By The Drum, Editorial

December 5, 2023 | 7 min read

Eton Shirts AB and Valtech RADON have won the Retail category at The Drum Awards for Creativity. Here is the award-winning case study.

Eton Shirts is a Swedish premium men’s shirt brand, dating back to 1928. Historically a wholesale brand, Eton has recently grown its share of revenue from its own distribution channels – d2c e-commerce and brand stores. In particular, the brand’s online store is a strategic focus based on the assumption that it will play an increasingly important role as a growth engine.

Geographic expansion is another priority for Eton, more specifically, the US is a primary target market for expansion. But making a mark on this market is a big challenge: unaided awareness of the Eton Shirts brand in the US is only 1% (source: Extreme Insights). And this vast consumer market, dominated by significantly larger competitor brands such as Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, and Polo Ralph Lauren, is unrealistic for a small Swedish brand to conquer by outspending the competition. Eton needed to make a bigger impact on the US market through innovative thinking.

This campaign was the starting point for this endeavor. With a comparably small investment and a short time frame (a campaign period of fewer than three weeks), the campaign objectives were defined as growing the number of e-commerce customers as the first step of several towards a goal of 5,000 new customers within a year.

Eton specified the target audience for this campaign as 30-something men who work in finance and professional services (i.e., bankers, consultants, auditors, lawyers, and real estate professionals).


The first challenge was to reach this notoriously hard-to-reach audience: high-paced individuals who were difficult to target and had little time to engage with brands. In addition, we knew that this group was not necessarily looking to buy another white business shirt (Eton Shirts’ staple garment) at all. The demand for business apparel had slowed down due to Covid-19 and its implications on remote work habits and business culture. Eton Shirts, for example, experienced a 50% decline in revenue in 2020 after years of stable growth (source:

The timing was also challenging in two aspects: mid-November, the period when this campaign was launched, is a time of the year when all shoppers wait for Black Week deals and are unlikely to buy on e-commerce websites – for Eton Shirts, this period is typically the slowest when it comes to e-commerce traffic and sales (source: Google Analytics). Furthermore, 2022 was a tumultuous year for the global economy, facing headwinds such as high inflation, supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine. This led to one of the most turbulent years on the stock market in decades and the worst year for U.S. equities since 2008 (source:, with the tech stock-heavy Nasdaq Composite especially affected and ending the year down 33.1% from 2021.

We knew that this turbulence was occupying our target group’s minds. Through social listening, we tracked online interactions and identified common themes and topics for this niche audience, and found this topic to be a common denominator. The target group was both mentally and financially invested in the stock market, and tech companies – the stocks most affected by the 2022 decline – were a particular obsession for them. How could we, an unknown brand in a category far from their minds, compete for this normally hard-to-engage group’s attention at a time like this?

This challenge led us to our key insight: to reach this audience, we should not try to rival the dominant narrative in their mind; we should insert ourselves into the conversation. And seeing that we were talking to an affluent target group not heavily affected by economic turmoil, we could allow ourselves to be playful and build our campaign on the stock market volatility.

The core idea of The Index Shirt is connecting the price of a garment to the stock market, making the price rise and fall with market fluctuations. We created a unique e-commerce solution that fed the Nasdaq Composite index into the pricing model of a limited edition shirt. Now, our target group could trade themselves to a shirt just like they're used to when trading stocks.

Data from the Index Shirt site was then fed into an ad display system, showing consumers targeted by advertising how the shirt's price fluctuated in real-time. We activated the campaign in the online spaces where the target group would be, with the help of Youtube advertising, Google Ads, display advertising on finance websites, and social media advertising on LinkedIn and Meta platforms – combining still ads and video ads for both prospecting and purchase focused content, and using the dynamic price ads whenever technically possible. This paid activation was complemented by PR outreach, selected business and finance influencers, and community outreach on platforms such as Twitter, posting specific comments tapping into existing threads with a financial focus.

In other words, we inserted ourselves into every relevant context: When the target group researched stocks on social and on the web, we hit them with real-time ads with fluctuating prices, triggering them to strike when the price was right. And when they ‘doomscrolled’ for ever more distressing financial news, we popped up, not only in their favorite business and fashion titles – from Robb Report to Yahoo Finance – but also in their social feeds and go-to meme accounts.


The Index Shirt delivered impressive results on every level, from business to communication. First of all, we saw immediate commercial success. Although the time when the campaign was launched is typically the slowest in the year for Eton Shirts’ e-commerce, new customer acquisition increased by 42% during the campaign period compared to baseline numbers – even outperforming sales periods. Returning customers grew by 18% during the same period. The shirt sold out after three weeks and became the best-selling seasonal item of 2022!

Organic traffic to the Eton website was up +98.4% for the campaign's first week, making it the second-best week that year, closely behind Black Week. And the traffic was high-quality: the average value per user interacting with the Index Shirt page was +18% higher compared to users not visiting the page.

We also saw a clear impact on brand interest with an +120% increase in search queries (source: Google) – clearly outcompeting the brand’s large-scale brand campaigns during the year. This spike in search queries was at an all-time record level for the brand.

Third, we achieved a significant uplift in social performance and communications KPIs overall. Social traffic to the website was the highest YTD, and we reached an astonishing 14.7% CTR on Youtube advertising. In addition, the campaign’s impact spilled over to existing customers. As one example, the campaign launch email newsletter had an 8.3% CTR – outperforming newsletters not mentioning the campaign during the same period (an average 1.92% CTR) more than fourfold. This impressive CTR led to an all-time record of newsletter-driven traffic (source for all traffic KPIs: Google Analytics).

In the results above, all numbers from Black Week have been removed to ensure that no effects from this strong e-commerce period skew the performance in a positive direction. It is safe to assume that even taking into account Black Week's influence, total numbers from the campaign would have been even higher.

Last, it was also clear that this campaign created a ”buzz” around the Eton Shirts brand. The unexpected pairing of finance and fashion resulted in interest from some of the most prominent media outlets in the world and a total PR reach of 142M – at a value of 1,315,942 USD (source: Meltwater).

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