebrity and influencer-centric communication campaign. The approach had to be bigger and bolder as compared to the brand’s previous grand opening event. The campaign will also focus on disrupting the digital chatter through social media conversations with high profile influencers and personalities in the Southeast Asia region, as well as digital articles with key media to reinforce market relevance.
Gentle Monster’s key message strategy was to increase awareness of its 2019 collection and create excitement surrounding the launch event at the new flagship store. It also looked to highlight the story behind the collection.
Gentle Monster and Access Communications looked to create a social media campaign with influencers/personalities for its digital assets, as well as a press release, creative invitation drop, Instagram-worthy experience space, and a private by-invite-only event celebrating the launch of 2019 collection ‘13’ with celebrities, influencers, VIP guests, stylists, and media for its offline activation.
They also aimed to curate a current and exciting guest list of celebrities and influencers to collaborate and content-create with, to reinforce leadership and market relevance by positioning the brand as the leading luxury eyewear brand.
In the lead up to the launch event, Gentle Monster identified 30 influencers and celebrities within the fashion and music community, all of them with different styles and from different locations (Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand) in the Southeast Asia region. Their mission was simple: share their excitement for the 2019 collection and the launch event at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Gentle Monster did so by giving the influencers and celebrities two things: The creative invitation and a pair of Gentle Monster eyewear from its “13” collection.
The brand then asked each of the influencers to style themselves in the eyewear and share their looks on social media. By doing so, it aims to show that Gentle Monster is the go-to eyewear amongst the fashion trendsetters and musicians, and build a powerful community within the Southeast Asia region. The creative invitation was delivered to the curated guest list as well, which drove high awareness on social media amongst invited guests and fashion insiders.
Additionally, the official campaign videos were also amplified on key media and The Shoppes’ social media platforms as well.
To add on to the hype, Access Communications made a recommendation of regional celebrities including Thailand’s R&B idol phenomenon Lydia Sarunrat, Thailand’s actress Rathfar Chaichueanjit, Singaporean pop band The Sam Willows, and Singapore-based Malaysian actress Julie Tan, to make a special appearance at the private by-invite-only launch event.
In order to make the activation livelier for the music-loving audience, the agency also transformed a portion of the store space into a music space where DJ A/K/A Sounds, co-founder of all-girl music collective ATTAGIRL!, could perform a live DJ set.
Based on the agency’s recommendation of international celebrities, the launch was further strengthened by Gentle Monster’s support with the special appearances of South Korean actor Kim Ji-soo and actress Kim So-hyun at the launch event. Selected media publications were also given exclusive opportunities to interview both Korean celebrities as well.
The result was massive social chatter, as well as earned influencers and celebrity coverage during the launch event that stoked the explosive sales at launch. It was also a successful media launch night with 200 guests in attendance (including 56 media, 33 celebrities, 56 influencers, 10 stylists, 16 content creators and 29 VIP guests).
The campaign also managed to garner 718 clips worth SG$6,344,610.22 of PR values, as well as major top-tier media coverage in outlets like Esquire, L’Officiel, and Harper’s Bazaar.
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