By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

As any retailer will tell you it is a challenging market out there and they are all trying to figure out how to leverage the screen you are reading this on to engage audiences. The team at Ann Inc’s Loft has recognized that new challenges require new ways of thinking and has boldly gone where no brand has gone before by partnering with YouTube artist HotMessMoves & SRSLY to produce humorous original content with winning results.

For Loft’s Holiday, Danielle Gibson & Alexandra Fiber, web series creators of SRSLY, navigated the holiday season challenges including shopping for holiday party dresses to holiday party small talk . . . with a dog.  Our personal favorite includes Gingerbread Boyfriend where the two happy cookie bread makers describe the attributes of their imaginary gingerbread boyfriends including their musical taste and careers.

Post holiday Ashley Skidmore and Lyle Friedman of HotMessMoves gave the brand the association of the struggles of New York single 20-somethings from cooking in a city where no one cooks to cleaning-up the relationship slate for 2015. In One Bold Move an awkward apartment neighbor crush takes it to the next level with a little help from a sidewalk observer.

There have been other brands who have played the comedy fashion film card of course but not with the fortitude to build an entire partnership miniseries with YouTube artist. What we are witnessing here is in fact a fashion first.

Loft has recognized the simple fact that brands are content producers. Net-a-Porter recognized this when they first hired magazine editors to bring desire to their digital offering and later launched its own Porter Magazine. Dior too has recently gone the content direction with its own magazine. But we all know that digital is where the future is.  Yet despite that very few fashion brands, with the exception of Prada, have taken the risk to develop content beyond a behind-the-scenes video, product explanation, or esoteric video. And when fashion does produce a video they tend to put the product before the brand, which often is the wrong direction. The right direction is to put the brand and customer before all else because in the consumers mind, the brand is the product, and in this Loft has done a stellar job.

The Impression applauds Loft’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Michelle Horowitz, and her first mover marketing strategy. We recognize that this risk is actually a design of experiments that will be tied back to a mathematical calculation of impressions, good will, and eventually sales. Ann Inc. is after all a public company, complete with the advantages and disadvantages of being public as we are sure CEO Kay Krill can attest to. But for all the bean counters out there we wish to remind you that a short term view does not a long term business make and Loft’s effort is worth doing for the long term. As the young man discovers in the video, it all starts with one bold move.

Loft x SRSLY

LOFT x HotMessMoves