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How Dr. Martens increased brand awareness and buying consideration with integrated FIRSTANDFOREVER campaign

Dr. Martens launched a campaign developed by ODD London which centred on the idea of people sharing the memories of their first pair of Dr. Martens. To answer Dr. Martens's brief, ODD used a high profile brand advocate as the face of the FIRSTANDFOREVER campaign and developed a digital engagement platform for users to upload their own experiences, which resulted in a campaign reach of over 10 million. The campaign was awarded in the consumer products or services website or campaign category and the use of visual design category at the DADI Awards.

Dr. Martens possesses a rich heritage in its product range, in popular culture and critically, in its consumers. ODD London’s research illustrated that for many the Dr. Martens brand was a poignant reminder of a particular point in time. Thus for its first global campaign for the brand, ODD wanted to tap into this emotive territory and create a digitally led, content rich campaign that would reignite the passion in the existing audience group, while also attracting a new Dr. Martens advocate.Key objectivesDr. Martens wanted a fully integrated campaign concept, which would challenge people’s perception of the brand, while celebrating its heritage and key brand pillars.Key objectives primarily included increasing brand awareness and consideration to deliver a 4 per cent sales uplift over the campaign period. Secondly, Dr. Martens wanted to drive online engagement and interaction via Facebook and the brand website, with a target of 14.5m impressions. Dr. Martens also wanted to heighten its perceived fashion credentials across key markets, namely US, UK and South Korea.StrategyODD London's creative proposition was ‘Everyone remembers their first pair of Dr. Martens’.Its creative solution was to provide a platform for consumers to share real, personal, emotive sentiments and experiences of buying and wearing their first pair of Dr. Martens. In addition, ODD London saw that this would create an opportunity for Dr. Martens to associate itself with other rites of passage that have shaped consumers’ identities.To drive cut through and PR, British fashion model Agyness Deyn was employed as the face of the campaign, alongside MTV presenter Ash Stymest. The campaign film focused on their journey of first time experiences, with the ‘First Love’ and ‘First Heartbreak’ moment forming the emotional hooks to the supporting campaign films.Campaign executionThe digital campaign engagement platforms allowed users to upload, plot and share their own ‘firsts’ using Google Maps – fixing their memories in a virtual but real location. This map also enabled consumers to find their nearest Dr. Martens store.

Campaign activation

The campaign microsite displayed a simple and easy to navigate user interface, with clear calls to action. Individuals were encouraged to share and store their ‘firsts’ via their personalised page on the site. A fully integrated Facebook app version of this site was also built to engage social audiences and further drive traffic to the campaign and e-commerce sites. The #FIRSTANDFOREVER call to action meant users could engage with the campaign as a trending topic on Twitter.To ensure longevity, regular competitions focused the conversations and kept them relevant. This created spikes of activity around key calendar events and cultural happenings. For example ‘First Love’ on Valentine’s Day, ‘First Gig’ throughout the festival season.Media MixWorking with media agency Goodstuff, ODD London developed a contact strategy, which drove consumers to the campaign films and ‘firsts’ on Dr. Using a mix of cinema, online, press and ambient media. To generate press interest a range of single page and DPS press ads featured in fashion titles including LOVE and Dazed & Confused. ODD created a YouTube channel where the Dr Martens films were housed, itself a valuable source of traffic leading back to the main brand and e-commerce sites.Dr. Martens continued the campaign instore with bespoke window installations, visual merchandising and point of sale activity to help generate consumer awareness.Ambient media such as QR code bar coasters were placed in selected pubs and retail partners to help drive people to the site, and a competition was launched which enabled consumers to win cinema prizes by entering their ‘first film’ experience on the campaign site.


Overall, the online campaign reached 10 million people, with CTR noted to be twice the industry standard in the UK and three times the standard for the US.In terms of social media and content, Dr. Martens achieved a 400 per cent increase in Facebook likes during launch week and a 50 per cent increase in social buzz during the first week of the S/S campaign. The brand’s Twitter account increased in followers by 20,000 in the first 10 days of the campaign and its YouTube channel received a 500 per cent increase in film views during launch week 3. The impact on the .com brand site was also noticeable. There was a 25 per cent higher dwell time than the main .com site and a 425 per cent further growth in unique visits to on the transition from A/W to SS campaign.As a result of the campaign Dr. Martens saw a 35 per cent average increase in buying consideration across all markets coupled with a 13 per cent average increase in consumer perception of the brand’s ‘Style’ credentials across all marketsIn terms of revenue, Dr Martens saw a 7.5 per cent YOY increase in sales during the campaign period.

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