In times of social distancing, lockdowns and gyms being closed, people need to get creative to keep up with their workout routines and stay fit. In-person classes become livestreams, carpets pass for yoga mats and backpacks filled with books make for great functional weights.
Working out brings people together. Even if that means that everyone is staying at home instead of hitting the gym. In this situation, which we now tend to call the ‘new normal,’ Zalando launched its first remotely produced sports campaign on Easter Sunday, which also broke the record for the shortest production time in the history of the company’s marketing campaigns. Instead of shooting the campaign videos at a stadium or sports field, living rooms took center stage. Where there used to be dedicated camera teams involved, the talents were now filming themselves while showing how they are staying fit at home.
We asked the Head of Campaign Management Marie Frickel what it took to produce a campaign under these unusual circumstances.
What is the message behind the new campaign?
With this campaign, we are addressing not only a challenge that many are currently facing but also a shift in consumer behavior. We see that our customers increasingly buy sports clothes such as running and yoga wear. With lockdowns and social distancing, they need to get creative to stay active and fit without having access to gyms and sports facilities. In “Together I am strong,” eleven talents show us how they solve this challenge and stay active at home; alone but not lonely, as their workouts keep them connected.
What makes this campaign so special?
“Together I am strong” is not only the campaign claim but also embodies how we as a team have approached this project. With all of us working from home, there has been no possibility to build sets, use proper equipment or work with hair and makeup artists. We had to get creative and find ways to shoot everything remotely. For this campaign, that meant equipping our talent with cameras and outfits and letting them film themselves while working out at home. This was the first time we produced a campaign without having a set and yet we shot it faster than ever and are very happy with the results.
What was the process like producing a campaign in this new set up?
We have quickly adjusted our marketing processes to respond to the current situation and to remain as relevant to our customers as possible. From the idea for this campaign to the actual launch it only took three weeks instead of the usual three to four months. Our new agile set-up allows us to quickly produce content for Zalando's channels (social media, newsletters, onsite) based on themes that currently interest our customers most. We have also adjusted our campaign planning and execution, allowing us to respond to bigger emerging themes beyond those planned in the marketing calendar. It has involved a lot of video meetings and discussions. It makes a big difference whether everyone is sitting in the same room or each showing up virtually on a screen. There was also no possibility to meet the talents or our director, Stefanie Soho, before. We had to trust that they will be the right fit for this campaign. The whole process was very fast. In the end, we are proud to have proven that, even in home office, we can produce a great campaign for our customers that they can identify with.
Campaign Management: Marie Frickel, Abiola Muritala, Georgina Wilson
Account Management: Dagmara Recza, Paul Dombek, Milena Steinke
Art Direction: Lydia Gries, Glazione Rocha
Visual Merchandising: Simon Tazman
Global Social Media Management: Marieke Neleman, Jaiden Jeremy Anusionwu
Agency: Kolle Rebbe (Hamburg)
Creative direction: Stefanie Soho