Finding Religion in a $300 Pair of Jeans
In the mid-2000s, the average pair of jeans cost about $30. So when apparel company True Religion burst onto the scene with designer styles that ran $250 to $300 a pair, they had to show the world that theirs weren’t your everyday denim. To get that message across, they turned to Torrance, Calif.’s Creative Direct Marketing Group (CDMG). The collaboration turned out to be the perfect fit.
- Advertising & Marketing
- Direct Mail
True Religion jeans were designed to make an impact “so the website and the marketing materials had to look pretty sensational,” explains CDMG President and Founder Craig Huey. “We had to talk to investors, we had to talk to retailers, and we had to talk to the consumer.”
Investors wanted to know whether True Religion had a winning product. Retailers were most concerned with whether the jeans would make their stores more profitable. And consumers wanted to know if the jeans would make them look good. It was up to CDMG to craft a message that would appeal to them all.
A Form-fitting Message
The campaign consisted of both digital and print elements. A corporate website provided information for investors while serving as an e-commerce hub where consumers could buy the jeans. CDMG also used it to transform the company’s president into a personality by featuring quotes from him, as well as photos of him decked out in their jeans. “People don’t relate to corporations, they relate to people,” says Huey. “We built him up as larger than life.”
To reach retailers, CDMG created three-dimensional marketing packages that were sent out to high-end stores – “the Nordstroms, the boutiques, the stores that would carry this product,” says Huey. The packages’ 3D nature helped them stand out from other printed materials. “We’ve gotten as high as a 90% response rate on the dimensional pieces.”
They also created what they called a “magalog,” which “looked like a magazine, felt like a magazine, but it was really an infomercial in print,” he explains.
In order for the campaign to succeed, imagery played a major role. People had to be able to visualize themselves looking better because of the clothing. “We created the brochures and the marketing materials showing people enjoying and wearing these unique jeans. That was absolutely critical.”
A Medley of Words and Images
Certain elements were common to all parts of the campaign, such as the logo and the images of jeans-clad individuals. But CDMG did not depend on images alone. They also used copy strategically to describe the jeans-wearing experience. Says Huey, “We created copy that talked about how people are going to notice that you have something that you won’t find in every store.”
CDMG also used carefully chosen wording to differentiate between the different audiences. The same images might be used on the website and in the magalog, but the copy would vary based on whether it was targeted to a consumer or an investor.
Some campaigns make the mistake of depending too much on images, Huey says. “One of the biggest downfalls of any campaign is when you create something that doesn’t have enough copy to explain the benefits, or explain the unique selling proposition. Copy is what communicates the distinctions.”
The creative process for the True Religion campaign took about four months to be developed, and about a year to be fully implemented.
What was most rewarding was seeing how copy and art can merge into a powerful marketing tool, particularly when the two disciplines aren’t fighting each other, says Huey. “The pictures helped reinforce the copy, which helped accelerate the growth of the brand.”
If you liked this blog post, check out this past blog on Multi-channel Marketing Breakthrough: How You Can See Profits Skyrocketing.