Hollister kicked off back to school, a must-win season for the brand, by creating a distinct campaign hyper focused on meeting the global high school teen in the channels and places they spend their time. The objective was to create a 360 degree experience that made Hollister THE denim destination for teens at back to school and beyond.
We gathered insights detailing how Gen Z shops for jeans, which aided in developing a culturally relevant strategy. For Gen Z, shopping for jeans is an emotional experience. Teens are seeking confidence in how they look and feel with every jeans purchase. Many new-to-brand customers enter Hollister through the jeans category and stay loyal if they fall in love with our denim. We know most teens perform “fit tests” when trying on jeans, which became instrumental in creating a back-to-school denim campaign focused on building fit confidence to find the perfect jeans.
We then partnered with the world’s most relevant Gen Z influencers to tell our story. By delivering on these objectives, Hollister was able to drive sales, traffic, new-to-file customers and brand love through The Hollister Jean Lab campaign featuring Charli & Dixie D'Amelio.
As Covid began spreading across the world, we found ourselves midway through concepting Hollister’s back-to-school jeans campaign with denim designed to be real-world tested in a world that no longer felt very real.
So, instead of taking our denim out into the world (as we previously planned), we brought the world to our denim through Zoom. We launched The Hollister Jean Lab virtually by creating at-home denim labs designed to play out real-world situations, tested by the world’s most-loved Science Guy, Bill Nye, and its favorite TikTokers, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio.
Our Chief Jeanealogist Officer Bill Nye, along with Jeanealogists Charli and Dixie, tested and approved every aspect of our denim to certify we eliminated awkward waist gapping, maintained stretch retention, ended pocket bunching and resisted fading.
The Hollister Jean Lab launched with the #MoreHappyDenimDance TikTok Challenge. Choreographed by Charli to a custom song by Hollister, we challenged Gen Z to show us the happy dance they do in the mirror after trying on the perfect pair of jeans.
The D’Amelio partnership extended into the balance of the back-to-school season with a live shopping event featuring Charli and Dixie performing challenges, interacting with fans and dropping an exclusive promo code for jeans. Charli and Dixie co-created limited-edition product with personal touches, which was available exclusively to fans and loyalty members before its global release. The D’Amelio partnership also carried over into Holiday, creating a long-term, authentic partnership with Charli and Dixie.
The “Charli and Dixie” effect drove significant results and broke records for the brand. The #MoreHappyDenimDance TikTok Challenge surpassed 5.4 Billion (yes, Billion) views, which is 3.5x higher than TikTok’s benchmark, becoming one of the top performing challenges of 2020. Charli and Dixie generated 115M impressions for Hollister across 19 social posts, driving bulk new-to-file customers with every mention of the brand. All social metrics were significantly up YoY for the back-to-school campaign. Organic sales exceeded our expectations.
Total campaign drove significant shifts in brand perception across Q3 yielding double-digit improvements on all priority brand image metrics. We acquired new, high quality, digitally native customers. Our back-to-school campaign resonated with our current customer base and reengaged former customers. Existing customer spend per buyer was +10% in the US, +20% in EMEA & reactivated +25% US lapsed customers.
We had gains across both new and existing customers, driving significant growth in jeans sales online with double digit increases in female & male jeans. We convinced guys and girls to try & buy our jeans for the first time. New to jean rate was +21% for females and +9% for males.