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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Abercrombie: Re-inventing An Iconic Legacy Brand

Finalist in Retail & E-Commerce


There is a 2016 headline regularly recalled by Abercrombie’s Head of Marketing, which reads “Abercrombie & Fitch - the #1 most-hated retailer in America.” In our first meeting, A&F’s Head of Marketing outlined our task: Prove the headline wrong. 

Fast-forward to present day, Abercrombie is hailed in trades, national press and marketing circles as the brand comeback story of the century. With Abercrombie’s target customer base flooding to TikTok in recent years, IF7 was tasked to deliver and engineer a unique creator strategy designed to break through the noise and chaos of TikTok to connect meaningfully and authentically with the brand’s Gen-Z and Millennial consumers, converting skeptics to advocates and driving home the brand’s commitment to creating spaces where consumers truly belong, rather than being forced to fit in.

Success for the campaign would be measured in myriad ways across quantitative and qualitative scales, but most importantly, we were asked to:

Strategy and Execution

As the brand’s only partner for creator marketing on TikTok, much of the measurable shift and lift in brand perception on the platform can be credited to IF7’s approach, which was organized into 2 key processes: A robust and intentional talent selection process and a winning creative strategy process. 

Our unique approach to talent selection for Abercrombie combined technology with the human element – weaving deep levels of data analysis and growth tracking into a rich fabric of talent curation by our Gen-Z experts, not simply identifying who is “now,” but who is next.  

This approach served as the foundational underpinning of our departure from the conventional practice of exclusively engaging with category-specific creators and enabled us to expand our reach into niche communities and subcultures, including cooking, comedy, sports and even wood-chopping, just to name a few. The success we witnessed was amplified through the championing of diverse talent, which represented creators from every side of the spectrum of follower size, content type, geographic location, personal style, ethnicity, body type, and more—amplifying A&F’s commitment to creating spaces of belonging. 

From a content perspective, the creative strategy centered on doing two things: creating entertaining content with authentic voices that was contextually relevant to highlight the spirit of today’s Abercrombie, and marrying that ethos with lower-funnel content built specifically to drive product sales via innovative uses of promo codes and eventized product launches. Our video-specific creative approach was multi-faceted, with creative direction stemming from one of three places: starting with the creator, starting with the trend, or starting with the A&F product. Throughout, we maintained an iron-clad commitment to allowing creators to stay true to their authentic style and do what they do best—create in their own voices, through their own creative lenses. 

We also embraced the challenge of being genuinely trend-driven, rather than moments we’ve all seen when brands endeavor to join a trend after the trend has lost its appeal, causing a collective eye-roll across platforms, particularly TikTok. To overcome this, IF7 established a collaborative workflow with the brand, featuring a clearly defined continuous cadence aligned with specific product launches and significant milestones like Black Friday, but with mechanisms incorporated for flexibility. This allowed us to seize opportunities in real-time—whether by capitalizing on emerging trends or leveraging the attention of a creator experiencing a moment.

Any time you’re working to shift brand perception as fundamentally and authentically as we were tasked to do, you have your work cut out for you. Through this strategy, we found that by casting a wide, yet well architected net, supported by an agile process designed for scale, and showing up the right way, with the right creators - it created a groundswell of support and fandom. We also began to see massive amounts of UGC - where everyday voices inside these communities were talking proactively about how Abercombie was ‘back again’, how fresh A&F’s new take on clothing was and how powerfully the brand re-entered the cultural conversation.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

IF7, Abercrombie


Entry Credits