MediaBank: Inside Zappos’ New Campaign…App Time

All Dolled Up
Zappos.com recently debuted a new campaign, starring the “Zappets” puppets and the company’s own employees (or at least their voices). Here’s the inside scoop about how it came about.

Origin: “We went through the RFP process last year, and this was the concept Mullen, [the eventual winner], brought to the table,” said Michelle Thomas, brand marketing manager at Zappos. “It’s been in the works since October.”

Target customer: 24-to-49-year-old woman, educated with kids.

Why it works: “Mullen listened and came up with a spot that incorporates our objectives: clothing, customer service and corporate culture,” said Thomas. “[Service] is difficult to portray without being forced or fake. There’s something organic about [this campaign].”

Placements: First 30-second spot, called “Jesse,” airing now on E!, The Style Network, Oxygen, Bravo and Discovery. Two more spots roll out in the coming days. Print ads debut in May issues of O, Redbook, Marie Claire and Lucky.

Budget: While no number was disclosed, Thomas credits Mullen with keeping its costs in line with last year and taking its ad dollars further.

Execution: Actors were hired to make the calls to Zappos’ customer service line, but the employees’ reactions are legit.

Reaction: Thomas has been monitoring Twitter feedback and seen a largely positive response, especially among company employees. “Everyone goes through the four-week [customer service] training, so each person can definitely relate to being in those positions.”

Tag It
It’s spring and the urge to improve is in the air, at least when it comes to advertising tag lines.

Earlier this month, Reebok unleashed the “Ree” marketing platform, which emphasizes betterment while also referencing its marquee styles. It includes a series of TV spots created by DDB Berlin that invite consumers to “reetone” in its EasyTone shoes, or “reezig” in the ZigTech training sneakers. According to Reebok, the campaign “aims to bring back the fun and joy [of sports].”

Meanwhile, on the smaller screen, luxury sneaker brand Android Homme is promoting change with an edgy digital video spot directed by Javier Laval that flashes the words “Realize, Redefine, Reboot, Reprogram.” Interspersed in the collection of random symbols and images is a “celebration” of the label’s five spring styles and new accessories.

Access exclusive content