CAMPAIGN: A&F

Compass Media partnered with local agency Razorfish to design a mock mobile app and a mock "aging-up" campaign for one of their clients, Abercrombie & Fitch.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A&F is facing slower sales and an increasing lack of interest from consumers. We suggest that A&F use its mobile app to engage with 18- to 25-year-old young adults in order to prove that it is still a relevant brand.

Our inspiration for this campaign came when we uncovered that Amelia Earhart was wearing an A&F jacket when she became the first woman to make a solo flight across the Atlantic. The target audience A&F wants to reach is independent, ambitious and ready to explore the world. They are in college or recent graduates pursuing their chosen careers. This factoid will resonate with our target audience and will inspire their interactions with this aspirational brand.

As a result of organized and thorough research, Compass Media has developed a comprehensive plan fo the mobile app. With our proposal, the mobile app would serve multiple purposes, encouraging continued use. Compass Media has utilized numerous social media platforms, refined the brand image, and suggested other key tactics in order to address and correct the negative perceptions of A&F.

These independent-minded consumers want to make a statement, and A&F needs to listen to, learn from and engage with them. The mobile app will facilitate this discussion and promote the brand as stylish, age-appropriate and desired by this audience.

CAMPAIGN VISION

Craig Brommers, head of marketing at A&F, said “I think we have to take the strongest part of our
brand DNA and evolve it to be more relevant to a younger generation of consumers.”

The 18-25 year old segment sees A&F as the brand that they wore in middle school and early in high
school. They associate it with their early attempts to fit into a certain crowd and look “cool.” Once this generation grew up, A&F was irrelevant and discouraged. The people that wore the brand in the 1990s and early 2000s changed lifestyles, dressing styles and personalities. But A&F did not change their marketing to reflect the changes in their consumer’s behavior. The clothing and consumers no longer match the brand image that A&F is perpetuating in their marketing.

We want to show that there is more to A&F than merely looking “cool.” A&F actually has trendy, quality clothing that will match the lifestyles of 18-25 year old college students and young professionals. The brand is still relevant to this older age group, they just don’t know it.

A&F has always been an aspirational brand, and we want to build on that aspect of it. We will do this by returning to the adventurous and inspirational history of A&F. Historical public figures like Teddy Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh have accomplished amazing, world-changing things while wearing A&F. By associating the brand with these successful individuals, A&F will be promoting their clothing as functional and high-quality. This is similar to how Nike uses successful athletes performing amazing athletic feats while wearing the “swoosh” in order to persuade customers that the brand will enhance their fitness endeavors. By reminding customers of its role in history, A&F will show that it has contemporary relevance for the active, adventurous lifestyles of today’s young adults. This brand positioning will entice customers to figure out how A&F will fit into their lives and how it can benefit their lifestyle.

The advertisements will keep some of the same elements Jeffries has exploited for years, including the playful shots with natural surroundings. Both of these elements are connected to A&F’s history as a sports outfitter. Our target audience is on-the-move and looking to make an independent mark on their world, whether by developing the next huge social network or finding the cures to cancer or solving global warming. A&F needs to market itself as the brand that these students and young professionals will be wearing when they come up with the next great idea.

CREATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS

MOBILE APP

As A&F improves its iPhone app, it also needs to develop an Android app with the same considerations in mind. Android users are a significant portion of the target market, and it is silly to exclude them from any messaging and branding efforts.

The restructured mobile app should feature the following items and utilities:
 A style quiz
 An Instagram feed
 The complete store catalog
 A wish list
 A shopping cart
 A map of each location’s layout to help users find products quickly

Every image and interaction accessed on the app should be shareable, including catalog items, model shots and items on one’s wish list.

The style quiz will ask questions about visitors’ personalities and hobbies in order to match them with an outfit. Instead of recommending an entire outfit, the quiz should recommend individual articles of clothing and accessories that can be mixed and matched. Once it offers a specific item that fits the visitor’s style, it can then recommend other items that would complement the selection. For example, if it recommends a specific T-shirt, it would then suggest different shorts that also fit the profile. By providing multiple options, this quiz will be more accurate and lead to more items purchased. The results of the style quiz can be posted to Facebook or shared with friends through Twitter and Instagram. This will be a good way for consumers to broadcast how A&F is still stylish and in-line with consumer’s lifestyles.

An Instagram feed consisting of regrams from users with the hashtag #myAF should link back to the original Instagrammers’ profiles. The Forever 21 mobile app has a similar function. People take photos of themselves wearing the brand’s clothes and tag the photo with #F21Xme. These photos are then streamed through the mobile app. Clicking on the photo leads you to the product pages of the items worn in the photo. A&F should have a similar function because it lets users share their personal styles without A&F dictating what looks good and is popular.

