Old Navy has gone through many evolutions of marketing campaigns in the last decade. The mannequin approach needs to be retired in exchange for something more fresh and exciting; especially for the target demographic of young males. It is recommended that smartphone advertising be utilized as the delivery platform to reach this demographic.
The common idea about men is that they do not like to shop. However, this isn’t quite the case. Rather, they just shop differently. Reaching out the men in the twenty-five to thirty-five demographic requires new skills as marketers. The previous generation of Old Navy advertisements used mannequins to try to attract the attention of its target market. The campaign was described like this in the New York Times (Elliot, 2011):
Old Navy is sending its spokes-mannequins back to the sales floors and storerooms. For almost two years, the Old Navy discount-clothing chain has run a campaign centered on the “Supermodelquins.” The characters are store mannequins, dressed in the newest Old Navy fashions and given voices. Their efforts at human behavior were presented in a broadly humorous vein.
The company has tried all different avenues with the manequins and it is definitely time for a new approach. Even the best marketing programs grow stale in the consumers mind after a period of time. Introducing music into the mannequin format was not enough to revitalize the campaign.
Old Navy has announced that it will target the twenty-five to thirty-five demographic with a comedic parody that portrays some examples of men that “most” men would not want to dress like. The men Old Navy is showing dress in a flamboyant way that does not fit with the mainstream image of demographic. The characters in the campaign are described as (Advertising Age, 2011):
Old Navy’s new campaign pokes fun at men’s fashion with “Supar Tool” and “Corporado.” Videos parody the “Supar Tool,” an overly metrosexual man and “Corporado,” a corporate cowboy type not unlike the character Dwight on NBC’s “The Office.” The videos will be distributed on YouTube and Facebook, while print ads will run in publications including Maxim. Mobile elements will include a game, style-finder, video gallery, store locator and coupons. A third video shilling “Jack Ash” leisurewear hasn’t been completed but could launch this fall.
By poking fun at these characters Old Navy can promote their more mainstream appeal to reach their target demographic.
Despite the particulars of the current campaign, one of the interesting aspects in reaching this demographic is the delivery platform. The 79 million Millennials in the U.S. have an estimated purchasing power of $170 billion dollars per year, making them a highly attractive segment for brands to target, according to comScore vice president Bert Miklosi (TechJournal, 2014). However, to reach this demographic it takes a new generation of skills. This demographic is known for their ability to use any form of technology to find media, the seek constant stimulation, and they are prone to multitasking. Therefore, grabbing their attention is not something that can be easily designed. It is recommended that the Old Navy campaign markets their new campaign via smartphone devices. There are a range of different options for smartphone applications. One popular option is through apps such as Pandora in which many users listen to free radio type features in exchange for random ads. Old Navy would be well suited to pursue an option like this to meet their target market.
Advertising Age. (2011, June 8). Behind the Campaign: Old Navy Goes After Men in New Ad Push. Retrieved from Adage: http://adage.com/article/news/navy-targets-campaign-men/228051/
Elliot, S. (2011, February 17). Old Navy Replaces Mannequins With Music. Retrieved from The New York Times: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/old-navy-replaces-mannequins-with-music/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
TechJournal. (2014, January 24). Digital marketing works better for Millennials than TV. Retrieved from TechJournal: http://www.techjournal.org/2012/01/digital-marketing-works-better-for-millennials-than-tv/
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