The autumn wind is a pirate, blustering in from sea . . .
The title of one of the greatest sports-themed poems ever written also doubles as somewhat of a signal for when an army of men and women across the world start warming up their feet by slipping into some soft fur. You don’t choose the UGG life . . . the UGG life chooses you.
To celebrate the first day of fall and #UGGseason, the luxury-comfort brand launched a custom, fall-themed 24-hour Snapchat lens in North America on September 22 featuring leaves, earmuffs and mini UGG boots that appeared once a user opened their mouth. The frame was accompanied with the line “Finally UGG season.”
The filter was integrated with the second installment of the brand’s digital campaign with English model, actress and UGG brand ambassador Rosie Alice Huntington-Whiteley.
It’s been a big month of September for UGG, who also celebrated their men’s line by plugging New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with teammate Julian Edelman and actor Jeff Bridges for their “Do Nothing” campaign.
The five-part digital series celebrates the “art of doing nothing” with Brady, an UGG brand ambassador for the last six years who’s helped the men’s business grow by over 150 percent.
“The idea of ‘Do Nothing’ started last fall when I had a rare Sunday to watch football since we opened the season on a Thursday night. I relaxed on the couch by wearing my favorite UGG slippers. I posted a photo on Facebook and it was history from there,” said the four-time Super Bowl-winning Patriots quarterback. “As an athlete I know firsthand the importance of sometimes taking time out to do nothing—it helps me recharge and perform when I’m on the field.”
Still serving a four-game suspension to start the season, Brady sure has some extra “do nothing” time on his hands, and the tone and timing of the campaign, which features Bridges startling a sleeping Brady by softly singing “Buffalo Gals,” could not be more fitting.
Jim Davis, vice president of consumer engagement for Deckers Outdoor Corporation, the parent company of UGG, joined [a]listdaily to discuss the brand’s latest campaigns and how they plan on winning big this season.
Why was Snapchat the best social channel to launch your fall campaign? What does the platform offer that others don’t?
Snapchat is a focus for us because it’s a part of our fans’ everyday lives. If you look at Instagram as a visual lens into a person’s own brand, Twitter becomes their microphone—Snapchat occupies a unique space where the unpolished and goofy can be celebrated. Everyone wants authentic content—Snapchat is still one of the few platforms that offers that reality. Snapchat also offers the opportunity to reach GenZ and younger millennials in very authentic ways to help build brand heat with the next generation.
How will you measure the success of the National Lens? And what was the most surprising revelation?
We don’t have any numbers to share quite yet, but we will look at quantity and demo of the users of the lens, the network effects and related impression reach, and a brand lift study that Snapchat will conduct.
What is the foremost thing brands should know before diving deep into a Snapchat campaign?
You have to really think about it from a user’s perspective. People love lenses because they are ridiculous—for better or worse. Success comes when you take that seed of a fun idea and combine it with a culturally relevant time. The better your brand fits the moment, the more apt people are to brush the clear branding aside and let loose. It’s also important to consider the entire Snapchat ecosystem. You want to have a strong organic brand presence in place already. You also want to consider other paid media companion opportunities in places like Discover to maximize exposure and reach.
Since partnering with Tom Brady, the men’s business for UGG has grown immensely. How do you keep reinventing yourself to use his star power in order to market to men?
I think the key has been to present Tom as Tom. They know the football player, the Super Bowl MVP, they see him at galas with his wife Gisele Bündchen at his arm. They don’t see all the other elements that make him, him. Morning rituals with his family, the struggle to make it in the NFL, golf with his father—all of our campaigns present Tom off the field.
Your tongue-in-cheek approach to elevating downtime was clear in the “Do Nothing” campaign with Jeff Bridges. Has Brady’s suspension and turmoil with the NFL over Deflategate actually been great for you as a sponsor and partner?
Believe us, it was completely unintentional. Tom posted an image with his slipper’d feet up watching a football game last season and the idea was born. #DoNothing isn’t about nothing, it’s about owning your downtime—which could be a multitude of things.
How will you be promoting the five-part digital video series with “Do Nothing” and “Rosie’s Everyday Survival” moving forward this fall? What is your social media strategy as the season changes, and the holidays approach?
All of the obvious places. We only have one standalone men’s social channel, Instagram, so cross-channel promotion across our core channels will be crucial from an organic standpoint. We are also pushing the content out through a host of paid digital channels where we can reach targeted audiences like YouTube Truview and HULU as well as targeted endemics like Highsnobiety and ESPN. Given the nature of our business, come holiday timeframe our content shifts to be more focused on weather, and of course, gifting.
Brady is in a league of his own as far as pitchmen go. But where do online influencers and influencer marketing fit into your marketing strategy?
It’s a core tenet of our strategy. We work with influencers consistently, but for us it’s about finding the right influencers. For men, it’s not as simple as just identifying a few bloggers with large followings. Men seem to crave the aspirational and as such we’ve had a lot of success with influential photographers, in addition to our work with Tom and Jeff Bridges.
What other experiential marketing activations can consumers expect in the coming months?
We got to have some secrets . . .
Follow Manouk Akopyan on Twitter @Manouk_Akopyan