At DPAA Summit, Claire's and Canvas Reveal Details of New Brand-Refresh Campaign

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Cover image for  article: At DPAA Summit, Claire's and Canvas Reveal Details of New Brand-Refresh Campaign

The fashion brand Claire's decided to double-down on its core GenZ customers with a new advertising campaign. And what it's developing, in league with ad agency Canvas Worldwide, encompasses everything from branded plays in the Metaverse to video series, with lots in between.

How's it going? Plenty of answers to that question were supplied by Kristin Patrick (pictured at top, center), Claire's Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, and Canvas Worldwide Chief Executive Officer, Paul Woolmington (top left), who spoke this past Tuesday at the DPAA Global Summit 2022. The annual confab for the digital out-of-home advertising market hosted about 1,000 at New York's Chelsea Piers. That compares with some 700 attendees last year.

"This is a storied brand that's now in a refresh," Woolmington said. "This is not your mother's Claire's. We have to be on the bleeding edge."

Customer surveys conducted by Claire's showed that "content is key for our consumers," Patrick said. "We're answering the need of this group for more content, plus information on our line of fashion accessories."

Stage one of the partnership will focus on content generation, first for online and virtual reality Metaverse destinations. Claire's is developing GenZ characters using store merchandise to showcase an inclusive, playful environment where people overcome their anxieties. During stage two, several characters will be adapted for TV series, movies, TikTok and other social media. Separately, a documentary series will profile members of an expanding Gen Z and Gen Alpha crowd, also known as "Gen Zalpha."

Down the road, Claire's will experiment with in-store video displays, where individual products will be offered for sale at the retail locations or online. Some are tied to new stores overseas in the coming months, with tailored approaches. "In Paris, the scent of a store is important," said Patrick. "The physical space is important. Every situation is unique."

Patrick and Canvas have a track record together that extends well beyond Claire's. Before coming to the brand, Patrick held roles at Playboy Enterprises and PepsiCo. At each company, Canvas organized image-turnaround campaigns. For example, it helped move Playboy away from its long-standing reputation as a men's magazine to a general-audience lifestyle brand.

For DPAA President and Chief Executive Officer Barry Frey (pictured at top, right), Claire's ambitious campaign approach is well timed. So far, 2022 is shaping up to be the retail ad category's best sales revenue year since 2019 -- the year before the coronavirus pandemic. That's according to forecasts from Group M and other leading ad agencies.

"It's time to look ahead and put pedal to the metal on digital," Frey urged attendees. "Think about strategic, mobility, borderless approaches to out of home, with aggressive use of apps, 3D, Metaverse. Be about reaching people at the right time, in the right place, with the right content.

"Double down on programmatic, new data resources and company alliances," Frey added. "That got us through [2020 and 2021]. We were bloodied, but not beaten."

Frey also announced the launch of a new DPAA Creator Council, mandated to expand out-of-home employment opportunities for women and people of color. Another new 2022-23 project will be an annual Women in Digital Media Awards event, sponsored by Captivate.

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