 
Items placed from the catalog into a wish list should be shareable through social media, the app and the website. By using the hashtag #myAF, shoppers will be able to consult with their friends before purchasing items, pin their favorite items to their Pinterest accounts, or tweet about their latest purchase.
  
Providing a map of the stores near the consumer, as well as a floorplan of the clothing within each store, will encourage customers to use their phones in the store as well as outside of it. If a customer finds a clothing item that he/she wants while shopping through the app or online, he/she will be able to find it immediately upon entering the store, making the shopping experience more convenient and less intimidating.

A&F should keep track of all of these interactions and offer rewards in proportion to points earned. Points would be earned by tweeting, sharing a post, taking the style quiz or liking an Instagram photo. Possible rewards could include gift certificates, discounts or an opportunity to meet the models. This would be a good way for A&F to engage with its customers and foster brand loyalty.

The mobile app will send notifications for upcoming sales, releases of new collections, and special events. These notifications will only occur as necessary so as not to overwhelm the customer. Customers can optin to have these notifications sent via text, which will help A&F gather consumer data.

IN-STORE

Pinterest favorites to merge online with in-store
A&F should create a “most pinned” section where clothing items that have been pinned by the most followers are marked in the store. Nordstrom has done something similar, but they do not organize the items into one section. This tactic will link online contact with in-store promotion of popular items. These items should also be featured in their own section on the website and the app catalog. On the item’s description page, it should be indicated that it is a Pinterest favorite.

PARTNER WITH BLOGGERS

People look up to and follow fashion bloggers for inspiration, advice, tips and good deals. By
Modern Amelia
Natalie Burke
crownsofviolet.com
partnering with a blogger and openly sponsoring a shopping trip, A&F’s story will reach an audience that traditional advertisements may not. The featured blogger will build up excitement at least a week in advance on their blog, tweet and Instagram about their shopping experience in real time, showcase their new items in their next YouTube video, and write about what they liked — and did not like — in their next blog post. By doing this, A&F receives multiple content updates across multiple channels and through well-trusted and reputable media. Fashion bloggers have built reputations and their audiences trust them when it comes to style and trends. A&F is no longer a trustworthy or valuable source for style information for our target market. This target sees A&F as outdated and irrelevant. They are more likely to listen to contemporary bloggers. Transparency is key to this process so it does not appear that A&F is bribing these bloggers, but instead inviting them to an honest experience. Be prepared for both good and bad feedback.

Blog mentions, as well as other positive press coverage, would be accessible through the mobile app. After blog reviews, specific clothing items styled and recommended by the bloggers, could be tagged on the website and the app. Blogger comments would be promoted above other user reviews, and feature a link back to their blog posts.

We pretested this idea with a reluctant fashion-blogging friend. She was surprised at the clothing and
actually really enjoyed the experiment. She even Instagrammed a few pictures.

HIGHLIGHT ATHLETIC WEAR AND “ATHLEISURE WEAR”

Athletic wear is no longer worn just during workouts. Yoga pants, running shorts and sports bras must now be functional as well as fashionable because they are staples in this target’s closet. A&F already offers attractive and functional fitness wear and accessories, but they do not advertise this. A&F is missing out on the customers interested in this style. Instead, potential A&F customers visit well-known and fashionable brands like lululemon and Nike for their attractive and functional exercise needs. A&F Active needs to be more prominently displayed both on the website and in stores. These pieces of clothing will be easy to incorporate into the new, adventure-focused advertisements. Many of A&F’s advertisements feature movement and activity, so dressing the models in athletic and athleisure clothing will fit cohesively with the brand image.

CHANGE THE FACE OF THE A&F QUARTERLY “MAGALOG”

Originally serving as a catalog and magazine for A&F, the Quarterly focused on entertaining and advising college youth. A&F should stop focusing on exploring sexuality and showcasing the scandalous photography of Bruce Weber in this publication. Instead, A&F should focus on creating a college survival guide with recommendations for adventures this target audience is likely to encounter. The goal is to engage readers and potential customers in a way that will invite conversations and encourage purchases. The catalog is a way to highlight A&F’s ability to meet the professional and casual style and social needs of this audience.

OVERALL EVALUATION

"I hope that all teams will finish with their best work of the semester, and you definitely did that here. While you didn’t win this final pitch, you should know that in most semesters the work you did here would have definitely been enough to earn a victory."
- Professor Mike Mackert, Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin

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