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With the advent of new media comes new storytelling, which raises the question about how we here at The Impression define the term ‘campaign.’

As we look back at the ‘best of spring 2016 campaigns’ we tend to lean toward print. Partially due to the heritage of it, but mainly due to the integrity of the image that goes hand-in-hand with the most simplistic of brand identifiers, the logo. We are advocates for logos and images that are joined together, thus the lions-share of our ‘top’ campaigns come out of print. However there are a slew of great marketers and thinkers out there whose work rarely (if at all) touches print. And in this new age of digital marketing, that group is only bound to grow. These innovators who are first to maximize the medium deserve celebration and for that reason here are THE IMPRESSION’S TOP 5 ‘OTHER’ CAMPAIGNS OF SPRING 2016.

Victoria’s Secret & The Bralette

Victoria’s Secret is without a doubt the world’s most know fashion brand. Their annualized fashion show is the most viewed fashion show in the world and they have created a brand name that has become synonymous with “sexy” for an entire generation. And all of it done without print.

CMO Ed Razek has created a fashion first. Never mind that he did it out of Columbus Ohio with the most basic of fashion items. What is really astonishing is that he created fashion’s first sports team with a legion of fans who are not only vested in the players, but care who is first string.

While the firm has made shifts of recent to refocus on intimates and fragrance, dropping the momentum of swim,  what caught our attention this season is how Victoria’s Secret leveraged summer music festivals to tie into their bralette. Several weeks before the mother-of-all-music festivals, Coachella, kicked off, Victoria’s Secret unleashed their angels in a TV spot with a the opening line of “it’s all rock-n-roll.” To augment the spot there was the typical layer of social media, which if you are a brand with 38 million Instagram followers, is not a thin layer. But the campaigns stroke of genius lied in the models simply attending Coachella sporting VS looks. And by simply, we mean the most photographed Coachella attendees in the events history with viewership numbers in the high millions and still going. So while the campaigns TV and talent certainly came with a price tag, the earned media far outweighed the cost. Now that is a campaign.


Victoria's Secret as seen at CoachellaCreative Director/CMO | Ed Razek
Models | Elsa Hosk, Taylor Hill & Martha Hunt

Alexander Wang Instagram

For their Spring 2016 campaign, designer Alexander Wang and KiDS creative director Pascal Dangin took Marshall McLuhan’s 1964 foretelling quote, “The medium is the message,” to heart via an Instagram-focused campaign.

Wang explained, “there’s this kind of traditional idea of doing what we’ve previously done, which is shoot a campaign, do the full 10 images that you place in magazines, then you do a leak, and then it comes out online and people see it for maybe about two, three days, and then by day four it’s on to the next thing. We started thinking about how a season lasts much longer than a week for us, and we asked ourselves, ‘How do we continue the conversation with our audience?'”

McLuhan believed that there is a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived and that couldn’t be more true here, as Pascal Dangin designed it to look as though the campaign was casually capturing the daily lives of the 21 musicians, artists & models shot in various scenes around Manhattan and Brooklyn. That same talent delivered the message as they released the images to their network while Wang released to his, all with the hashtag of #WANGSS16.

Does it beg the question of how a design house maintains aesthetic elevation while producing in volume? Certainly. But the genius in this campaign isn’t in what it is saying, it is in how often and where it is being said.


Agency | KiDS
Creative Director | Pascal Dangin
Photographer: | Steven Klein
Models | Alice Glass, Alice Metza, Aluna Francis, Anna Ewers, Baauer, Binx Walton, CL, Diego Villarreal, Hanne Gaby Odiele, ILoveMakonnen, Isabella Emmack, Issa Lish, John Swiatek, Kaia Gerber, Lexi Boling, Lucien Smith, Molly Bair, Peyton Knight, Stella Lucia, Travis Scott & Vic Mensa
Stylist | Karl Templer
Hair | Anthony Turner & Jimmy Paul
Make-up | Polly Osmond
Manicurist | Gina Edwards
Set Design | Stefan Beckman
Casting | Anita Bitton

Burberry & Snapchat

Spring 2016 show season saw the rise of some rather snappy shows as fashion houses from Michael Kors to Dior took to Snapchat to maximize their live events. Burberry and lensman Mario Testino took it to the next level and became the first house to use their private Snapchat account for an exclusive advertisement campaign tease that lasted for just 24 hours before disappearing into the ether.

The idea of a temporary campaign may seem contrary to the tide in an era where every dollar counts. However the idea of providing fans an exclusive while aligning the house with a new technology typically associated with a new generation of tech savvy users is after all quite … punk.

Outside of aesthetics, the campaign plays to the strength of creating an ‘event’ with a sense of urgency. You are either in or out. And to many the desire to be ‘in’ is the driving factor for purchasing decisions and most of those purchases will be via mobile.

This is a mobile first campaign, designed for mobile and consumed via mobile. It is a mobile moment with more new consumers coming to the internet for the first time via a mobile devise than a desktop computer. And with that Burberry becomes the first house to help usher in the mobile era with a campaign that is pretty snappy.

H&M Forever Summer 2016

The idea of brands as content creators has been around for a while now but when a brand like H&M takes ownership in the form of editorial content, we pay attention.

Gone are the brands e-mails with flat clickable product shots, prices and ‘shop now’ links. In their place the retailer has developed editorial like imagery with stronger graphics and more of a magazine style format. That same philosophy has been applied to the retailers micro-site ‘Forever Summer‘ which is a mash-up of the best of social media platforms with dynamic elements that further lead the audience down the rabbit hole.

The campaign was lensed by Erik Torstensson and captures models Andreea Diaconu, Anna Ewers, Marlon Teixeira, and others playfully enjoying all a summer beach holiday has to offer. Far too often brands spend energy on driving to a site rather than offering a rich site experience once a guest gets there. Here is an example where the site experience actually lends to the campaign, bridging content and commerce in a way that makes for one of fashion’s best shopping experiences.


Photographer | Erik Torstensson
Models | Andreea Diaconu, Anna Ewers, & Marlon Teixeira
Stylist | George Cortina
Hair | James Pecis
Makeup | Hannah Murray

Adidas Originals – Future

The future gained a dash of defiant optimism in Adidas’ short film campaign centered around a video directed by Terence Neale.

The idea of the campaign was big, build a tribe of progressive futurist who have the fortitude to walk  towards the unknown future passing inviting trends and thugs along the way. All the while delivering a message that the future is yours to create. A fitting message in the year of an U.S. Presidential election.

The unifier of the campaign was Terence Neale’s video, and Adidas pushed out the story from within and without as it leveraged the strengths of the cultural creators cast in the video. Aleali May, Luka Sabbat, Iman Shumpert, Kyu Steed, Reese Cooper, Ikwa, and Design Butler all leveraged their social reach to extend the message. That coupled with the optimism at this timely moment helped to win over the gatekeepers of press who rallied behind the video to help spread the word. A great campaign inevitably has a sense of optimism and inspires everyone to look toward the future.


Agency | Johannes Leonardo
Chief Creative Officers | Jan Jacobs & Leo Premutico
Film Director | Terence Neale
Photographers | Pieter Hugo, Oliver Hadlee Pearch, & Tyrone Lebon
Executive Producer | Carol Dunn
Models (Cultural Creators) | Aleali May, Luka Sabbat, Iman Shumpert, Kyu Steed, Reese Cooper, Ikwa
Music by Squeak E Clean Productions
Composer | Justin Hori
Vocalist | Daisy Hamel-Buffa
Music Producer | Chris Shaw