Zalando Introduces New Brand Direction, "free to be" in a Campaign Celebrating Freethinkers and Self-expression

BERLIN, SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 // This autumn/winter, Zalando will use the new season to reveal its new brand positioning and claim line: “Zalando. free to be.” The empowering 360° campaign celebrates real people and real stories representing what “free to be” means. With a TV commerical starring freethinkers, Adwoa Aboah, Alice Hurel, Felicity Hayward, Rain Dove and Leroy Mokgatle, the campaign showcases the broadest fashion assortment in Europe, offering new season styles that allow customers to feel free to be themselves.

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“We believe in a world where everyone is free to be themselves, regardless of size, age, gender or background. Zalando wants to become the Starting Point for Fashion, catering to every style from casual to street, basics to premium; enabling our customers to express their personal sense of style with us,” says Jonny Ng, Director Marketing Strategy & Campaigns at Zalando. “With our 'free to be' positioning we are taking our brand to the next level, which will frame all our future marketing activity as a platform. We are on a mission to reimagine fashion for the good of all, to build a brand that empowers, represents and entertains millions of customers across Europe.” 

Partnering with London-based creative agency Grey, Zalando’s AW19 campaign tells the emotionally engaging story of those who choose to be who they want to be and wear what they want to wear, free of judgment.

“The campaign features a diverse cast who differ in body shape, break with stereotypes or defy traditional gender roles. Our cast is not afraid to show the world who they really are and they use fashion to express their identity. This freedom is what we want all our customers to feel. When you are free to wear what you want and be who you want, nothing can hold you back," continues Jonny. 

Anna Pańczyk, CEO Grey London, adds: “Making cultural impact and challenging stereotypes is part of Grey London’s DNA so we couldn’t be more proud of our first campaign for Zalando. The talent we’re using to bring ‘free to be’ to life shows just how ambitious Zalando is and we’re delighted to be part of their team.”

Zalando’s ‘free to be’ commercial was directed by British director, Georgia Hudson, known for her work with the likes of Nike, Under Armour and P!nk. Ripping open a Zalando box, the commercial begins with alopecian model Alice Hurel and an empowering voice-over that carries the story on to teen ballet dancer, Leroy Mokgatle, dancing through the streets of Lisbon. Next, curve model, Felicity Hayward shows just how big she can be, stepping out of an out-of-home ad. Supermodel and activist Adwoa Aboah finds her space in a chaotic world, while Rain Dove challenges gender norms, free to be multiple versions of themselves. The voice-over tells a liberating manifesto and finishes the commercial reminding every customer to be free to be yourself, always. The campaign imagery shot by London-based photographer, James Pearson-Howes, captures freedom in movement and energy while bringing in more free to be personalities, including body positivity activist, Emily Bador and Frances Dunscombe who started modeling at 82. 

The TV commercial is the editorial centerpiece of the campaign and is further translated into print, out-of-home and Zalando-owned channels. With this campaign, Zalando uses social channels like TikTok, Twitch, YouTube and Instagram in the media mix. The campaign will be live on the Zalando hub (Zalando.com) from 11th September 2019, with the commercial launching on TV on September 15, 2019. 

 #freetobe

Campaign Credits

Director Marketing Strategy & Campaign: Jonny Ng
Campaign Management: Marie Frickel, Claudia Gebhardt & Abiola Muritala 
Account Management: Paul Dombek, Naomi Scholz, Linnéa Södergran
Creative Agency: Grey London 
Film Director: Georgia Hudson
Photographer: James Pearson-Howes

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About Zalando

Zalando is Europe’s leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle. Founded in Berlin in 2008, we bring head-to-toe fashion to more than 28 million active customers in 17 markets, offering clothing, footwear, accessories and beauty. The assortment of international brands ranges from world famous names to local labels. Our platform is a one-stop fashion destination for inspiration, innovation and interaction. As Europe’s most fashionable tech company, we work hard to find digital solutions for every aspect of the fashion journey: for our customers, partners and every valuable player in the Zalando story. Our goal is to become the starting point for fashion.

Kirsten Siegler
Position:
Corporate Communications
Nathalie Kempf
Position:
Corporate Communications
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