British fashion brand Ted Baker has launched a new campaign anchored by a shoppable film, cryptic social experience and physical retail tie-in with Google’s voice search.
Penny Loafer, Jack Quard and Manny Quin are just some of the characters that appear in a new Ted Baker film launching today, produced by Guy Ritchie.
In a subtle nod to the sharp and witty nature of the British brand, this play on words is what Craig Smith, global brand communication director, refers to at “Ted-isms”, or “Ted-touches”. And it’s those, along with some significantly hefty tech bolt-ons, that anchor this integrated campaign, created with London agency Poke.
Mission Impeccable, as it’s called, is a story of 1950s espionage. Styled accordingly, it follows the tale of T.E.D, enigmatic leader of his eponymous agency (played by the founder and CEO of Ted Baker, Ray Kelvin), deploying some of his best spies to “prevent a couture catastrophe” at the hands of a villain known as The Needle.
Chapter one, which launches today, is a three-minute short following agents Lacey, Silke, Draper and Weaver trying to stop The Needle from selling the fabrics he has stolen at auction.
The story is narrated throughout with all manner of further “Ted-isms” dropped in, including: “All agents report to London, let’s get this ironed out”, “He’s out to pull the wool over the eyes of the fashion world, and you’re going to unravel the whole nasty business”, “The auction will be buttoned up tight” and “The collective influence of those buyers is woven throughout the world.”
The film saw Guy Ritchie serving as executive producer and mentor to emerging directors Crowns & Owls. Part two has also just finished filming and will release early November for the Christmas season.
Having a narrative was core to what the brand was trying to achieve, says Smith. “Understanding who we are and what we stand for provides us with a platform to tell stories. We’re lucky we have Ted – an intrepid character – it gives us a lot of creative license.”
The basis for the story, then, was built with digital and mobile audiences in mind. As a result, the campaign spans way beyond the film across the brand’s social channels and into store.
“Having narrative enables you to create different levels and meanings from a content perspective,” explains Gail Dobinson, global head of marketing and PR at Ted Baker. “It was important that everything tied together, but we didn’t want to just flood all our channels with the same content. We wanted to deliver to the nth degree, so we challenged the team to think about how it touches every part of the business in different ways.”
Core to this is the fact the campaign is shoppable via TedBaker.com and through exclusive retail partner sites: Selfridges in the UK and Nordstrom in the US. Created with interactive video company Wirewax, who Ted Baker previously used for a shoppable Christmas campaign in 2015, this version of Mission Impeccable comes with the tagline: “Spy it. Click it. Buy it”. While watching, users are able to click on looks to save them into a “vault”. From there, they can then look back at individual pieces, without having to interrupt the film throughout.
Online, they can also access full bios and back stories of the characters in a complete campaign hub.
Meanwhile, on social media, a cryptic campaign has played out across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook ahead of today’s film launch. Drawing out the story of The Needle, it saw “classified information” leaked, and users invited to try and decode what they saw in order to win prizes.
Another contest is now set to run in the real world in partnership with Google. Based on Google App’s voice search tool, this retail activation invites users to speak coded phrases in store windows to gain access to a total of 26,000 rewards collectable inside.
Hopping onto that witty Ted attitude again, the initiative is not only geolocated, but time-stamped, meaning that if users are at the bus stop outside at 2am, the app will tell the user to rather go home and put their PJs on, according to Smith. He refers to the initiative as both playful and meaningful, and a bid to surprise and delight shoppers throughout.
As for measurement, what Smith really cares about is creating something consumers will care about: “Everything has got to be supported with great creative and great ideas. Otherwise consumers are not interested, or they see it and don’t come back to it, and certainly don’t share it.”
“This is not a vanity project, we want it to drive traffic, but equally we’re not basing its success on sales.” Instead he’ll look to eyeballs and of course, those shares. A little sprinkling of Guy Ritchie will certainly help that, but it’s the full force of Ted’s thought out 360-campaign that’s going to take this all the way. As Dobinson puts it: “Everything’s been considered… from Ted to toe.”
This story first appeared on Forbes.com.