Cannes Lions

Pin Pals: Reframing How Consumers Think About the Marshalls Shopping Experience

EDELMAN, New York / MARSHALLS / 2017

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Pin Pals was an innovative campaign that brought Marshalls to life for prospects by allowing them to discover products in an entirely new way.

Pin Pals paired like-minded Pinterest users for shopping exchanges inspired by each other’s boards. Using their Pal’s Pinterest boards for inspiration, each shopped Marshalls and bought gifts inspired by their Pal’s pins. Afterward, they packaged everything up and sent surprise deliveries to their Pal’s doorstep.The program launched pairing style influencers with unsuspecting followers. A nationwide network of bloggers joined in, turning their followers into Pin Pals. Finally, we surprised real people who saved items from Marshalls’ Pinterest board with Pin Pal boxes of their own. Pin Pals combined two thing people love — Pinterest and curated mystery box services — to create a socially-powered shopping experience. One that bridged the digital and physical world, giving prospects a new platform to sample product and discover Marshalls.


Throughout our key fall season, top YouTube influencers led the storytelling with their own videos detailing the experience of surprising their Pin Pal. A Marshalls video content series told the story of each Pin Pal pair, accompanied by Marshalls teaser and promotional Facebook & Instagram content. To continue to spread the surprise, we engaged a series of bloggers to promote the program through their social channels and surprise their followers with Pin Pal boxes. A Pin Pals Pinterest board displayed all the gems curated by the influencers – and drove a social sweepstakes in which anyone who pinned one of the photos had the chance to become the next Pin Pal. This resulted in hundreds of surprises boxes popping up doorsteps across the nation. To drum up earned coverage, the team leveraged YouTube influencers as spokespeople, resulting in coverage across multiple verticals, including women’s fashion, beauty, home and parenting.


Across earned, owned and social, Pin Pals generated over 475MM impressions, driving mass awareness around the newly launched Marshalls Surprise platform. Across social, the campaign drove +420K engagements. Campaign achieved highest ad recall (+7pp) among all branded content proving that influencer campaign and content drove strong lifts in awareness” On Pinterest alone, Pin Pals achieved twice the average Marshalls Pinterest engagement rate. The video content drove 12MM views, with the YouTube content driving four times the average branded video engagement rate and outperforming benchmarks for video click-throughs. A Pin Pals Pinterest board displayed gems curated by influencers and drove a social sweepstakes in which anyone who pinned one of the photos had the chance to be the next Pin Pal. This resulted in 200+ boxes popping up on doorsteps across the nation, generating UGC and underscoring the brand’s surprise platform. Using YouTube influencers as spokespeople, we secured 200MM impressions.

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