Ted Baker sticks to anti-ad roots as it continues to expand into North American market
This week, British luxury apparel brand Ted Baker unveiled its third Instagram campaign called ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ in an effort to extend its global reach through a treasure hunt game that encourages its followers to repost the brand’s images on their personal feeds for a chance to win a prize.
The socially-driven campaign is the company’s latest attempt to reach both current and future consumers organically instead of through a more traditional approach as it pushes into the North American market.
The brand currently has more than 20 stores in North America and its items are sold in a number of department stores, such as Bloomingdales. Yet as it expands into more US markets including Malibu and Hawaii and builds its presence in Canada and Mexico, the brand has no immediate plans to stray away from its ad-free philosophy.
Craig Smith, brand communication director at Ted Baker, told The Drum that the company’s approach to marketing in North America will remain “the same as it was from day one in the UK, and that’s primarily by word of mouth and an unconventional approach.”
“Ted Baker remains one of the only brands to be built into an international designer label without an advertising campaign,” he said.
Its strategy appears to be working so far. Its global retail sales grew 18.9 per cent last quarter with revenue up nearly 25 per cent. The company is expecting revenue growth of about 18 per cent for the full year.
Instead of employing traditional fashion advertising techniques, such as print ads featured in magazines like Vogue and Elle, the brand uses “witty, eclectic and engaging window displays, amusing in-store giveaways, unique events and a variety of digital initiatives” to grab consumer attention.
Instagram in particular has been a boon for the brand over the past year as it focuses on creating unique and interactive campaigns on the social platform with the help of digital agency Poke. Last winter, it created a holiday-themed account called ‘@TedsElfie’ where followers were tasked with finding missing elves and could win prizes along the way.
Earlier this year, it released an innovative campaign on its primary account called ‘#Pinch_Me’ where followers were asked to screenshot and repost the brand’s images with new filters, which revealed hidden messages and imagery.
“We have seen a great increase in the engagement on our social channels in the past year which is an indicator that our creativity is paying off,” Smith said.
He added that while Instagram has been a key focus for the brand globally and has proved to be highly successful for communicating brand messaging, Pinterest has been quite successful in the North American market since it allows Ted Baker to show its full breadth of the brand to its audiences.