For its first out-of-home campaign, the TikTok-famous fashion brand Cider sought inspiration from its target demo: Gen Z. The campaign, running mid-May through June 15, is based on the message and idea that “fashion is a feeling.” Rather than models in clothes, the imagery spotlights subjects including a glistening pear and an Afghan hound in a tiara.
Cider, which launched in September 2020, is focusing its out-of-home efforts on NYC for this campaign, where the ads can be seen in the Lower East Side, Soho and Brooklyn, on newsstands, bus shelters and LinkNYC screens, and as wild postings. The brand is also promoting the campaign online and on its social channels.
The campaign marks Cider’s first experiment with out-of-home marketing. “Both Gen Z and Cider are digital natives,” said Yu Oppel, co-founder of Cider. “So, this campaign takes inspiration from Internet meme culture, which is a big part of how Gen Z expresses themselves and engages with social media.” The campaign ties to different collections, each of which is pegged to a different “mood,” including “Feeling Cute,” “Feeling Dreamy,” “Feeling Sexy” and “Feeling Nostalgic.” The web copy tells shoppers that Cider “curates moods, not just fashion.”
Cider raised $130 million in a Series B round in September 2021. Its past advertising initiatives have primarily been online across paid, earned and owned channels.
“Our approach [looked] to the visual language of the audience — the imagery you see in memes and mood boards — to tap into the imaginations of people and start to seed the idea of dressing for how you feel, [rather than] telling people how to dress,” said Laura McCarthy, creative director at marketing agency Cashmere, which worked on the campaign. “It’s a teensy bit anti-advertising. It’s light on clothes, and we’re purposefully turning the well-worn phrase ‘get the look’ on its head — but that feels like the right approach for this audience.”
She added, “If you’re someone who’s tuned into fashion, you see the [campaign’s] cheesy, dusty-pastel colored cake or the ’90s green alt alien, and you know exactly what that ‘look’ is. The image is speaking to you in codes and demonstrating that Cider speaks that language, too.”
Cider prides itself on speaking to Gen Z as peers, Oppel said. “Fashion companies love telling customers how they should dress. But, especially as a Gen Z brand, we firmly believe in talking to our customers as equals, never above them. The images in this campaign are all about the visual language of different moods — we’re inviting our customers to envision the looks for themselves. … It’s a very internet-native tone, and we hope that we can connect with the Gen-Z community in a fresh and relatable way.”
As part of the campaign, Cider tapped a number of local influencers to create content engaging with the signage IRL. The brand tapped New York City-based influencers including Danielle Carolan (264,000 Instagram followers), Haley Kalil (1.3 million Instagram followers), Samirah Raheem (329,000 Instagram followers) and Sarah Hamrick (85,000 Instagram followers). In their respective Reels posts, the creators can be seen going to find the Cider billboards. They then direct their followers to a giveaway on Cider’s own Instagram page where followers can enter to win tickets to the Governors Ball music festival, as well as a $500 Cider gift card.
“We wanted to find New York-based influencers who both have a unique point of view and create an authentic connection through their content, and who resonate with Cider,” Oppel said.
The brand will gauge the campaign’s success based on metrics around increased brand awareness and site visit times.
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