The Ted Baker retail way: 360° shoppable sitcoms and social conversations

Ted Baker social conversations

Ted Baker's shoppable movie

Ted Baker returns to the spotlight this spring with the launch of its immersive 4K, 360° shoppable film. Coming off of a successful spot launched last fall with film guru Guy Ritchie, the brand has leveraged social media to build hype around its new collection, while also using it as a tool to communicate and interact with its buzzy online community. Titled ‘Keeping Up with The Bakers’, the brand tapped directors Crowns & Owls (who were behind last season’s Mission Impeccable) for the spring campaign, which doubles as a humorous sitcom profiling a newly relocated family living in what the brand describes as a “suburban utopia”.

The spot introduces the viewer to a well-groomed bunch of four, dressed in the season’s most coveted Ted Baker looks. Giving off a simplistic 1950’s American television feel, the campaign film features what initially appears to be a picturesque group- two well-behaved adorable children, a handsome father and a beautiful mum who cooks. Perfect appearances aside, the family partakes in scandalously stylish adventures in their new neighbourhood despite what the carefully crafted spot (with its use of playful pastels and whimsical music) may lead on.

In similar vein to last season, Ted Baker looked to creative agency, Poke for assistance in creating its virtual neighborhood on social. The brand introduced the premise of the campaign film and each family member on its Instagram roughly one month before the official launch of the film. Soon after, a sneak peak of the spot surfaced along with its corresponding hashtag #meetthebakers. Two weeks after that, leading up to the official launch of the film later that week, Ted Baker invited its online community to become the Bakers’ virtual nosy neighbours. There were daily social challenges which encouraged participants to upload their own imagery with a corresponding hashtag unique to each task, for a chance to win special prizes. The brand offered users a bit of humorous context with each post (often packing the caption with a bit of brow-raising scandal).

“What we have been doing over the last 6-8 months, is really start to have more detailed conversations with all of the big social platform players and just trying to understand what best-in-class looks like in terms of innovation on those particular platform channels,” says Craig Smith, CMO at Ted Baker. The result? A campaign that utilised the interactivity and ephemeral nature of Instagram’s Stories function. Audiences were instructed to check the brand’s Story daily (which served as the virtual neighbourhood’s TV gossip channel) to find out who the lucky prize winners were.

The full campaign which officially launched two weeks ago, was created in partnership with Happy Finish and Wirewax (with whom Ted Baker has worked with for 18 months) for a final product that can be viewed across desktops, tablets and mobile devices. The full 360-degree shopping experience can be had across the brand’s site in addition to those of its retail partners – ASOS.com in the UK and Nordstrom.com in North America.

“They (Nordstrom) already have the ability to host Wirewax as a shoppable function within their site, so it’s a no-friction approach as well from our point of view,” says Smith on the brand’s second partnership with the retailer.

The campaign film allows participants to navigate from room to room in the Bakers’ colourful residence. Users are even afforded the opportunity to reveal hidden content and immediately purchase the clothing and accessories worn by each of the family members simply by clicking the shopping cart icon located directly above each image of a Baker, (where users select the item of interest before being prompted to a checkout). The story can also be experienced on YouTube and through Google Cardboard, which Smith referred to as “a nice entry-level opportunity,” in terms of the brand’s foray into more immersive experiences. (A version of this was created for Instagram and Facebook to give its audience a taste of the opportunity in 360-degrees.) Users are unable to shop the collection through these mediums as both channels are not yet conducive to this type of purchase functionality. “It is coming, but it’s not there now,” says Smith on the lack thereof. Despite that, the entirety of the campaign still serves as a brilliant way for the brand to explore the potential of immersive experiences at a surface level, and deepen its storytelling tactic for the season. The resulting engaged audience is likely to be keeping up with the brand until next season.

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